When is the right time to pick my winter squash?

Asked September 25, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT

I need to know when to pick my butternut squash. I also have a squash plant that is yellow and green striped. don't know when it should be picked. also can it be stored outside in a cool place for a month or so?

Umatilla County Oregon horticulture vegetable gardening

1 Response

Hi there,

Winter squash are ready to harvest when the rind is hard enough to resist fingernail scratches.

If you can, it is best to cure squashes after harvest by keeping them warm (80 to 85 degrees), and dry for several days to heal minor abrasions from harvesting.

If that isn't possible, where ever you store your squash should be about 50 degrees with moderate humidity and good air circulation. An attic or insulated garage is suitable, as long as the pumpkins and squash are on shelves off the floor. A layer of straw helps keep them dry. Newspaper and paper bags hold too much moisture and should not be used.

I hope this helps. Thank you for using Ask an Expert.