Growing Red Kuri Squash

Growing Red Kuri Squash

Red Kuri squash, also known as Japanese Squash, Red Hubbard Squash, or Uchiki Kuri Squash, is a Japanese winter squash. This squash is bright orange when ready to harvest but is much smaller than a pumpkin.

If you are planning on growing this squash for the first time then you are in luck because I have the complete guide to growing Red Kuri squash, just for you!

Why Grow Red Kuri In The First Place?

There are plenty of reasons to grow Red Kuri squash, the first one is the flavor. Red Kuri has a sweet but still nutty taste and often does really well in squash taste tests.

Next up is the fact that growing them is pretty simple and straightforward. It is not a fussy plant and will do well in many conditions.

Then there are its production qualities, these plants will give you a lot of squashes, sometimes ten or more per plant!

Me and My Squash!

How I Grow Red Kuri Squash

I like to grow this squash vertically, it is actually an ideal squash to grow up support rather than letting it spread out all over the ground.

Because the squash on a red Kuri is smaller than a lot of other squashes they don’t require support and can hang from the vine quite comfortably.

This makes them really suited to growing vertically and when you do grow them vertically you can save soo much space!

Red Kuri Squash growing Vertically
Red Kuri Squash growing Vertically

They are an eager climber so don’t need much support, I have just run a little bit of rope between two wooden poles and then the plants grow up the support happily.

Every now and again I will tie the stem of the plant to the rope to help hold it on.

The Same Squash When it Was Younger
The Same Squash When it Was Younger

Here is the same row of red Kuri squash plants when they were a little younger. You can see the support a lot clearer here and see that it isn’t really anything that complex!

Starting Red Kuri Squash Seeds

As with all plants, how you start Red Kuri seeds will depend on what zone you grow in. If you live in a zone with cold springs like me (Zone 8, bordering on 7) then you will need to start your plants indoors.

If you are in a warmer zone then you will be able to sow them straight into your soil outside, I will show you how I grow them. If you live in a warmer zone then these will be even easier for you to grow!

I like to start mine indoors in march, and when I say indoors I mean inside my house on a windowsill. Unless you have a heated greenhouse it will still be too cold at this time of year for them even in a protected spot like that.

After they have germinated and started to grow I will move them into the greenhouse when the weather starts improving in April/May.

If you were going to sow these squash straight into the soil then you would be sowing around may, this is far too late for where I am in the world. The plants just wouldn’t have enough time to produce lots of squashes before the first frosts of autumn started to arrive and kill them off.

When growing inside/under cover it is important to keep potting the plants on when they start to outgrow their current pots. This will prevent them from becoming “pot bound” which really hinders growth if it does happen.

You also don’t want to move them out into the garden until the nighttime temperatures in your area have started to warm up. A really cold night will stunt the growth of most squashes and Red Kuri is no exception.

Soil Conditions

Like all squash plants, red Kuri likes a really fertile but well-draining soil. lots of compost and rich organic matter will suit these plants down to the ground.

If you live in an arid climate then you will need to water regularly, if you are in a more temperate zone like me and get plenty of rainfall then you might not need to water them at all. Just keep an eye on them during prolonged dry spells and water if needed.

It is also a good idea to give these plants some fertilizer in order to maximize your crop. I like to use an organic liquid plant food, just watered down in a can.

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Conclusion

Red Kuri squash is easy to grow and very productive. I like to grow my vertically up support to save space. Protect from cold temperatures at the beginning of the season and keep well fed when fruiting.