Forcing Spaghetti Squash to Ripen

thirsty_dirt_77(3a)August 28, 2013

This year my spaghetti squash set fruit late and are just start barely starting to change color.

Once they set fruit it was at a maddening pace so I've been trimming vines and flowers for about 2-3 weeks already - once I hit 24 squash on three plants I figure I had enough!!!

Anyway, as September (yikes) is next week I need to get these guys to start ripening a little faster. I've heard you can "root prune" squash but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. Would this involve cutting the roots that the vines put out and just leave the main root?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yes root pruning will force ripening of existing fruit to a degree. It is easy to do but the results IME will be mixed.

3-4" out from the main stem of the plant take a sharp straight bladed shovel and stab it straight down 6-8". One time each on 2 adjacent sides of the plant (forms an L shaped cut). Wait 4-5 days and note any changes in the fruit. Repeat the cut on the same sides of the plant if necessary.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 12:05PM
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I haven't had any to harvest for a few years, but I've had to pick spaghetti squash that hadn't changed color, and they did finish ripening after I picked them.

I added a link to photos of the squash- both when I picked them and after they spent some time in the house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spaghetti Squash

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 4:02AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I think RIPENING is an internal process. Which means, it happens without additional help from the mother plants. Of course this can happen only take place after certain stage. For example, tomatoes can be ripen off the vine after color break. The other day I bought some green Serrano peppers. Few of them were left on the counter. Now they are beautiful red. The same thing happens with melons, pumpkins , etc. .

Fruits are living things and continue to live off the mother plant. That is why ripe fruits can gradually become over ripe. It is the continuation of the ripening process.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 7:44AM
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Thanks for the replies/advice.

I have had to finish ripening spaghetti inside just about every year I've planted it but it was always at the point where it had at least started to change color. This year I was getting concerned because it was getting late in the season and none had started to change color yet. Thankfully the cooler weather has disappears and seasonal temperatures are now above average and my squash as started to change color! YAY!

I noticed the squash that were more exposed and received more direct sun were ripening faster so I sniped a few leaves to give the others a bit more sun. This, coupled with less water seems to be making a difference. If I can get a bit of color on all of them before the frost kills the plant I'll be happy. :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Hey can you tell me, how many days, months did it take for your spaghetti plant start to flowering female flowers? I am planning on growing these next year and I am counting my growing season to see if I want to grow them indoors for a month then transplant or directly seed them.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 5:33PM
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Erasing double post.

This post was edited by gardengal13 on Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 17:51

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 5:39PM
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I did a minimal amount of root pruning and all my squash are ripening nicely.

Unfortunately I'm not sure if its from the pruning or the above average weather we've been having. For the past two weeks we've been in the mid 20's (70's) and today it is supposed to be in the 30's (high 80's) which is amazing for this time of year.... and no frost yet! (and after saying that we'll probably have frost tonight.. lol)

Either way, my spaghetti squash in ripening very nicely!

and gardengal 13, I keep a garden journal and keep meaning to look at it for the # of days from seeding to blooming. I'll let you know soon!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 11:46AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Maybe I'm strange, but I like spaghetti squash (with sauce, even) before it gets ripe. Cut in half and steamed. You might try this with any significantly immature fruits you have. Those closer to maturity are likely to ripen faster.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Thanks for the suggestion carolyn. I normally prefer it just slightly under being completely ripe, a full ripe squash seems to sweet.

I thought that if you cooked it when it wasn't ripe you wouldn't be able to stringy noodle like texture.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:08AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

I think the texture is kind of like Asian yam noodle or bean thread when the squashes are immature. It may not be possible to get LONG "noodles", depending on the stage of maturity.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:02PM
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