My favourite squashes – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

I’ve been choosing which winter squashes to grow, and realised that I’ve tried all of the different varieties from Rocket Gardens now. So… I thought I’d give you all the low down on texture, flavour and general cook-friendliness in case it helps you to decide which to try growing this year.

Honey Bear

I love this little hand-sized squash! It’s such a perfect size for stuffing and roasting whole. The flavour is not too sweet (which I like) and it has a nice non-watery texture too. Another reason I like it, is that it is easy to peel, chop and prepare which is an important factor in choosing squashes, I think!

I got a good crop from the plants that I grew, with several little squashes from each. They stored quite well (until February – they may have lasted longer, but I ate them all)

Waltham Butternut Squash

I love butternut squash and this seems a good variety, but I struggled to get it to ripen fully. I think if I were to grow it again, I’d try and keep it a bit warmer – it may be worth growing under fleece, especially in early summer and autumn. I think that would help, and also I’d give it a more regular liquid feed and would pinch out the tips once I had a couple of fruits on each plant.

That said, if you’re in a warmer part of the country, you shouldn’t need to do any of this. Also, I have only tried it once, so perhaps I’d have better luck this year.

For flavour and texture, it’s what you’d expect from butternut. Thumbs up.

Musquee de Provence

This is a fun squash to grow, with lovely big fruits that will impress your friends! I’ve found it best for soups – it can be a little watery. I think, much like the butternut, that it would do better grown under fleece to keep it nice and warm and help it ripen in time. I’ve also found it a really great one to grow for Hallowe’en. Yes, it’s not orange, but I like that and it is easy to carve.

Uchiki Kuri

I think this one might be my favourite. I love the way it looks in the garden – such great colour and a fun shape too. It looks great on my kitchen windowsill too, after harvesting. On top of that, it’s a bit of a winner in the cooking department. Great texture – not watery at all. Great flavour – super yummy in risotto. It’s not too bad for peeling and preparing, and they store really well. I get 3 or 4 from each plant, and the size of them is really good forĀ  cooking for a few people.

Cornells Bush Delicata

This one is my preferred butternut alternative. They are super easy to peel, they ripen easily, they’re a good size and the flavour and texture are perfect for risottos, roasting and so on.

Also, it’s a bush variety so doesn’t sprawl all over the place – good for smaller gardens and pots. They look lovely in the garden with their stripy skin. I always feel very proud of them!

Queensland Blue

I absolutely love this one for flavour. So delicious and nutty and a great, potato-like texture. I find this really good for adding substance to vegetarian dishes. It’s great for roasting. I’ve grown some absolute whoppers, and some more sensible sized squashes. It ripens well, stores well, and one thing I found is that, even though they can be huge, it is relatively easy to cut off a chunk and use it a bit at a time over the course of a week.

Also, you can roast chunks with the skin on, and then peel off the skin after cooking – that makes it a little easier to prepare. Otherwise, you do need a decent knife, some patience and peeling it raw is a pain.


If you don’t want whopper squashes, but would like something that has really flavoursome, firm flesh, then I’d go for this one. They come in at a nice size, and they’re quite starchy so great as a potato alternative. They’re a little easier to peel than the Queensland Blue, especially as the shape is quite smooth.

It’s a good climber, mine often climbs the fence and supports itself (like in this picture) really well.

Sweet Dumpling

The best looking, and probably the best cropping. I think I harvested about thirty from three plants one year! I love them. They’re so dinky, and some come out stripy, some come out plain. They ripen well, and they’re a handy size. If you’re choosing between this and Honeybear, then this is much sweeter in flavour. I use them a lot in baking – lovely with cinnamon and clove spices for muffins and cakes. They’re also useful for roasting whole, but can be a bit too sweet depending on what you’re eating with them!