Among the very best in eating quality - right up there with Sweet Dumpling for sweetness in early to mid fall. Jester is oval, tapered at both ends, with small to average ribs. Fruits have an ivory background with green striping between the ribs, and avg. 1 1/2 lb. Widely adapted, short-vined plants average 5-7 fruits/plant. Like other acorn and Delicata type squash, best eating is within 2 months of harvest. Avg. 4,000 seeds/lb. Packet: 30 seeds.
Latin Name: Cucurbita pepo
Days to Maturity or Bloom:
Shipping Information & Notes
Delicata/Sweet Dumpling Winter Squash
CULTURE: Fertile, well-drained soil is best. For best quality and yield, the optimum soil pH of 6–6.5 is ideal. FROM TRANSPLANTS: Sow 2–3 seeds in 1½-2" containers or plug trays 3 weeks before transplanting outdoors. Thin to 1–2 plants per cell with scissors. Harden plants for 4–7 days prior to transplanting by reducing fertilizer, water, and temperature, or moving flats outside if there is no frost danger. Transplant after frost danger when weather is warm and settled, about 18" apart for bush and small-fruited varieties, and 24–36" apart for large-fruited varieties. Take care not to disturb roots! Plastic mulch and fabric row covers will help plant establishment and exclude insect pests. DIRECT SEEDING: Sow in late spring after frost danger when soil is warm, minimum 70°F (21°C) — seeds will rot in cool soil, especially cool, wet soil. Sow 2 seeds every 18–24", ½–1" deep and thin to 1 plant per spot. Rows 6' apart, 12' apart for larger fruit. DISEASES:Cucumber beetles can carry bacterial wilt and must be controlled. Gummy stem blight (black rot) causes black, sunken spots to appear on fruits in storage. Downy mildew may occur in damp weather, powdery mildew can occur in hot or cold temperatures, or during dry periods. Consult your local Cooperative Extension Service agent for specific fungicide control. Choose well-drained soil to avoid phytopthora. SPRING COLD PROTECTION: AG-19 (heavier grade) floating row covers will provide about 4° of frost protection and add warmth for vigor and an earlier harvest. INSECT PESTS: Protect young plants with floating row covers. Cucumber beetles, squash bugs, and vine borers can be a challenge. Pyrethrin offers some control. Squash bug eggs laid on the underside of leaves may be located and crushed. Keep borders well mowed. For vine borers, cut out of vines and hill soil over the wound. Clean up refuse in the fall, and spring-plow the ground to bury the pupae. FALL FROST: Frost kills leaves and can thus facilitate harvest; however, it can also damage fruits and cause spotting and poor storage. Mature fruits can usually tolerate 1 and sometimes 2 or 3 light frosts without substantial damage. Sprinkler irrigation wards off moderate frost damage to fruits. HARVEST: Before heavy frost, cut stems about 1" from the fruit when stem is drying and skin is hardening. Storage capabilities are greatly impacted by damage to the fruits' skin. Handling them carefully and protecting them from abrasions and bruising is the best way to ensure that they will hold well. CURING: Cure in the field to dry and toughen skins by exposing fruits to sun for 5–7 days or so, covering in the evening if frost is likely. An indoor method of curing is to expose squash to 80–90°F (27–32°C) with ventilation for 3–5 days. STORAGE: Store at 50–60°F (10–15°C), 50–75% relative humidity, and good air circulation. An accumulation of sub 50°F (10°C) exposure events causes chilling injury, reducing storage life. Delicatas can be eaten right out of the field after harvest and will keep up to 4 months in storage. DAYS TO MATURITY: From direct seeding; subtract about 14 days if transplanting. AVG. DIRECT SEEDING RATES: (at 2 seeds/ft., rows 6' apart) 1 oz./225', 1 lb./3,750', 2 lb./acre. SEED SPECS: See individual varieties. PACKET: 30 seeds.