Squash - Queensland Blue (Curcubita pepo) Queensland Pumpkin Heirloom Winter Squash Vegetable

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Squash - Queensland Blue (Curcubita pepo) Queensland Pumpkin Heirloom Winter Squash Vegetable

Annual

Height

This variety is a dependable, old heirloom imported in 1932 by Arthur Yates and Company of Sydney, Australia. Squashes are round, flattened turban shaped fruits that average 5-20 lbs each, and has striking dark blue-green coloring, and a deeply ribbed rind. The flesh is dense, meaty, sweet, brilliant golden orange, and abundant.

The sweet flavor lasts for months in storage; vines are vigorous, 6-8’ long and spread out. Excellent for cooking, baking, soups, pies, cakes and muffins. Striking grey-green foliage. Late to mature, but has quite a long shelf life similar to that of a Hubbard squash.

  • Full sun
  • Well draining fertile soil
  • Start seed indoors 3-4 weeks before last frost date. Squash do not like to be transplanted, so if starting indoors, sowing into individual biodegradable peat free pots reduces root damage when transplanting.

  • Optimal soil temperature: 25-35°C (68-95°F

  • Sow seed 2 cm (1”) deep.

  • Use supplemental lighting such as grow lights. Seedlings can be leggy and weak from insufficient light. Once seeds have sprouted, 14 – 16 hours of light per day is essential

  • Sow 3 seeds in each pot (or when direct sowing)

  • Thin to the strongest plant.

  • Seeds will sprout in 6-12 days, if conditions are ideal.

  • Transplant out when night time temperatures are reliably above 10°C (70 F) or warmer.

  • OR direct sow only after last frost when soil temperature is over 70º F.

  • Space plants 90-120 cm (36-48″) apart
  • Space rows 120-180 cm (48-72″) apart

  • Use mulch to conserve moisture and keep weeds down.

  • Feed weekly throughout the growing season with manure tea, fish, or kelp based fertilizer. We water our squash weekly through the growing season with well aged manure tea.

  • Keep squash well watered, particularly in a heat wave. Water the soil, rather than overhead, if it can be helped.

  • Fruit will grow larger if you keep only one fruit per vine. Each plant produces a few vines.

  • Squash flowers will only fruit if they are fertilized by pollinators. If you notice a lack of bees in your area, consider manually pollinating the male to the female flowers to guarantee increased yield.

  • Harvest: many varieties need 80-120 days before fruit will be ready to harvest. Winter squash are mature or “cured” when they have colored up well, flesh is firm, foliage begins to die back, and stems are crisp. This may even be after a light frost. You will be unable to create a dent when pressing your thumbnail gently into the fruit. Good clippers will be needed to cut through the stems.
  • If, for some reason, a heavy freeze threatens, squash can be cut off the vine (leave a few inches of a stem), and set somewhere sunny and protected to continue to cure for a few days or weeks.

  • Once cured, wipe the outside of each fruit with a weak solution of bleach in water. This will kill off any bacteria and prolong storage capability.

  • Store in a cool dark place with 50-55 F temperatures and 50-65% humidity. Most winter squash, if cured well, will store from 3-6 months easily. Some will last up to 9 months.

  • Seed Count: 20