Many folks enjoy growing acorn squash, not only because it tastes great, but also because it is so easy to grow. Once the seeds are planted, minimal effort is required to produce several sweet, nutty, buttery, delicious squash that can then be used in a wide variety of recipes. Our favorite way to prepare acorn squash is to simply roast it with a little bit of butter, salt and cinnamon.
Acorn squash are simple to plant, care for and harvest. Bush varieties don't take up much space in the garden and can be grown in containers as well as in traditional vegetable gardens. Most acorn squash varieties are ready for harvest 75-100 days after the seeds are planted. We've been growing acorn squash for decades, and wouldn't think about planting a garden without it.
Acorn squash plants produce fruit that typically sit very close to the base of the plant. They require 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Acorn squash plants thrive in nutrient rich soil that is loose and airy. The seeds germinate best when soil temperatures exceed 60 degrees F, and the plants typically thrive in temperature of 70-90 degrees F. They will tolerate short periods of slightly warmer weather if they get enough water.
It's usually best to sow the seeds directly into the soil where you want the plant to grow since transplants don't usually do well if their root systems are disturbed. Most acorn squash plants produce 4-6 individual squash, although we have heard of some folks getting 8 or more if the growing conditions are good and the plants remain healthy.
After harvesting, acorn squash can be stored whole for several months under the right conditions. They will also last for a long time in the freezer if you roast them off first, and store the flesh in an airtight bag or container. Acorn squash also make good fall decorations, especially if you let them ripen fully so that there's a nice orange spot on the skin. Acorn squash can be mashed, fried, steamed, roasted, boiled, baked and used to make soups and stews. You can even harvest the seeds and toast them in the oven for a rare autumn snack.
Click on the following links to learn more about growing your own acorn squash.
Click here to move from our Growing Acorn Squash main page to our Planting Acorn Squash page
Click here for information about watering and fertilizing acorn squash plants
Click here to learn about harvesting acorn squash
Click here for some of our favorite acorn squash recipes
Click here for information about different acorn squash varieties
Click here to diagnose and cure common acorn squash plant problems