There are numerous winter squash varieties, however for brevity’s sake, we’ll focus on the most well-liked forms of winter squash for the house gardener and canopy a number of fascinating varieties of every sort! Summer time squash like zucchini could also be extra broadly identified and extra generally grown, however winter squashes are the unsung heroes of the Cucurbita household. Since they belong to the identical household as vegetation like cucumbers, zucchini, and pattypan, they’ve related development habits and wishes.
Whereas summer season squashes are supposed to be eaten younger and tender, these are supposed to be left on the vine to completely mature. This offers them an extended shelf life and makes them wonderful for longer-term storage. That is the place the identify winter squash comes from as they’re grown by means of the summer season similar to summer season squash, however they’re usually saved for consumption all through the winter.
When correctly cured, some ripe winter squash will be saved for as much as six months. Their seeds are massive and germinate simply, which makes them an incredible selection for teenagers or newbie gardeners. It’s value noting that members of the Cucurbita household readily cross-pollinate, which may have an effect on the seeds for the next yr.
Saving seeds which have doubtlessly cross-pollinated may end up in a poisonous squash with higher-than-normal ranges of cucurbitacins which may make you sick! So it’s finest to develop them at a adequate distance from each other for those who plan on saving seeds. In any other case, the seeds are utterly edible and scrumptious when roasted!
The spaghetti squash is understood for its yellow flesh, which will be pulled into strands with a fork when cooked – very like spaghetti. This yellow flesh is usually used as a vegetable-based substitute for spaghetti, therefore the identify spaghetti squash. The cooked squash is equally scrumptious with the addition of just a few butter, salt, and pepper.
This is a superb possibility for gardeners with restricted house since it’s a bush sort somewhat than a vine sort and is appropriate for container rising on a patio or deck. The massive, rectangular, yellow selection can weigh as much as 4-5 lbs per squash.
This selection produces small 2-3 lb squash, which is ideal for a single serving. They’ve a brilliant orange colour, and in comparison with different yellow spaghetti squash, they’ve a better degree of beta carotene.
This selection is yellow with inexperienced streaks and resembles Delicata squash. It’s identified for its nutty taste. It’s presupposed to have a better resistance to powdery mildew. It has a candy flesh and delicate taste.
Hasta La Pasta
This can be a quick grower which reaches maturity in about 80 days, in comparison with most different winter squashes that take 90 days and above. The stringy flesh is ideal as a pasta substitute because the identify would counsel.
In comparison with different winter squash, the acorn has comparatively skinny pores and skin and light-weight orange flesh. Usually acorn squash halves are roasted with butter, and generally they’re dressed with candy maple syrup or brown sugar.
Inexperienced Acorn Squash
That is the commonest acorn squash, which will be present in most grocery shops, particularly when it’s in season throughout the fall. The acorn-shaped squash has deep ribs and darkish inexperienced pores and skin, and there may be candy orange flesh inside. It’s vital to reap these earlier than they start to show orange in any other case, they’ll develop fibrous flesh.
Golden Acorn Squash
This squash has a golden orange rind and golden flesh. The style is much like inexperienced acorn, however the stunning golden colour can add visible curiosity to your savory dishes.
This squash is a cross between acorn and a candy dumpling squash. It’s formed like acorn squash however with pale yellow pores and skin and light-weight inexperienced stripes.
These winter squash varieties get their identify as a result of they appear like a pumpkin sporting a turban. They’ve an total pumpkin form however with nearly a smaller pumpkin protruding from the highest. They’re principally used as distinctive Autumnal decorations. Nonetheless, they’re additionally edible.
The buttercup squash is darkish inexperienced with a light-weight inexperienced “turban” protruding from the highest. The orange flesh is considerably dry, so it’s finest to steam this squash or roast it with a sauce of maple syrup or butter and brown sugar. The buttercup squash can be used as an alternative to pumpkin in soups, stews, and pumpkin pie.
Related in look to Buttercup squash, however is available in quite a lot of colours. Primarily used for ornamental functions, but it surely’s additionally scrumptious and edible with a traditional pumpkin taste.
These squash are often known as Japanese pumpkins (kabocha is the Japanese phrase for squash). Kabocha squash is understood for having an earthy taste. In Japan, “kabocha” could consult with many several types of squash, however within the West, Kabocha has come to consult with particular forms of winter squash.
As its identify would counsel, this kabocha has a darkish orange rind that’s nearly crimson in look. It has deep orange flesh and tastes like a cross between a pumpkin and candy potatoes.
That is probably the most generally identified kabocha squash with its stunning darkish inexperienced rind with gentle inexperienced blotches and yellow-orange flesh. It has a skinny pores and skin which makes it straightforward to prepare dinner and eat with (no peeling required!).
Related in look to the above-mentioned kabocha however with a brilliant orange rind. It additionally has a skinny, edible pores and skin and a style much like candy potato. They style scrumptious when cubes and roasted with only a contact of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
These squashes are stated to be named after Bela Hubbard, who launched the winter squash to a seed dealer, who then named the plant after her. They’re drier and denser than most squashes and have a buttery richness.
Blue Hubbard Squash
This blue selection truly has extra of a grey-blue coloration and a big pear form. Blue Hubbard is shortly gaining recognition amongst gardeners as a lure crop for squash bugs and different pests that might plague your summer season squash. Additionally it is edible itself and fairly tasty.
