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Winter Squash Varieties

Winter Squash is More Than Pumpkins

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Technically the term ‘Winter Squash’ refers to those in the genus maxima including: acorn, banana buttercup, hubbard and turban. But winter squash has acquired a more general meaning and includes a great deal more variety in general usage. Below are some of the most popular varieties of winter squash. Read Growing Winter Squash, for more information on winter squash's cultural requirements.

1. Acorn Squash

<p>Acorn squash really are shaped like large acorns.  They taste like rich, creamy winter squash, but they are actually in the same species as most so called summer squashes, like zucchini, as well as most gourds.  How ever you catagorize them, they're easy to grow, fairly fast maturing and relatively good keepers.

2. Banana Squash

Once again, this squash is named after its resemblance to something else.  Banana squash certainly don't taste like bananas.  They're not even one of the most flavorful winter squashes.  But they certainly are large.

3. Buttercup Squash

Buttercup Squash Photo

Buttercup tends to be overlooked as a small, green pumpkin, but buttercup has a lot to recommend it.  It's sweet and delicious and easy to grow.

4. Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is the most popular winter squash for eating.  It's also a great choice for the vegetable garden, with minimal problems and a long storage life.

5. Cushaw Squash

Cushaw squash, another large, good storage winter squash, used to be a lot more popular in home gardeners than it is now.  Cushaw isn't great as a side dish, but it does bake well and makes a nice pie.

6. Delicata Squash

Delicata is a perfect squash for home vegetable gardens.  The vines are well behaved.  The fruits are a nice size for 2-4 people and it's delicious. Delicata is often called the sweet potato squash, because it's flavor and tecture is darn close to a sweet potato.  They even store well, for weeks.

7. Hubbard Squash

There's no mistaking hubbard squash.  They're large, blue-green and covered in bumps.  Although they are delicious, their shell is very hard to peel and one squash will feed you for weeks.

8. Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is often viewed as just a novelty.  It does make a nice substitue for pasta.  I particularly like it with curries and other Indian spices.  And it stays well-behaved enough to deserve a space in your garden.

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