when to harvest winter squash - Knowledgebase Question

Morton, WA
Question by redrosebud
March 1, 2010
We raised a lot of winter squash successfully last year, but when we harvested them, some were really good eating and some were not. We did not know when to pick them - or at what point they would be ready to eat, or, how long to store them before eating them.

Thank you!!

Answer from NGA
March 1, 2010


For winter squash, harvesting occurs once the squash reached its mature size and full color. At this point, the vine tendril opposite the fruit will be now positioned opposite it and will also be brown and shriveled. Another sign of maturity is the squashes' skins hardening. Gently push your fingernail against the skin - if it is hard, the squash is mature. Carefully cut your squash from the vines, leaving two inches of stem attached if possible. Avoid cutting and bruising fruit. Store your squash in a cool, dry place such as a (temps should be between 50 and 55 degrees. F for storage).

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