There are many varieties of winter squash including marrow, acorn squashes, butternut squashes, as well as pumpkins.
For the best flavour from your crops, allow fruit to mature on the vine, then cure and store well.
Thin to three or four fruit per vine when golf-ball sized. Keep plants healthy and allow 20-24 weeks from sowing to harvest.
Squash are mature when the skin is tough and evenly and richly coloured.
It is recommended to support fruits on planks of wood to protect from rotting.
Leave fruit on the vine for as late as you can before the first frosts.
Cut squash with as much of stalk as possible (about 6 inches), which helps to prevent rot, but do not use the stalk as a ‘handle’ to carry your fruits. Take care not to damage the skin when harvesting.
Cure squash outdoors in the sun for 7-10 days, or alternatively use a greenhouse or cold frame to protect them from wet and cold. Acorn squash can be stored for up to 2 months; butternut squash keep well for 2-3 months.