What a diverse and versatile vegetable! From tender, green, white, and yellow summer squash to even more varied colors of winter squash with thick rinds and stringy interiors, there is a squash for all occasions. It’s no surprise then that super squash is also historic. Squash originates from the Americas. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word, askútasquash, which means “eaten raw”, even though these days we most often cook squash.
Summer and winter squashes are closely related, and in some cases summer squash matures into winter squash. They have similar growing instructions and are afflicted by the same pests, too. They are, of course, different in growth and fruit. Most summer squash plants grow in a bush form rather than vining, and the fruits are harvested young when their outer skin is still soft, and seeds are immature. They also have a shorter storage life than winter squash. Winter squash, including pumpkins, are usually vining. Winter squash is harvested when seeds are mature, and the outer skin is hard; they can be stored for 2 to 6 months, depending on type.
We’ve created summer and winter squash charts to help you choose which varieties to grow!
Courtesy of Botanical Interest.