Blue Hubbard squash is a winter squash, very popular in New England. This squash can be stored for a long time and because they are very large squash, they provide plenty of food. Learn how and when to harvest Blue Hubbard squash.
Blue Hubbard squash takes 100 to 120 days to mature, but there are several ways to tell when Blue Hubbard squash is ripe for harvesting. Each Blue Hubbard squash can weigh between 10 and 40 lbs. (4.5 to 18 kg). The flesh of this squash is deep orange and has a sweet flavor, which makes it excellent for cooking tasty meals.
When to Harvest Blue Hubbard Squash
When to Harvest Blue Hubbard Squash? Blue Hubbard squash takes 100 to 120 days to mature for harvest. But it is not only the number of days that must be considered to know if the Blue Hubbard squash is ready to be harvested.
The skin of Blue Hubbard squash should be hard when harvested. Use your fingernail to press on the skin of the Blue Hubbard squash; if the skin of the squash is not marked, it is ready to be harvested. A Blue Hubbard squash that marks when touched with the fingernail is a squash that lacks ripening time on the vine.
You will also notice that some parts of the vine begin to dry out when the Blue Hubbard squash are ripe or finishing ripening. Note that not all squash will ripen at the same time. Observe your squash daily when it has been 100 days since you planted your squash.
By observing the hardness of the Blue Hubbard squash skin and the general condition of the vine plus the days to maturity, you will know when to harvest Blue Hubbard squash. When I sow my Blue Hubbard squash seeds, I note on the calendar the day I plant them, so I know exactly how many days have passed.
How to Harvest Blue Hubbard Squash
How to Harvest Blue Hubbard Squash? Blue Hubbard squash should be harvested before frost. Once the Blue Hubbard squash has been ripening for the required number of days, and you notice that the skin of the squash is hard, proceed to harvest Blue Hubbard squash.
With a sharp, disinfected knife or pruning shears, cut the stem of the Blue Hubbard squash. Leave 2” to 3” (5 to 8 cm) of the stem so that Blue Hubbard squash can be stored longer, a long stem favors the storage of squash.
Never pull the vine to harvest Blue Hubbard squash because it could damage the vine, and you need the vine to continue well for the other squashes. Remember that not all Blue Hubbard squash will mature at the same time.
Handle Blue Hubbard squashes with care to avoid skin damage. Damage to the squash skin may result in a shorter storage time. By following all these steps you will have harvested the Blue Hubbard squash correctly, now it remains to store the squash correctly.
How to Store Blue Hubbard Squash
How to Store Blue Hubbard Squash? Blue Hubbard squash can be stored for up to 6 months, but must first be cured for proper storage. Place the Blue Hubbard squash in a well-ventilated place protected from rain (without stacking) and leave them for 10 to 14 days for curing. The ideal curing temperature for Blue Hubbard squash is between 80 and 85 °F (27 to 29 °C).
After the curing time has passed, Blue Hubbard squash can be stored for up to 6 months, but do not stack them to prevent damage. Store Blue Hubbard squash in a basement or garage where the squash is protected.
Never store Blue Hubbard squash near fruits such as apples and pears because they release a gas called ethylene that accelerates the ripening of fruits and vegetables. This article from the University of Maine explains more about the role of ethylene in fruit ripening.
We hope this article on how and when to harvest Blue Hubbard squash will be helpful and that you will have an excellent harvest. We recommend our articles about when to harvest spaghetti squash and when is acorn squash ready to harvest.