Sweet Delicata is a winter squash that is planted as a warm-season annual and is generally transplanted into your garden in spring after the last frost has occurred. It grows throughout the summer and in the early fall, its fruits will have fully ripened and have thick skins that aren't easily pierced by a thumbnail, making them great to store and eat throughout the winter, but for best flavor the fruits should be eaten within 6 weeks of harvest.
Winter Squash - Sweet Delicata
- Planting: Plant in direct sun (6 to 8 hours of sunlight) in fertile and well-drained soil, about 12" to 18" apart in rows, or plant in hills. Can be trained up a trellis, but ensure that fruits are supported so that they do not damage vines as they grow in size and weight.
Watering: water frequently and deeply after transplanting to prevent shock. Once established, keep soil moist by watering deeply on a regular schedule.Harvesting: Harvest fruits once they are full size, have a deep color, and the skin can't be easily dented with a fingernail. To harvest, cut stem at least 2" from the fruit. After harvesting, cure your squash by keeping it in a warm (preferably sunny) and dry location for at least a week (10 days is better) before cooking or storing it. Once cured, store in a cool, dark place.