Protect young seedlings from marauding birds by covering with plastic berry baskets at sowing time, removing before plants get crowded.
HARVEST AND USE
Winter squash needs the full growing season to mature properly so it will keep for winter eating. When rinds are tough enough to resist a fingernail, cut fruits from vines with a good stem. Let them cure for 1 week in the sun, then store in a cool dry place. Enjoy Delicata first as they don’t store as long as Early Butternut, which stay in excellent eating condition for several months. Simply cut in half and bake or skin and sauté the sweet flesh to serve with a little butter and a sprinkling of salt or add a pinch of sage or thyme for an herbal accent.