The Q&A Archives: Harvesting Winter Squash

Question: How can I tell when my Butternut, Acorn and Hubbard Squash are ready to harvest? I know with Butternut I should be looking for a even color beige skin. But, how can I tell with the other squashes. I continue to see new flowers, how long will these things continue to grow?

Answer: Squash vines will continue to grow and flower until frost. Obviously there won't be enough season left for the late bloomers to grow to maturity, but you can't blame them for trying. Winter squash will be ready for harvest after frost kills the vines. Cut the squash from the vine (with several inches of stem) and allow to dry in the sun for a few days until the stems shrivel and turn gray. If the weather's wet, move the squash to a protected area and allow them to cure. Brush off excess dirt, but don't wash the squash or you'll shorten the storage period. Most winter squash will store well up to five months.

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