When to harvest kabocha squash?

pylot(usda 9b sunset 17)August 23, 2010

I have a kabocha squash vine that has two squashes so far, and it is still growing (the season will last another 2-3 months) The oldest squash already turned orange, and I was wondering if I should harvest it now, or leave it on the vine for a couple of months more until the whole plant dies. I remember all the kabocha squash at the store are mostly green, with just a bit of orange, which would suggest I'm already too late to harvest?

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Hi - this is my first year with kabocha squash so I am not an expert. My hill has huge vines (heirloom seed) and doing very very well so I am thrilled.

I can tell you that with OTHER winter squash -- and that is what I will be going by, you watch the stems and when they turn brown and look like the stems in the store, the squash is ready to harvest. Obviously they will also be dark green or whatever color the squash should be when "full grown" :D.

When winter squash turn orange (and some like acorn will do that in storage) they typically become inedible. I have a couple that are about ready to pick and there are others on those long vines still working on growing, so I suspect that picking now (at least one and testing) would be a good plan.

Thanks for the reminder. I probably need to go check mine again. It has been a summer without summer in the Northwest so we are about a month and a half behind. I can't imagine what those squash will be like on a regular year! Wow! My favorite for eating.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 2:25PM
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whgille(FL 9b)


I planted different kabocha type this season, here it is baby delica just picked.

And stuffed with sausage, delicious! I will grow it again.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 3:42PM
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Are you sure you didn't plant the orange variety of kabocha? Determining when to pick by the look of the stem is a good rule of thumb.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 3:51PM
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you really need to list your variety if you want help.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 4:28PM
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pylot(usda 9b sunset 17)

I got the seed through an exchange, and there was no variety note. I feel better if there are orange kabochas. The stem is not succulent, but not dried like the ones in store. I guess I'll harvest it when the stem dies.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 8:29PM
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I treat kabochas like buttercups. When you cannot pierce the rind with your finger nail and the stem develops a corky look to it, you can harvest. They keep well on the vine, and I don't think you can really harvest too late--unless they start rotting. I also cure mine a few days in the sun to ensure a very long storage.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 10:55AM
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Wow Silvia! Nice photos!
I'm also growing baby delica, but the fruit are still small so looks like there is a long way to go yet. Did you have yours crawl on the ground or ona trellise? i'm curious how long the vines are at harvest time.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 4:27PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi guavalane

Thank you, this past season I grew Table Dainty, Table Queen acorn, Lakota and the kabocha type Futtsu, Sweet Dumpling, Shishigatani, and Baby Delica. All of them were grown on a trellis except the baby delica that I grew it in a raised bed. The vines are small and produced fast, it also had some warts in the skin of the squash and to give you the good news is was the one that the family liked best.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 6:20PM
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no one is telling me how long it takes for a kabocha squash to grow, I planted in May and no squash so far only yellow flowers. help.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 3:00AM
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