Acorn Squash

Quick Reference

Type of Harvest: Single harvest

Transplant/Direct Sow: Direct sow or transplant

When to Plant: Start seeds indoors 4-5 weeks before the average last frost date for spring, and 14 weeks before the average first frost date for a fall garden. To direct sow, wait for the temperature to be 70°F or warmer, and soil temperatures to remain above 55°F at night.

Days to Germinate: 6-12 days

Days to Maturity: 50-55 days

Planting Depth: 1” deep

Germination Temp: 55-60°F

Seed Spacing: Plant in hills with 3-4 seeds per hill. Thin or transplant seedlings so that only the strongest seedling remains. Hill spacing should be 3-4 feet apart. Row spacing 4-6 feet apart.

Row Spacing: 4-6' apart

Light: Full sun

Soil pH: 6.0-6.8 pH

Water: 1” of water per week - water if the plant should start to wilt on hot days.

Soil Temperature: Minimum 55-60°F. These are heat weather loving plants.

Fertilizer: 3-10-10 N-P-K ratio 3 -15-15 during flowering

Rotation: Rotate yearly for all winter squash. These are heavy feeders.


Harvest Type

Acorn squash is a single harvest crop that matures in the fall and all fruit are usually ready at the same time.

Transplant / Direct Sow

In the spring, start seeds indoors about 4-5 weeks before the average last frost date in colder regions. Because Acorn Squash is a heat loving plant, you can direct sow seeds in late spring or early summer, when the soil temperature is above 55-60°F. Mature acorn squash will tolerate light frost, but seedlings and younger plants may die.


Full Sun

When to Plant:

Transplant or direct sow seeds when the soil temperature is 55-60°F. Acorn squash is a 50-55 day harvest crop, so you may plant seeds directly or transplant anytime 14 weeks before your average first frost date.

Days to germinate

It takes most Acorn Squash seeds 6-10 days to sprout, but in a warm location they can sprout in as little as two days.

Days to maturity

It takes about 50-55 days for to produce regular fruit.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds 1" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Germination is best when the soil is 70°F or warmer in the daytime and above 55°F at night.

Spacing Between Plants

Plant 3-4 seeds in hills and thin to one squash plant. You can transplant the others if needed. Place hills 4-5 feet apart and rows 4-6 feet apart. If you are short on room row spacing can be 2-3 feet apart and plant spacing can be 2.5 feet apart.

TIP: The more space you give acorn squash both between plants and rows, the larger the fruit should be.

Companion Plants

Corn, pole beans, long beans, summer peas, sunflowers, flowering herbs, such as basil are all excellent companion plants for acorn squash.

Growing conditions

Acorn Squash is a heat loving plant. Start with good, well-draining soil—water with 1" of water per week, keeping the ground evenly moist. Try to water the plant roots rather than the leaves. Most squash plants are prone to powdery mildew so keeping the leaves dry is the best way to prevent plant disease. Plant in full sun. Younger acorn squash plants may die if exposed to freezing temperatures. Adult plants will tolerate light frosts in early fall.

Tip: You can save space if you trellis acorn squash by using a heavy trellis. The plant vines will thicken to support the fruit, but you can also help by creating small slings that also support the fruit if needed.


Winter Squash needs rotation every year. These are heavy feeders, but prefer soil that is low in nitrogen.

Anticipated yields

Plan your garden yield at 3-4 Acorn Squash plants per person. Expect 3-5 fruit from each Acorn Squash per plant. If you over-plant the fruit will store for 3-6 months in a cool dark location with lower humidity and a temperature of 50-55 degrees.

Fall & Winter Garden 30
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