1. When to Plant

Wait until about 2 weeks after your last frost date to plant winter squash seeds directly in the garden. If you plant any earlier than that, even if you’re certain we won’t experience more frost, you risk the soil temperature being a little too cool for squash seeds to sprout well.

2. Where to Plant

Your top location priority is to choose a site that gets full sun. Winter squash plants require at least 6 hours of sun but will be much more productive with 8 or more hours a day. These plants are large and sprawling, so make sure you take their ultimate size into account before choosing a planting location.

3. How to Plant

Spread a 2- to 3-inch thick layer of fresh compost over the garden space. Sow squash seeds about 3/4” to 1″ deep. Space seeds in a raised bed about 12″ apart. Water the planting area. Maintain a consistently moist soil while you’re waiting on the squash seeds to germinate.

4. When to Harvest

Winter squash fruits are ready to harvest when their rind is hard enough that you can’t make a dent in it with your fingernail. The stems will begin to shrivel and die at this point.

5. How to Cure 

Winter squash needs to cure before long storage. Leave squash on the ground or indoors to cure for 10-14 days. Then you can store it in a cool, dark location for 5-6 months.