This New England favorite (a less refined version was introduced by James Gregory of Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1856, but it had been grown in the area since the 1700's) is not for those with limited space. Long vines produce good yields of powdery blue, oval squash with a hard shell and firm, dry, yellow flesh, some in excess of 20 pounds. Storage qualities are exceptional and of course one will provide a number of meals. 15 seeds.
Indoors- Plant in individual biodegradable peat/cowpots 1/2”-1” deep, 3-4 weeks before last frost with soil temperature 70 degrees. Transplant 36” apart after last frost without disturbing the roots.
Outdoors- 1/2”-1” deep after last frost, in warm soil at least 70 degrees. Sow a few seeds per space/hill with 24-36”.
Harvest- Before heavy frost. Determine ripeness when it has turned color has a dull dry skin and you can’t dent the skin with your thumbnail. Leave two inches of the stem on squash and manage carefully so there is no damage which can shorten its storage life. Curing for 7-10 days in the sun to harden the rind and increase storage quality.
Tips- Plant in fertile soil, amended with compost or well rotted manure and keep well watered. They benefit from growing on black plastic and by using row covers for weed, insect control, and more rapid growth. Fertilize on a regular basis by watering with compost tea. Select the more compact varieties if your space is limited.