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Sweet Mama Kabocha squash seeds form single long vines with almost no side shoots. Each plant produces 1.3kg (3 lb) fruits with dark green, hard skins over sweet, nutty, deep orange flesh.
Kabocha is sometimes called Japanese pumpkin. These are the squash most often used for tempura - thin slices are coated in batter and deep fried until just soft. It's a wonderful way to accentuate the natural sweetness of the fruits. Sweet Mama can be started indoors or direct sown. If direct sowing, be sure that the soil is nice and warm in late May or early June. Train the vine along a fence or up a trellis.
Matures in 85-95 days. (Hybrid seeds)
Direct sow or transplant in late spring once the soil is warm. For transplants, start seeds indoors during the first two weeks of May. Optimal soil temperature: 25-35°C (77-95°F). Seeds should germinate in 7-14 days.
Sow seeds 2cm (1″) deep. Sow 3 seeds in each spot where you want a plant to grow, and thin to the strongest plant. Space summer squash 45-60cm (18-24″) apart in rows 90-120cm (36-48″) apart. Give winter squash and pumpkins even more room with a minimum of 90-120cm (36-48″) apart in rows 120-180cm (48-72″) apart.
Companions: corn, lettuce, melons, peas, and radish. Avoid planting squash near Brassicas or potatoes. Borage is said to improve the growth and flavour of squash. Marigolds and nasturtium repel numerous squash pest insects.
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