Long Island Cheese Squash (Cucurbita moschata) is a favorite heirloom that has been long remembered as a great pie ‘pumpkin’ by people on the East Coast. Really a squash, it was Introduced in 1807 by Bernard McMahon of Philadelphia and given its name for its resemblance to a wheel of cheese. This is the one most commonly used for pumpkin pie. These flattened, ribbed and buff-colored squashes average 6-10 pounds, have sweet, deep orange flesh and are good keepers. Approximately 160 seeds /oz., 11 seeds./ 2 g pkt. Germination temperature: 75-85 deg.
Planting and Care: After danger of frost is past, directly sow seeds 1 inch deep into hills of rich, well-amended soil in full sun, spaced 6 ft. apart. Sow 5-6 seeds into each hill and thin to 3-4 seedlings. Sow seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost in the spring for the earliest harvest, maintaining a soil temperature of 75 degrees. Shift hardened seedlings to the garden after the last frost and the soil has warmed. Water regularly at ground level to avoid wetting the leaves and fertilize the plants when they are around 6” (15 cm) tall and again in mid-summer.
Harvest: Before fall frosts, clip stems close to the vine, leaving a long stem attached to the squash. Store under cover with plenty of air circulation. remove the fruits from the plant when they reach full size and are brightly colored before they begin to soften.
Your Health: Squashes are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A and C and beta-carotene. It is also a good source of manganese, magnesium and potassium.
Light Full sun
Seed Depth 1 ” / 24 mm
Seed Spacing Groups of 4-6
Row Spacing 6’ / 2 m
Days to Sprout 5-12
Plant Spacing 6’ / 2 m
Days to Maturity 90-100
Net Wt per packet: 2 gm, Approx. 11 seeds
All pumpkins are squash, but not all squash are pumpkins! Pumpkins all belong to one particular species of squash, Cucurbita pepo that is generally characterized by certain characteristics like its leaves and stem and color (orange). These come in many shapes and sizes. Other pepo squashes include zucchini, pattypan, yellow summer, acorn, spaghetti and others. Native Americans domesticated pepo squash from wild gourds in Mexico some 8,000 – 10,000 years ago. These first pumpkins had the characteristic orange pigmentation that we now consider true pumpkins. Another group of Native Americans in eastern North America domesticated another gourd, forming a new line of pepo squashes that were primarily green, yellow and white skinned. Botanists apply the name pumpkin to only the line of pepo squashes, but the public does not. For instance, the Cinderella ‘Pumpkin’, otherwise known as Rouge vif’ d’Etampes is actually a Cucurbita maxima, a species that originated in South America. Big Max ‘Pumpkin’ is also an orange-skinned C. maxima squash species and Cheese ‘Pumpkin’ is actually a Cucurbita moschata species originating from South or Central America as is Butternut squash.