Buttercup squash (Cucurbita maxima ‘Buttercup’) is a very nutritious and tasty type of winter squash. Buttercup squash is harvested in autumn and takes approximately 100 days to ripen, but in this article, we will explain how and when to harvest buttercup squash. Check out our video by the end of this post.
It is important to observe the buttercup squash before harvesting because squash stop ripening when removed from the vine. The good thing is that you will easily observe when it is time to harvest the buttercup squash.
When to Harvest Buttercup Squash
When to Harvest Buttercup Squash? Approximately 100 days after planting, the buttercup squash will be ready to be harvested. Likewise, the number of days to harvest the buttercup squash can vary depending on the amount of sun, water, and nutrients the plant received during its development of the buttercup squash.
The best way to know when to harvest buttercup squash is to observe the color and firmness of the squash skin. The color should be deep green and the skin of the buttercup squash should be hard to the touch.
It is important to harvest the buttercup squash at the right time because once removed from the vine it will not continue to ripen like other fruits or vegetables that can ripen once harvested.
When Are Buttercup Squash Ready To Pick. A good way to check if the skin of the buttercup squash is hard is to press with a fingernail, if there is a mark on the skin it is that the squash is not yet ripe to be harvested. If there is no mark left on the skin of the buttercup squash, it means that it is ready to be harvested. When the buttercup squash has a deep, rich color, hard skin, and stem, it is likely mature and ready to be picked.
Be sure to harvest buttercup squash before frost begins in your area, or your crop will be completely damaged. With these tips, you will be able to harvest the buttercup squash at the best time to enjoy it to the fullest.
When To Pick Buttercup Squash
When To Pick Buttercup Squash. Buttercup Squashes are ready to harvest about 95-100 days (but may be up to 110-120 days) (3 to 4 months) after you sow your seed. The days of maturity depend primarily on weather conditions during growing buttercup squashes. An excellent way to tell you if a buttercup squash is ripe is by touching the skin with your fingernails. The skin on the Buttercup squash should be hard enough and not easily pierced with your fingernail. Also, the buttercup squash stem will harden with passing days and dry out, indicating the buttercup squash is ripe.
When Is Buttercup Squash Ripe
When Is Buttercup Squash Ripe. Gardeners will observe color changes during the buttercup squash ripening process and as harvest’s precise maturity time approaches. Check whether the buttercup squash is ready for harvesting by checking its color and skin texture. The skin color of the buttercup squash will change from bright green to a duller shade, and the stems will begin to appear drier. There will also be a change in the stripes of the skin from light green to a more grayish-green color, and they will become narrower. However, this is only a visual indicator. As explained above, the best way to see when they are ripe is by digging one’s finger into the skin and stem. That is a test that should be done day by day, starting 95 days from the date of planting. The buttercup squash is not ready if the skin is too soft and the nail easily punctures it.
How to Harvest Buttercup Squash
How to Harvest Buttercup Squash? Once you observe that the skin and color of the buttercup squash are correct for harvesting, you will prepare everything for harvesting. Use a sharp, disinfected knife to harvest the buttercup squash. It is important that the knife is sharp to make a perfect cut in the stem of the buttercup squash.
I recommend leaving 1″ (2.5 cm) of the stem to protect the buttercup squash, if the stem is too short an insect could enter the squash through the stem. Be sure to harvest all buttercup squash before frost arrives because you could lose the entire crop. It is important to handle the buttercup squash carefully so that it is not damaged or bruised, damage to the squash will decrease the amount of storage time for the buttercup squash.
How to Store Buttercup Squash
How to Store Buttercup Squash? Before storing the buttercup squash, it should be cured outdoors or in a cool, dry place. For an optimum curing process, the temperature and duration of the curing process should be: temperatures between 68 to 77 °F (20-25ºC) for 2 to 4 weeks or 77 to 86 °F (25-30ºC) for 3 weeks.
Buttercup squashes are traditionally stored in non-temperature-controlled and well-ventilated environments, sheltered from the cold. Relative humidity should be kept below 70 % to avoid the development of rot.
In general, the conditions of conservation that allow for maintaining the quality during the maximum of time are temperatures between 42 and 53 °F (6 and 12 °C) and relative humidity between 50 – 70 %.
In the event of fruit being damaged by rot, they should be discarded quickly to prevent them from contaminating and damaging healthy ones. You can store the buttercup squash in this way for up to 6 months, but it is also possible to store the squash in the refrigerator or freezer. The University of Minnesota describes different methods of preservation for winter squash.
Final Conclusions About Harvesting Buttercup Squash
The time to pick the buttercup squash will vary according to the sun, water, and nutrients the squash plant receives, so one should observe the skin and color of the squash. Once you observe that the skin of the buttercup squash and the stem are firm to the touch and its color is dark green, pick the buttercup squash.
It’s essential to pick the buttercup squash before the first frost in colder climates to avoid damage. Once harvested, store them in a cool, dry place to prolong their shelf life.
We hope that this article on when to harvest buttercup squash will be of great help and that you will have an excellent harvest. We recommend our other articles about how and when to pick butternut squash and when to harvest early white scallop squash.