This is the first year I've planted butternut squash. I have lots of them on the vines and was wondering when to harvest them.
Marion County Oregon
This has been an amzing year for squash. Butternut squash is considered a "winter squash". That means that you can store it to eat 2-4 months later, (during the winter). You'll want to give them as much vine time as possible. The mature squash is tannish colored and the skin is tough. It should be difficult to scratch or dent the skin with a fingernail. This typically is sometime in September before we have a hard frost. When you cut them from the vine, leave about 2 inches of stem attached. Handle them carefully even though they are hard. Wash them, wipe them down with a sterilizing bleach solution, then spread them out some place dry, to cure. After a week or so, they are ready for the winter. Store them in a cool, dry place, such as a garage. Check them periodically to catch any rotting spots when they are small. Butternut squash should be good for 3 or 4 months.
Here's a very detailed publication from OSU Extension, "Storing Pumpkin and Winter Squash at Home".http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/12889/ec1632.pdf?sequence=1
Enjoy your squash bounty.