Growing Delicata Squash: Our Tips Help You A Lot

BY Shaafay Zia
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Are you looking to grow a unique and easy-to-grow winter squash? Well, growing Delicata Squash should be your goal! This variety of Cucurbita pepo is famous for its creamy flesh and nutty flavor. 

Our experience in growing squashes is comprehensive and spans the years. From summer squash to winter, we know what things to look for. 

The delicata squash plant will be a miracle ingredient for your soups, pasta, and many more dishes. This high fiber nutty flavored vegetable is a powerhouse of Vitamin A, C, and Potassium. 

Feeling hungry and energetic already? 

We’ll tell you exactly how to grow delicata squash. This vibrant-colored squash will become your favorite in the garden and the kitchen! 

Growing Delicata Squash

The Basics of Delicata Squash

The Basics of Delicata Squash

The Delicata Squash, also known as sweet potato squash, is more than just a pretty face. It has a charming personality! This winter squash stands out amongst its peers. This rebel has a thin and edible skin uncommon amongst winter varieties.

The flesh of the delicata squash plant is often described as ‘tender as a lullaby.’

Now, that’s something to look forward to during harvesting season! Other winter squash varieties are often bland. The Delicata boasts its creamy flavor. 

The Delicata squash is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals to keep you healthy and fit. It’s better than other squash for its low calorie and carbohydrate content.

Suggested reading: Squash Plant Identification

How to Start Growing Delicata Dquash?

Start Growing Delicata Dquash

Ready to join the Delicata Squash fan club? Growing delicata squash is entertainment in itself. This winter squash is a crowd-pleaser and a total babe in the garden. 

The primary duty to bringing you seeds is that of the plant’s female flowers and male flowers. Once they are done with making a seed, then you come in. 

You directly sow their seeds into your garden. Or if you grow them indoors and transplant them outside. 

Let’s grow Delicata Squash!  


Winter squash is grown during the summer season. Tricky. Remember that the squash type is referred to as its harvesting time. 


Choosing the right spot in your garden space is vital. This plant likes to bask in full sun in well-draining soil. Ensure that you’re getting sunlight from all sides and that the plant doesn’t stay in the long shade during the day. 


Get yourself some Delicata squash seeds! When you do, read the Delicata seeds packet for the necessary instructions. Plant them in the good growing season.

Pro Tip: Plant seeds about 1 inch deep and keep the spacing 3-4 feet apart, for when seedlings emerge, they do so freely.


Make a soil mound that has one square foot of space and is at least three inches tall, and keep the mound moist. Want to have your delicata squash plants emerge healthy and promising? 

Ensure that the soil has warmed up to around 70 degrees when planting your delicata seeds.  (which comes after the last frost date) 


Delicata Squash is a warm-season crop. You know what that means! It LOVES moisture; water plants regularly.  This doesn’t mean it loves to be drained in it, so beware of waterlogging. Its roots might rot if you do so. 

All it wants is for you to maintain moisture levels. Controlled deep watering is something that you can pick up on for this type of plant. 


This plant likes a good dose of fertilizer. Nitrogen is something on which it thrives. A good old feed of compost or aged manure will keep your plant healthy and growing well. 

Pests & Diseases

Like other squash, this one, too, is prone to be attacked by borers, powdery mildew, or bacterial wilt. You must keep a keen eye to ensure your plant is healthy and not infested. If left untreated, your plant will die; we don’t want that! 

There are plenty of organic solutions you can use, which we’ll discuss later. 

When and How to Harvest Delicata Squash?

When and How to Harvest Delicata Squash

After all that hard work, care, and effort, you’ll be ready to harvest the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor! The plant is ripe when the skin changes color and becomes deep yellow with green stripes.

This will typically happen after 90-120 days of planting your seeds. 

How to know it’s ripe?

When you press the flesh, it slightly gives in, unlike other squash, which is hard and rigid. The stem at this time should be green and attached to the fruit. The fully ripe plant will have vertical green and sometimes orange stripes. 

Here’s an example of an unripe Delicata:

unripe Delicata

Here’s an example of a ripe Delicata:

ripe Delicata

How to detach?

Separating the plant from its stem is something you have to do carefully. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the fruit from the vine. When you do, leave a small portion of the stem attached to the fruit.

Did you know? The Delicata squash belongs to the same family as the yellow squash and zucchini. 

When to harvest?

