How to Grow Acorn Squash – A Beginner’s Guide

acorn squash plant growing in garden
Acorn squash, which are known botanically as Cucurbita Pepo, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing acorn squash as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Acorn Squash

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the acorn squash seeds  2 weeks after the last expected frost in your geographic area. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when acorn squash are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Acorn Squash the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing acorn squash in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your acorn squash grow. Generally, your soil should be well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter.  Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 6.8.

 4″ apart in rows, keeping rows approximately 20″ apart. approximately 6′ apart in rows. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 1″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your acorn squash seedlings over a hill 9″ to 12″ tall and 2′ across. when the squash plants are 3″ tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Acorn Squash

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your acorn squash. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your acorn squash should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Acorn Squash

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your acorn squash do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your acorn squash begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Acorn Squash to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your acorn squash grow.

It takes approximately 7-10 days to germinate, and a total of 75 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Acorn Squash

The best time to harvest your acorn squash is when the skin is dull and firm. 

Acorn squash can grow up to about four and seven inches long.

What Can Acorn Squash Be Used For?

Food Use:  The sweet and dry flesh makes it a perfect variety to cut in half and bake!

Flavor Profile: Sweet and dry.

Can Acorn Squash Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, but you will need a 24″+ big container for each plant. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your acorn squash around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Acorn Squash Safe for Bees?

Yes, acorn squash are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing acorn squash is bee-friendly.

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