Butternut Squash - When is it ready?

rudysmallfry(z6)August 3, 2011

So I planted Butternut Squash thinking it wouldn't do much of anything since my soil ph is low. Wrong. It took over the entire garden. I currently have about 20 full size squashes on the vine. How do I know when they are ready to pick? Currently they are all more pale in color than the ones I see in the stores.

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Let them stay on the vine as long as possible, until the fruits turn a buff brown with no green stripes(one variety turns orange). If the plants develop powdery mildew really bad I harvest before nights turn cold, otherwise I leave them out there through September. Be sure to cut a stub of stem when harvesting, and butternuts will keep all winter.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:10PM
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They keep all winter? That's good to know since I have no idea how I'm going to eat so much squash! What temp do I keep them in once I pick them? Will a 50 degree dry basement work?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:45PM
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Dan Staley

Basement will work, we could take care of 20 butternuts no problem, I'll have ~15 and they'll all be used. Yum! I look at the stem and when dry-ish and brown-hard you can pick, but no problem leaving on.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:55PM
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That was my question too. Thanks for the information.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 5:00PM
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20 on one vine ? Wow, that's impressive. I usually consider mine a success if I get 6-8. Tell me your secret ! j/k

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 8:20PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

My wife bakes and scoops the squash into zip locks and freezes. They freeze exceptionally well. Makes an excellent butternut squash soup in the winter months.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 11:43PM
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The way to tell when anything in the squash family is ripe is to look at the curly cue. On the stem just before the fruit there is a curly cue. When it has completely dried, then you know it is ripe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden For Nutrition

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:32PM
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Butternut soup is a comforting winter staple, and roasted butternut goes well with chicken and exceptionally well with rabbit. A dry basement is perfect for storage. Do you really have 20 in one plant?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 10:37PM
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