Butternut squash is a food that millions of Americans around the country enjoy. It’s delicious, it’s beneficial to your health and it serves as a fantastic side dish. However, if you pick your butternut squash too early or too late, the quality will diminish by quite a lot. This is why it’s important that you know when to pick butternut squash.

How do you know when butternut squash is ready to pick?

Growing butternut squash is not only a fun hobby, it’s also a tasty one too. Ripe butternut squash is definitely a treat, but unless you know how and when to pick it, all your hard work could go to waste. The first thing you want to look for in a ripe butternut squash is a hard rind. Take your fingers and put a little pressure against it. If it’s hard, that’s a good sign. If your butternut squash is mushy, then it’s probably over ripe.

Another way you can tell if your butternut squash is ripe is to look at the color of the skin. If the color of the skin is a really thick tan, then you know that it’s time to pick your butternut squash. However, if the skin is more green, then the butternut squash is premature. On the other hand, if the skin is more orange or brown, then the butternut squash is probably over ripe.

If you don’t know how to pick and harvest butternut squash, use these easy tips

Picking your butternut squash needs to be complete right. You don’t want to do anything to tarnish or damage it. To start:

  1.  Equip yourself with a sharp blade of some sort.
  2.  Cut your butternut squash very slow and with care. You want to make sure you leave at least 2 inches of stem on the squash. This is important, because bacteria can make its way into the butternut squash through the soft spot where the stem was located.
  3.  After you pick your butternut squash, you’ll want to let them cure. This hardens the skin and makes them more delicious. This takes anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks.
  4.  After your butternut squash has been cured, you’ll want to eat, can, jar or store your butternut squash as soon as you can. This will make it longer this way.

Butternut squash harvesting is not a hard job if you know what you’re doing. Now that you know you know how to properly harvest your butternut squash, you can start incorporating this tasty food into your meals.

Storing your freshly harvested butternut squash

If you decide to store your butternut squash in a refrigerator, they’ll last about 3 to 4 weeks. However, if you decide to store them in glass jars, they can last an extremely long time. In fact, they can last up to 3 months.

It’s important to note that your butternut squash needs to be sored in a cool yet dry atmosphere. The basement or the garage of your home works perfectly. Just make sure your butternut squash is never in freezing temperatures.


Allison Cartwright has been writing professionally since 2009. Cartwright has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas.
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