I didn't have much luck growing winter squash this year. I believe I can blame that failure on our strange weather and lack of much of a summer. Fortunately, I found a good selection at our local Fred Myers, including many varieties that I'm considering for next year's garden. So far I have purchased the following varieties: Sweet Meat, Kuri; Buttercup, Gold Nugget, and Acorn. The acorn squashes are my least favorite winter squash but they are relatively easy to grow. The others are all maxima types and are better for winter storage. So far my favorite winter squashes all seem to be maximas. The large squash below is a Sweet Meat. The Kuri is sitting on top of the Sweet Meat while the Gold Nugget and Buttercup are to the right with the acorn on the left.
Linda usually doesn't like me to leave stuff on her kitchen counters, but has allowed the squash as she considers them to be decorative. Of course, that leaves me feeling encouraged to add to the inventory. I would really like to incorporate more winter squash in our diet. Its very nutricious and I like it. It really just comes down to finding more ways to fix it other than baked squash. I've tried adding it to mashed potatoes with good success. I'd also like to try some soup recipes. I'm hoping Linda with eventually decide that she likes baked squash after she gets used to eating squash in other dishes. I guess what it really comes down to is me fixing it myself as its unlikely I will ever persuade Linda to cook more winter squash. She does like it in pies but one can only eat so many pumpkin/squash pies.
I have grown Buttercup and Gold Nugget successfully in the past with purported maturity days of 115 and 85 respectively. Sweet Meat lists a muturity time of 115 days while Kuri is 85 days. Acorn squashes mature in a mere 70 days. This year I tried growing a Sugar Hubbard which is supposed to mature in 110 days. The problem is that you can't start counting those 110 days until it is actually warm enough for the squash to grow. I liked the flavor of the Buttercup and it has a convenient structure in that there are less seeds and they are close to the surface. The only problem is the 115 day maturity makes it difficult to grow when we get less summer than normal. I'm thinking that either the Gold Nugget or Kuri might be a better choice with their shorter maturity times. I might just have to settle for buying hubbards, sweet meats and buttercups at the grocery store.