Yard & Garden Report


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Celebrate squash!

Winter squash is part of our heritage. Enjoy it on a cold, wintry night.

Buttercup squashThis is the season to celebrate pumpkins and other winter squash. Nothing can match it for flavor on a cold, wintry night.

Winter squash is part of our state’s heritage. Our native tribes harvested immature squash. They sliced it, skewered it through willow sticks and dried it in the sun. This squash was vital for their survival during winter.  

The buttercup, considered by many to be the finest flavored of all squash, was released by the North Dakota Agricultural College in 1931 (see photo).

Harvest before a hard frost, keeping at least one inch of stem. Wipe dirt off the fruits but do not wash. Cure in a warm (80°F) spot for 10 days to toughen the skin. Acorn squash are not cured.

Later keep cool (50–55°F) and moderately dry (50–70% RH). Store on pallets.

Enjoy the rich flavor of squash this winter. Roast it in the oven or make it into a hearty soup. It will warm up your body with nature’s goodness.


Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Published in the NDSU Yard & Garden Report, September 22, 2014. The photo was made available under a Creative Commons license specified by the photographer: Bluestem Farm.

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