Squash, Winter Varieties

S & J Nursery Winter Squash Varieties for 2014 Trials for Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens

S & J Nursery’s winter squash selections grown for the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area vegetable gardens in 2014.

Winter squash is new to me as a gardener. The fruit just never had much of an appeal to me because I’ve never been a fan of squash soup. (I do love pumpkin pie, so maybe there is hope for other winter squash selections.) So, me being the hater of all winter squash, eventually ran across “vegetable spaghetti” squash and was finally able to appreciate the winter squash family. I tried growing them in my garden a few years ago and they did just fine with no problems to speak of. So naturally, being a curious gardener, after a few seasons of that, I have decided to try a few new winter squash varieties this year, and who knows, maybe I will learn to love them, and maybe my neighbors will get them all!

Whether your like me and willing to try anything, or want a sure bet, there is something for you to choose from our winter squash variety trials for 2014. We can “learn as we grow” together!

Winter Squash Variety “Autumn Acorn Blend”

Ok, so this was sort of cheating, I found these from Gurney’s seeds and decided to try all these acorn squashes at once! The seeds were a mixture of White Ace, Table Princess, Table Gold, and Mardi Gras. So I’m not sure what will come up in what pot! Maybe not the best idea for resale, but I did it anyway! They are touted to be perfect for baking, steaming and making into soups. Harvest in as little as 70-90 days.

White Ace = White skin selection with sweet golden flesh.

Table Princess = Medium green skin color 2-3lb fruits. Bush habit. Harvest at 70-80 days.

Table Gold = Open Pollinated selection. Bright yellow gold colored fruits when mature (can be eaten as summer squash when skins are still light yellow in color)

Mardi Gras = (cucurbita pepo)bush type hybrid with yellow and green vertical stripes. Very flavorful selection. 60 days to harvest.


 Winter Squash Variety “Buttercup” ( Cucurbita maxima)

Thick and meaty fruits with a little turban on top! Vining plants produce dark green fruits have a light gray green vertices stripe, top portion of the fruit is gray green in color as well. Buttercup fruits weigh between 3-5 lbs, yellow flesh. harvest at 105 days from planting.

Winter Squash (Pumpkin) Variety “Casper”

Casper pumpkins are a unique and delicious addition to your fall harvest. The thick white skinned fruits are perfect for decorating and the sweet flesh makes them an excellent selection for pies and other holiday treats! Fruits are 8-10 lbs each with almost smooth skins, only slight ribbing indentations. Harvest at 10 days from planting.

Winter Squash (Pumpkin) Variety “Jack O Lantern”

If you are looking for a traditional carving Pumpkin, Jack O Lantern is what you need. Pumpkins are medium sized, round and elongated shape makes the perfect canvas for fall decorating! Fruits are excellent cooked as well. 12-18 inch high with a 6 ft spread. Harvest at 110 days from planting.

Winter Squash Variety Heirloom “Table Queen”

An old fashioned Heirloom variety, Table Queen is an Acorn type squash with a dark green rind and sweet golden yellow flesh that darkens when stored to a nice orange color. Bush habit plant gets 10-12 inches high and only 24 inches wide, perfect for small space gardens. Harvest begins 80 days from planting.