When and how do I harvest my butternut and buttercup squash?



Winter squash and pumpkins are best harvested when ripened completely on the vine,  The squash will turn a deep solid color and the skin will be hard.  A rough estimate is to try and scratch the skin with your fingernail.  The skin should be hard and impervious to sctratching.  If it scratches easily and if the scratch fills with beads of liquid, the squash is not ripe.  Be sure to harvest before the first hard frost.  With a sharp knife or loppers, separate the squash from the vine, leaving at least 1" of stem attached.  For longer storage, it is important to cure your squash in a warm, (75-85 degree) dry area for about 10 days, then store it in a dry area around 50-55 degrees. 

If you have further questions, you can call us at 851-8462.

Posted on 1 Oct 2008

Pat Fugal
Horticulture Assistant, Master Gardner, Utah County

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