One of the reasons for gardening is increased self sufficiency, but if you live in a Southern climate, having access to certain vegetables may be a challenge beyond a short window of time. Winter squash isn’t one of those vegetables. By timing your planting carefully and storing carefully, you can enjoy winter squash 7 months after you harvest it! Timing is key.
Winter squash will stay edible (and delicious) for months if you begin with one key step: plant it late. Count a hundred days back from your first fall frost. That is your planting day. Here, where our first fall frost date is around mid-October, planting should come on around Independence Day (July 4). That way, you’ll be able to harvest after the hot weather has passed. Keep your squash cool but not in freezing temperatures, and you’ll be able to enjoy it over months without resorting to resource-using preservation methods.
What squash keeps well? Butternut squash has excellent keeping qualities. If you’ve had success keeping other winter squash or pumpkins for months, let other readers know. Jarradale (pictured) never stays around our house long enough for me to know if it keeps.