Once an acorn squash germinates from a seed, it will go into several growing stages until they mature and produce squashes.
Knowing the life cycle of acorn squash will help people understand its growth stages, how this plant grows, and what are the important things to do to help it grow healthy and produce many fruits.
Acorn Squash Growing Stages
Stage 1. Seed
The acorn squash is grown from seeds. The seeds of acorn squash are small and flat, one edge is rounder and the other edge is pointed, flat, and white to brown.
The acorn squash can only be grown from seed and it cannot be propagated through cuttings, grafting, or other methods. The life cycle of acorn squash starts from the seed and without it, the plant will not grow.
Stage 2. Germination
With the right condition, the acorn squash seeds will germinate. It will take about 3 to 7 days for seeds to germinate. Commonly small seeds just like acorn seeds grow roots faster compared to big seeds.
The acorn squash seeds need water in order to germinate. When the soil is too dry the seeds will not sprout. During the germination, a tiny root grows and tiny leaves emerge from the seeds.
When the acorn squash seeds are planted in the soil, you will see that something is coming out from the soil. After a few days, a small acorn squash plant will appear on the soil.
Stage 3. Seedling
A few days after the seeds have been germinated, they will become acorn squash seedlings. It will grow a thin stem, a few leaves, and more soft and short roots. During this time it will continue to increase in length.
The acorn squash seedlings need water and sunlight for them to grow well and increase in size. If the seedlings are planted in a seedling tray, they need to be transplanted.
When the seedlings have enough size and enough age (usually 10 to 15 days old or more) they can be planted in the garden.
Stage 4. Vegetative Growth
After a few weeks of growing the acorn squash plant will become longer and bigger. It will have many roots, and many leaves, the main stem is thicker and will grow longer vines. During this stage, acorn squash plants need more water, nutrients, and sunlight.
Those essential things will help the plants grow better, make them more mature, and help them prepare to grow flowers and fruits sooner. The acorn squash plants will become more mature as time passes by.
Care for the plant well to prevent problems like curling leaves, and yellowing leaves, and protect it from pests and diseases that may attack the plant.
Stage 5. Flowering And Pollination
After a few weeks of growing acorn squash plants, they will start flowering. The flowers can appear on the plant as early as 30-35 days.
Usually, male acorn squash flowers appear first on the plant and the female flowers grow the next. There are also chances that the flowers may take a long time to come in some varieties. There will be more male flowers than female ones.
The male flower of acorn squash is just a flower while the female flower has a swollen part underneath the petals. Pollination is needed in order for the fruits to be produced.
Usually, acorn squash relies its pollination on the bees. But you can also do hand pollination to increase pollinated flowers on the acorn squash plant.
Stage 6. Fruiting
When pollination is successful, acorn squash plants will start growing fruits. It will take the plant around 80 to 100 days to grow and harvest squashes from seed.
The squashes are small but slowly grow bigger and bigger until they mature. The acorn squashes will also grow seeds inside which can be used again to grow new plants.
There are times that some acorn squashes are dropping. One reason why they drop is due to poor pollination. When only a few flowers are pollinated, only a few fruits will grow and mature.
So if you want more acorn squash growing on the plant, increase the pollinated flowers by doing hand pollination. Also, keep the plants healthy by keeping pests and diseases in control.
The Life Cycle Of Acorn Squash
The acorn squash life cycle is a series of stages where the plant grows from seed, becomes a seedling, grows bigger and longer, grows flowers, and eventually grows squashes.
The stages of growth of the acorn squash plant are going to be smoother when the plant receives enough sunlight for at least 6 hours, the right amount of water 1-1.5 inches of water per week, enough nutrients, and no pests and diseases attacking the plant.