Crookneck squash is a type of summer squash that is easy to grow and harvest. Crookneck squashes are usually yellow. The fruits of this variety of squash grow very fast during spring and summer. Crookneck squash can take around 45 to 60 days to maturity from planting. However, counting the days to maturity is not the best way to know when to pick crookneck squash or to understand when it is ready. This article summarizes all the tips you need to know to answer a widespread question among gardeners, how and when to pick Crookneck squash for a successful harvest and a great flavor. Let’s start.
An overripe crookneck squash will have skin that is too tough for consumption and too many seeds, so it is essential to harvest the crookneck squash at the right time. Continue reading to learn how and when to harvest crookneck squash correctly.
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When to Harvest Crookneck Squash
When to Harvest Crookneck Squash? Crookneck squash will be ready for harvest 45 to 60 days after planting. But you should not only count the days of ripening to harvest crookneck squash, but you should also observe other signs that the squash plant will give.
A mature crookneck squash will be between 4” to 6” (10 to 15 cm) long, if the crookneck squash is larger its skin will become tougher and the inside will have too many seeds. That is why once the crookneck squash plant begins to flower, it is crucial to observe the plant often to see the state of the fruits.
It is also essential to observe the color and brightness of the crookneck squash. A crookneck squash will have shiny skin; if you press your fingernail into the skin, it will leave a mark because the skin is smooth.
Do not allow squash to overgrow on the vine, as this will cause production on the vine to stop. Constantly harvest crookneck squash to encourage new fruit to develop and ripen on the vine.
So, to know when to harvest crookneck squash, you will have to observe the color, brightness, and skin of the crookneck squash. Observing those signs will be more important than counting the days of crookneck squash ripening.
Learn how and when to harvest crookneck squash in this article to enjoy its flavor.
How to Harvest Crookneck Squash
How to Harvest Crookneck Squash? Harvesting crookneck squash is very easy, you will only need pruning shears or a sharp knife to avoid pulling the squash off the vine. Avoid pulling the squash off the vine to prevent damage to the vine and the squash.
Disinfect tools with alcohol before harvesting squash. Select only crookneck squashes ready to be harvested, which are 4” to 6” (10 to 15 cm) long. Not all crookneck squash will be ripe simultaneously, but be sure to harvest consistently to encourage vine production.
Cut the stem with a knife or pruning shears, and leave at least 1” (2.5 cm) of stem on the squash for better preservation. Crookneck squashes over 6” (15 cm) long are edible, but their skin is tougher than smaller squashes.
Store Crookneck Squash After Picking
How to Store Crookneck Squash? Summer squashes cannot be stored as long as winter squashes. Do not wash crookneck squash because excess moisture will speed up the time the squash will be fresh for consumption. Wipe any dirt or soil off the squash with a clean, dry cloth.
Place crookneck squash in a perforated plastic or paper bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer for up to 7 days. Be sure not to store squash with fruits or vegetables that produce ethylene gas (e.g., apples), as ethylene gas accelerates spoilage.
Only wash the crookneck squash when you use it to prepare delicious dishes. If you consume the crookneck squash after harvest, you can wash them. You can grate the squash if you have a lot of squash and then freeze them for later use.
Final Thoughts Regarding When to Pick Crookneck Squash
Let’s see a couple of final thoughts regarding when to pick Crookneck Squash and how to do it correctly.
Crookneck squash, like other summer squash varieties, contains vitamins C, B6, and A. Also, they contain minerals such as manganese, magnesium, and potassium.
An advantage of the crookneck squash is its rapid growth. Crookneck squash can take around 45 to 60 days to maturity from planting.
Pick Crookneck squash when they are small to medium-sized, around 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) in length. When Crookneck squash is ready to harvest, it typically has bright yellow skin, color consistent and uniform. Gently press your fingernail against the skin of the squash. If the skin is easily punctured and the flesh feels soft, the squash is at the right stage for harvesting.
Always harvest Crookneck squash using sharp pruning shears or a sharp knife to cut the stem about one inch above the fruit without damaging or tearing the plant. Remember that consistently harvesting crookneck squash will encourage the vine to continue production.
I hope this article about how and when to harvest Crookneck squash will be helpful.
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