Winter squash is pretty easy to grow. Just remember it’s still a heat-loving summer plant, despite the name. Don’t select super-long-season varieties and you’ll probably be pretty successful. Direct seed if you want, or start under lights where slugs won’t eat them the minute they germinate.
Standard cucurbit advice applies:
- Start them in a generous sized pot or soil block. I use a 4-inch pot for most winter squash. Larger seed? Larger pot. Really huge squash like hubbard have huge seeds that I might even go larger than 4-inch on.
- Seed them about 3 weeks before you’d direct sow them. Don’t push it. These are fast growing plants and what you really don’t want is for them to get root bound before you can transplant them out.
- Transplant out into pre-warmed soil (pin down black plastic for a month or two before you plant) if possible.
- Transplant before they are even thinking of being root bound. You want a winter squash plant that is just rooted enough that the soil ball barely hangs together when you tip the plant out to transplant. If you need to because your squash is getting root bound, you can up-pot to gallon size. The plants just get hard to transplant at that size.
- Be gentle.
How To Grow Winter Squash In The Pacific Northwest (coming soon!)