Growing Kabocha Squash
Tip: Want to print these instructions? Download the printer-friendly version here.
– Also known as Japanese Pumpkin
1 Till or turn over the soil in the garden bed. Add 2 inches of compost and dig it into the soil. Prepare to plant in May or early June. Kabocha pumpkins require 75 to 80 days of warm, frost-free weather to develop from seed to harvest.
2 Make three holes 1 inch apart and 1 inch deep with your index finger. Drop one seed into each hole and cover with 1 inch of soil. Only one plant will remain after thinning, but it’s a good idea to plant extras and select the strongest plant.
3 Plant additional groups of three seeds 8 feet apart along the garden bed. Kabocha pumpkins spread out along the ground and require a large growing area.
4 Water the kabocha pumpkin seeds after planting. Keep the soil damp during germination and through the growing season. Water the soil when the top inch starts to dry out.
5 Remove the two weaker plants from each group, keeping the strongest one when the seedlings are 1 to 2 inches tall.
6 Clear weeds from the pumpkin patch by hand. Winter squash plants have shallow root systems that can be damaged by hoes or other weeding tools.
7 Harvest kabocha pumpkins 75 to 80 days after planting. The tough outer shell should harden completely before harvesting. Clip the fruit from the vine 1 inch above the top of the pumpkin.