Uncle David’s Dakota Squash
Considered “the original buttercup” winter squash. Thick blue/green skin, dark orange flesh, small seed cavity and hardy in cold weather. Sweet! For use in pies or baked for dinner.
Culture: May be direct-seeded or transplanted. Direct seeding: Sow 4–5 seeds per hill when weather has warmed after danger of frost. Allow 4–6 feet between hills. Thin to 3 best plants. Transplanting: Start indoors three weeks before setting out. Do not disturb the roots. Transplant18″ apart. Tender, not frost hardy. Heavy nitrogen feeders. Excessive heat and/or drought can prevent blossom set, reduce yields. Winter squash can take one or two light frosts on the vine. To improve flavor and storage, field cure for at least 10 days after harvest, covering if hard frost threatens. Store under proper conditions, at least 50° and 60–70% relative humidity in a place with good air circulation. Do not pile up squash. Inspect periodically and be sure to use damaged, stemless or small fruit first. Minimum germination temperature 60°, optimal temperature range 70–90°, optimal temperature 85°. Days to maturity are from direct seeding.
Seed Saving: Since it can be challenging to save squash seed without varieties crossing, I recommend growing only one variety from a species you intend to save seed from. For example only growing one C. maxima in a season.
Different varieties within the same species will cross readily, but crossing does not occur between the different species. Seeds from a crop that has been exposed to other cucurbits of the same species won’t grow true to type. If you are saving seed, you need to isolate your crop from other cucurbits of the same species by at least 1500′, or protect it from insects that would bring unwanted pollen, and hand-pollinate it yourself, which is challenging! For more info see Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth