acorn squash

Asked May 17, 2016, 12:44 PM EDT

Hello, I live in Welches where the short short growing season and the roving deer herds make it difficult to grow vegetables. I would love to grow acorn squash, but have had no luck this spring finding starts in a nursery. Is there a variety that matures more quickly than others? Is there a magic time to plant the seeds so they germinate? Should I give up and stick with ferns and rhododendrons? Thank you for your advice. Bob

Clackamas County Oregon horticulture vegetable gardening

1 Response

I think you are going to have a tough time of it, just based on the deer. You will need a 10' fence to protect your vegetables (I know this is possible because my cousin in Bozeman MT has a good-sized garden.) It may be a little early to find squash starts because they need it warm.

You can plant your own starts but you need to look at the 'days' to maturity. For example, if you expect to harvest Sept 15 (I'm picking a date to make it easier) and the days to maturity is 120 you would need to plant the seed by about May 15. that doesn't mean it has to go outside because this plant needs warm soil (at least 60F and daytime temps of 70-90F) You can start your plants indoors and then plant them outside when it's warm enough.

OSU Extension has a booklet about growing your own https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em9027 and has some recommendations.