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Winter Squash

There is something extraordinary about the aroma of baking Winter Squash, bubbling with butter and brown sugar. Sun-loving Winter Squash is best direct-sown in well-draining, fertile, 60°F soil, two weeks past the last spring frost date. Plant them with plenty of elbow room since they love to ramble. Squash is simple to grow and transforms easily into nutritious, heart-warming dishes: soups, gratins or sumptuous Thai or Indian curries. Squash requires fertile soil and room to stretch in hot sunshine. Harvest with a sharp blade when skin is hard and the mature coloration appears, leaving some stem. Cure in the sun for ten days or in a dry room for five days. Properly cured Squash, kept cool and dry, keeps all winter long. Bee friendly. Deer resistant.

Average seed life: 3 years.

Futtsu Black Early Winter Squash

Futtsu Black Early Winter Squash Futtsu Black Early Winter Squash
100 days. Cucurbita moschata. A stunning heirloom grown for hundreds of years in Japan, Black Futtsu fruits are petite at about 3 pounds, growing on vigorous vines. Blocky, deeply ribbed and extremely bumpy, for most of the season they are a gorgeous dark green to charcoal black, but in fall they mature to a gray-bloomed dusty orange in a fascinating metamorphosis. Harvest in the midst of their transformation for funky fall displays or wait for them to ripen completely for maximum flavor, which is nutty and sweet with hints of chestnut. The thin skin is edible, so no need to peel before slicing it into thin golden-yellow-fleshed wedges and roasting until caramelized and crispy-sweet. Highly decorative, Black Futtsu keeps for months on end. (OP.)

One packet of about 40 seeds
Catalog #4145
$4.15
  • Buy 10 for $3.75 each and save 10%
  • Buy 50 for $3.10 each and save 26%

Availability: In stock

$4.15

Gardening Tips

Winter Squash Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1”
Row Spacing:5’
Hill Spacing:5’-6’
Days to Germination: 5-10 days
Germination Temperature:65°-75°F

Winter Squash needs space to ramble as well as a hot growing site in full sunlight. They may be started after the last frost when the temperature is a reliable 60°F. Direct-sow 3 to 5 seeds per hill, then thin to the 2 strongest seedlings. To start indoors for transplanting, sow singly in pots 3 to 4 weeks before the transplant date. Provide seedlings with good ventilation, strong light and even moisture. Transplant outdoors after the last frost date. Enrich soil with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure. Cover seedlings with cloches if it gets cool, water regularly and feed as needed with kelp or fish emulsion. Powdery mildew on leaves won’t affect the squash. Harvest with a sharp knife when skin is hard and fruits are fully colored. As long as there is no danger of frost, you may cure squash outdoors in the sun for 10 days. Or, you may place them in a warm, dry room for 5 to 7 days to cure.

Our Pollinators are in Peril

Patience Pays Off
I’m always in a hurry to get my Winter Squash growing, and have often started them ahead indoors. But I find that the plants really dislike being transplanted, especially into chilly spring soil. I find it works best to sow directly. If your growing season is short, it helps to warm up the soil with black plastic sheets instead, cutting an X wherever a Squash plant will go.

Squash as a Groundcover
Here's a trick that saves space, keeps down weeds and deters critters, all at the same time. Plant Winter Squash along the edge of the garden and train the vines outward, through the fence. The vines will soon blanket the area just outside, shading weeds out; the leaves make a prickly carpet that some animals prefer not to walk on.

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

Tips for Harvesting and Storing Pumpkins and Winter Squash