How to grow & when to pick spaghetti squash

Written by liza blau
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How to grow & when to pick spaghetti squash
(Raw Carrot and summer squash spaghetti image by Jack Kunnen from Fotolia.com)

Spaghetti squash belongs to the same winter squash family as acorn, butternut, Hubbard, delicata and dumpling squashes. Although spaghetti squash is harvested each fall, it’s considered a winter squash since it keeps its texture and flavour throughout the winter if properly stored. The spaghetti squash contains edible strands that resemble spaghetti noodles, which you can enjoy just as you would pasta and is how it got its name. Spaghetti squash is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, even if you're a novice gardener.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Garden hoe
  • Compost or manure
  • Fertiliser

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Plant your spaghetti squash seeds up to two weeks after the final spring frost. Find a large area in your garden that receives full sunlight and has excellent air circulation. Pull out all weeds and debris. Use a garden hoe to turn over and loosen the soil to at least 5 inches deep. Mix in 2 inches of compost or organic matter, such as manure.

  2. 2

    Make small hills 4 to 6 feet apart with a garden hoe. Poke a 1-inch deep hole in each hill and plant four or five spaghetti squash seeds inside each hole. Cover each hole with soil and water well.

  3. 3

    Keep the soil damp until the spaghetti squash seedlings sprout and then cut back on watering to once each week.

  4. 4

    Keep the area weed-free by plucking new weeds out with your hand or using a hoe. Be careful not to disturb the growing roots of your spaghetti squash plants. Feed the seedlings with fertiliser every three weeks.

  5. 5

    Thin the seedlings when they become 4 inches tall to two or three plants per hill. Pinch the remaining seedlings off at their base. Don't yank them out, since that may disrupt the plants you wish to keep.

  6. 6

    Harvest the spaghetti squash in September or October when they turn a deep orange or yellow colour and their skin becomes hard. Remove the spaghetti squash carefully from their vines.

Tips and warnings

  • Store the spaghetti squash in a dry location with temperatures between 10 and 12.8 degrees Celsius.

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