Golden Hubbard Squash
This selection has the identical pear form because the blue hubbard squash however with red-orange warty pores and skin. The flesh has a creamy texture when cooked.
Crimson Kuri is a small teardrop-shaped mini Hubbard with an orange-red rind and pale orange flesh. The crimson Kuri additionally has an earthy taste that’s considerably nutty and is nice roasted and eaten by itself.
Butternut squash is likely one of the hottest winter squash, and for good purpose! It has brilliant orange flesh, an elongated form, and a small seed cavity within the base. This candy squash has a clean texture which makes great winter soups and stews.
Waltham Butternut Squash
The commonest number of butternut squash. This heirloom selection produces pale tan squash with vibrant orange flesh. They attain maturity in about 85 days, and this selection shops very effectively. In case you’d prefer to strive rising Waltham butternut squash from seed, we inventory these in our on-line retailer.
Honeynut is a miniature candy potato-sized hybrid of butternut squash. It has a candy taste, sweeter than your commonplace butternut, and darker orange flesh.
Butter Boy Hybrid
Produces 2-3 pound squashes with pale orange pores and skin and orange flesh. Prepared to reap in about 85 days.
Stocky, nearly boxy-shaped squash with gentle yellow-orange pores and skin. Quick rising and reaches maturity in about 80 days.
These are often known as candy potato squash since they’re usually smaller and candy potato-shaped.
Stouter than commonplace Delicata squash, rectangular and about 6 inches in size. It’s good for single servings and small snacks. As its identify would counsel, it has a light candy style.
This winter squash has been described because the sweetest squash in existence and in comparison with consuming a spoonful of honey! This makes it an incredible squash for baking desserts.
A bush-type number of Delicata grows as a bush somewhat than a vine. An important possibility for small house gardeners.
Candy Dumpling Squash
Has the identical pale yellow pores and skin with gentle inexperienced stripes as Delicata however within the form of an acorn squash.
For brevity’s sake, we’ll solely focus on the commonest varieties that one would consider when listening to the phrase “pumpkin” since there are over 90 styles of pumpkin!
The sugar pumpkin is generally used as a pie pumpkin. Pie pumpkins have been bred for sweetness and never for measurement. They’re additionally smaller than the bigger carving pumpkins. Usually, they’re roasted, then pureed, after which utilized in baking. They’re wonderful for canned pumpkin too. Strive rising the sugar pie pumpkin seeds we inventory in our on-line retailer.
A mini selection that’s 4-6 inches in diameter. Excellent for the small house gardener. Additionally candy and can be utilized in baking, very like the sugar pumpkins.
This big pumpkin can develop to weigh as much as 300 kilos! That’s one strong squash! They’re generally grown to enter pumpkin rising contests and should not meant to be edible. It takes about 125 days for it to succeed in full measurement.
These pumpkins weigh round 12-18 kilos and are good for carving. Though they can be eaten.
Pear-shaped with darkish inexperienced stripes that carefully resemble Hubbard squash. The hybrid Lakota squash took over a century to create! There are information of it being grown at Fort Atkinson in Nebraska within the 1820s.
These squash are cylindrical and might develop to be very massive, weighing in at as much as 35 kilos! The flesh is aromatic and has only a few seeds, particularly contemplating its massive measurement.
Known as the West Indian pumpkin due to its recognition within the Caribbean. It’s candy, juicy, and strong.
Blue Hokkaido or Blue Kuri
Gray-blue pores and skin with deep orange flesh. Has a deep nutty taste. Additionally generally known as Blue Kabocha.
These are widespread squash for the autumn and winter holidays. Fortunately, with this listing, you received’t must cope with an excessive amount of orange that comes within the type of pumpkins.
When left to dry on the vine, these gourds turn into hole and, thus, can be utilized as bottles. They’re additionally generally used as a pure birdhouse.
A shocking white pumpkin formed like acorn squash. It’s edible. Nonetheless, it makes an incredible addition to fall preparations by including selection alongside different colours of yellow, inexperienced, orange, and blue winter squash.
This squash seems much like carnival squash, however when flipped the wrong way up has a daisy-shaped sample on the underside. Provides a fantastic flower-shaped addition to your decorations.
Tennessee Dancing Gourd
Tiny handheld-sized darkish inexperienced with gentle inexperienced streaks and commonplace bottle gourd form. These make an incredible filler on your tabletop cornucopia.
Regularly Requested Questions
Q: What’s the tastiest winter squash?
A: That is completely subjective! That being stated, butternut squash is the most well-liked edible winter squash, and a plethora of recipes exist using it.
Q: What’s the finest winter squash to develop?
A: Once more, completely subjective and can rely on what you’d like to make use of it for. Individuals purchase winter squash to throw in soups, breads, and pies.
Q: What’s the sweetest winter squash?
A: Honey boat is alleged to be the sweetest.
Q: What number of winter squash varieties are there?
A: Over 150 squash varieties exist at the moment.
Q: Do all winter squash style the identical?
A: No, they’ve variations in style and texture.
Q: Which winter squash lasts the longest?
A: In case your aim is to retailer winter squash for the long run then Butternut is your finest guess. Acorn has the shortest shelf life. In case you’re storing it, test for comfortable spots earlier than you prepare dinner.