You should harvest the Delicata before the first frost and store it in a cool, dry place for up to 2 months. (However, you won’t be able to keep away from it that long!) make sure that the ‘pale green’ color of the squash is gone before you harvest. 

How to Store and Preserve Delicata Squash?

How to Store and Preserve Delicata Squash

You’d want to eat ALL this squash immediately after harvesting. But you should know how to store and preserve it.  Storing Delicata Squash is a piece of cake! (Not literally, it’s a squash, not a cake!)

To keep your sweet potato squash in tip-top condition, store this masterpiece in a dark and cool place. The temperature and humidity need to be constant. 

Think of it like a posh hotel for your squash. Your PRECIOUS squash might get soft spots with inconsistent temperature and humidity. That’s never good for a fancy squash!

Now which place to pick exactly? A root cellar, cool basement, or pantry are perfect places. Just make sure to keep your squash separated from other fruit as they emit gasses that spoil your squash. (Feeling like a parent already)

Proper storage goes a long way and keeps your Delicata squash tasty and edible for up to two months! So let your squash rest in its hotel while you brew plans for cooking it up!

Suggested reading: How To Store Squash Properly?

Common Diseases & Insect Pests

Powdery Mildew

Do you think your friends are drama queens? Wait till you grow this plant. It deserves love and attention, so it’s easier to look out for. Make sure to look out for these pests if you want a healthy fruit ready to harvest!

Squash Bugs

These bugs are THE ENEMY. They can wreak havoc on your growing squash. You can outsmart them using row covers or handpicking them off the plants.

If you LOVE your delicata squash, make sure to watch out for pests like cucumber beetles.

Vine Borers

  • Growing Delicata can get tricky with these sneaky pests. They dissect and bore into the stems.
  • One way to eliminate them is by using a sticky barrier around the base.  Or a natural insecticide during the plant’s growing season. 

Are you feeling ADVENTUROUS? Tell the vine borers to LEAVE YOUR SQUASH!

Powdery Mildew

  • This fungal disease can cause a lot of damage to your winter squash. 
  • The powdery mildew appears on the leaves of your plants. 
  • Also, keep a lookout for downy mildew. 
  • Make sure there is good air circulation. 

If the Delicata has edible skin for you, imagine how good the sweet flavor is to pests and insects. In short, pests and diseases are VILLAINS! But now you know how to keep your plant healthy AND LOVED! 

Caring Tips for Delicata Squash

Caring Tips for Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash can be a valuable addition to your garden. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Delicata Squash plants:


This plant loves nitrogen, and you can promote its growth by adding rich compost. You can add fertilizer every 3-4 weeks to keep giving your plant its healthy source of fertilizer.


The plant thrives in the full sun. It’ll produce a delicious crop when you plant it in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sun each day. 


Before you direct sow your seeds, make sure you check the ground temperature. Ideally, it must be 70 degrees for your seeds to germinate properly. To suppress weed growth, add 2 inches of mulch to help you maintain moisture levels. 


Growing vining Delicata Squash, you should know that it grows tall and heavy. For this, a trellis is something that can become a game changer for your plant. Support to keep the stems and fruit off the ground also makes the plant grow better.

Ensure these TIPS and grow the sweetest squash with the nuttiest and tender flavor. 

FAQs about Growing Delicata Squash

1. Does delicata squash need a trellis?

Delicata squash grows massive in size. For this, the squash needs a trellis. It certainly makes things easier for you to manage and for this squash Cucurbita to grow better. 

2. How many delicata squashes does one plant produce?

The Delicata Squash is a vine plant that continues to grow and produce fruit until the first frost date. The number of fruit can’t be mentioned in accuracy. However, the number hovers around 3-6 squash per plant. 

3. Is it better to grow squash on a trellis or on the ground?

Growing squash on a trellis is beneficial for several reasons. 
· Better air conditioning
· Easier harvest
· Improved space utilization
· Reduced Soil-Borne Diseases.

What’s Next

This squishy squash is going to be your garden’s best friend. Especially once you get to cooking and use it in broths, you’ll want more of it. 

We know you want to read more about squashes and gardening. So be sure to check out our vast content on 

We have a wealth of information for you and your friends as well. So be sure to share this with them and have fun gardening together. 

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Shaafay Zia

Hi, I'm a fellow green thumb who moonlight's as a writer. Gardening is something that brings me peace and I have been in the sport for many years now. With all of our expertise, we will always bring you the best content which will make you love your garden, even more.