When should I harvest butternut squash?


When should I harvest butternut squash?


Butternut squash are mature (ready to harvest) when the skin is hard (can’t be punctured with the thumbnail) and uniformly tan in color.  When harvesting, leave a 1-inch stem on each fruit. 

After harvesting, cure butternut squash at a temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 80 to 85 percent for 10 to 14 days.  Curing helps to harden the skin and heal any cuts and scratches. 

After curing, store butternut squash in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location.  Storage temperatures should be 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  Do not store squash near apples, pears, or other ripening fruit.  Ripening fruit release ethylene gas which shortens the storage life of squash. 

When properly cured and stored, the storage life of butternut squash is approximately 2 to 3 months. 


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