Acorn squash is considered to be a winter squash. This is the variety of thicker skinned squash that is harvested in the late summer months. Acorn squash is also known as butternut squash and sweet potato squash.
Acorn squash are planted in mounds with at least six feet of surrounding growing room for the vines. The mounds are kept moist by watering often, avoiding wetting the leaves so as to deter mildew.
Generally, acorn squash are ready for harvest by the end of August, or the beginning of September. You can harvest your acorn squash when the skin of the squash can no longer be punctured by a fingernail, and the part of the squash that rests on the ground has turned yellow.
It is quite easy to snap the squash from the fine. If there are some fruits on the vine that have yet to ripen, cutting the acorn squash from the vine to avoid damage is the best method. Make sure to leave a few inches of stem attached to the squash to keep it from drying out.
Like all produce from your garden, wash and dry the squash thoroughly before storing or preparing.
Acorn squash has a taste similar to sweet potatoes and pumpkins. The meat of this winter squash can be used in many recipes that call for pureed pumpkin. Just prepare the acorn squash as you would a pumpkin.
My favorite way to serve acorn squash is to cut it in half and remove the seeds. I then bake the squash in a 350 degree over for about 45 minutes, until it is tender. Serve with whipped butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar instead of sweet potatoes for a nice change in your holiday meals. Acorn squash also make an excellent substitution for sweet potatoes in your sweet potato casserole recipes.
Acorn squash can be stored for up to six months in a cool, dry place. The temperature should never get below 50 degrees or higher than 65 degrees. Your basement may provide ideal conditions for the storage of acorn squash.