Days to Maturity: 80 DAYS
BUSH DELICATA SQUASH
Superbly sweet, tender flesh unique to Delicata. Compact, tidy plants with sweet, oblong fruits. Delicious smooth, nutty flesh with hints of butter and brown sugar. Skin starts creamy white with green stripes and flecks, curing to striped light yellow. Compact plants spread only 4-6 feet. All-America Selection (AAS) winner bred by Molly Jahn and George Moriarty at Cornell University.
Days to maturity are from direct seeding, subtract 2 weeks if transplanting. Winter squash has a long season, requiring 90-120 frost free days to reach maturity, so it is usually transplanted in northern climates. It can also be direct seeded once danger of frost has passed and soil temperatures reach 70°F. Start transplants indoors 3-4 weeks before last risk of frost. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 85-95°F.
Black plastic mulch can be used to increase soil temperature for earlier planting.
Harvest when fruits are full size and have a deep rich color and hard rinds that can’t be easily dented with a finger nail. Changing color of the “ground spot” from yellow to cream, gold or orange is another general indicator of ripeness. To harvest, cut stem at least 2” from the fruit: a short or broken stem can lead to rot. Cure after harvest by keeping in a warm, dry location for a few days then