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Old August 4, 2010   #1
tjg911
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Default when to harvest delicata squash?

i have 2 very healthy plants and i see several big squash in there!

i looked at a couple of seed catalogs and it looks like there are a few different strains of delicata winter squash. i bought my seeds at pinetree garden seeds in maine. dtm is 97. when i grow butternut i know when to take them off the vine based upon appearance and the fact the vines are dying off. how do i know when these are ready to pick? my guess is when the vines are dying off around the 2nd to 3rd week in september same as butternut.

also being a pepo variety iirc these do not store well. how long do they store about 3 months? 4 months?

thanks,

tom
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Old August 5, 2010   #2
jcr1709
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Default Winter Squash Harvesting

I've heard and done this test with success:

If your thumbnail can pierce the skin of the growing winter squash, it is not ready to be harvested.

Look for the skin to toughen up a bit since the skin is the squash's own natural protection that allows it to be stored for so long after harvest.

I hope to see some of your squash at the Goshen Fair perhaps....although that may be a little early. Mine will definitely will be at the Durham Fair in my neck of the woods. At some point I'll attach some pics of the 13 or so varieties of winter squash and pumpkins I'm growing this year. I can tell by your user name you are into all things squash.

Jamie
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Old August 5, 2010   #3
Wi-sunflower
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Since I grow for market, i will harvest before the vines die off.

For me, Delicata squash do change colors a bit when ripe. The background color goes from a greenish white to a creamy white. The stripe also changes from a yellow to more of an orange.

For the variety Festival, which is similar colored to Delicata, tho Acorn shaped, there is also a change of the stem color from green to black along with the same color changes of the squash.

For Spaghetti squash, the color should change from greenish white to yellowish on the top of the squash.

Most winter squash varieties have some kind of color change when they are ripe tho some of them are quite subtle and can be a bit different within varieties of a type. It can be a bit of a challenge to figure it out.

Carol
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Old August 5, 2010   #4
tjg911
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thanks.

how about storage duration? am i correct with 3 or 4 months?
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Old August 5, 2010   #5
Wi-sunflower
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I'm not sure about storage as ours are never around that long, they are eaten or sold. But those picked at or around frost will keep at least until the indoor markets in Dec.

Often it also depends on the kind of weather when the squash are maturing. In a year that has a wet fall, all the squash will not keep as well as a year that has a dry fall. Too much moisture in the squash.

Also they keep best under dry conditions. Cool and dry is best but warm and dry over cool and damp. I've had a butternut fall behind the microwave cart and be just fine for Easter dinner in April. Because Hubby likes to heat with a wood stove, our house can be bone dry all winter. We also had a gray buttercup/queensland type keep over a year, tho it turned an orangy color.

Carol
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Old August 16, 2010   #6
Jeannine Anne
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Storage is about 4 months is properly cured in the warm and stored in the cool, best left on the vine till t has withered. unless weather prevents you
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