Winter Squash Growing Information Cucurbita pepo Transplant: Start seed indoors about 3 weeks before desired transplant date. Soil temperature for germination is 65-85° F. Transplant after last frost and once soil has warmed to at least 60F. Can be direct seeded in regions that have long, hot growing season. Spacing: Dependent on the size of the plant and fruit. Small fruited varieties can be planted 24" apart, while large fruited varieties require 3-4' spacing. Bush varieties and small vining varieties require 5-6' between rows. Long vining varieties require rows up to 9’ apart. Be careful not to disturb roots when planting. Growth needs: Grows best in well-drained soil with access to pollinators. Can be planted into black plastic or black landscape fabric to warm soil and improve growth. Harvest: Pick with clippers when skin is fully colored and stems have started to dry down. Make sure harvest occurs before any frost. Cut and cure in sun, greenhouse or area with good ventilation and temperatures of 80° F for about 1 week. Storage: Store at 50-60° F with 60-70% relative humidity, making sure there is good air flow and ventilation.