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When to Harvest Delicata Squash

Delicata squash has a buttery flavor that makes it exquisite for many dishes. This variety of squash grows well in USDA zones 2 to 11. Delicata squash is not a difficult squash variety to grow, but the fruits should be observed well to know the correct harvest time. Learn all about when to harvest delicata squash.

The rind of the delicata squash can be consumed along with the whole squash which, as mentioned above, has a buttery, sweet flavor. Delicata squash belongs to the winter squash variety. Continue reading to learn all about when to harvest delicata squash correctly.

When to Harvest Delicata Squash

When to Harvest Delicata Squash? Delicata squash is usually ready to be harvested 50 to 55 days after the seed is planted. In some cases, the ripening time of the fruit may be extended a little longer due to weather factors or soil nutrients. Next, I will explain more details about the delicata squash to know when to harvest delicata squash.

Do not only be guided by the days to maturity of the delicata squash fruit. Observe the vine of the plant, you will see that the vine dries out little by little as the fruits grow. By this, I do not mean that the plant will look completely dry, only that you will observe that it is slowly drying out.

You will also notice that the delicata squash when ripe will have a soft yellow color with green stripes. Watch closely as the color of the fruit changes. If the delicata squash has a light green color, the fruit is not yet ripe.

Check the toughness of the skin of delicata squash. With your fingernail press on the skin of the squash, if the pressure leaves a mark on the skin of the squash is that the fruit needs to ripen even more. The skin of delicata squash should be tough, winter squashes are characterized by tougher skin.

So, to know when to harvest delicata squash, you should observe the fruit for color change. Also, do not forget to keep track of the days of ripening and check the hardness of the skin of the delicata squash. Delicata squash is usually about 6” (15 cm) long.

when to harvest delicata squash
When to Harvest Delicata Squash? Normally in 50 to 55 days, the delicata squash will be ready to harvest. This may vary slightly depending on weather and nutrients.

When to Pick Delicata Squash

When to Pick Delicata Squash? First things first, take a good look at the color. When delicata squash is ready to be picked, its skin will have turned a creamy beige or pale yellow shade. You might also notice those signature green stripes on the skin, which is totally normal.

Now, give the skin a gentle press with your fingernail. If it resists and feels nice and hard, that is a good sign it is ripe. If your nail easily goes through the skin, it might need a bit more time on the vine. Another thing to check is the stem. Ripe delicata squash will have a dry, brown stem that is starting to detach from the fruit.

Observe the size of the delicata squash before picking. Typically, mature delicata squash is about 6″ (15 cm) long. So, When to pick delicata squash? Pick the delicata squash when you notice that its color has changed, its skin is hard to the touch and it is about 6 inches (15 cm) long.

when to pick delicata squash
When to Pick Delicata Squash? Delicata squash should have a creamy beige or pale yellow skin color when they are ripe. In the image above you can see an unripe delicata squash.

How to Harvest Delicata Squash

How to Harvest Delicata Squash? Harvesting delicata squash is very simple, you will only need a sharp knife or pruning shears. Before harvesting delicata squash, disinfect your tools and make sure they have an excellent cutting edge for a perfect cut.

Not all delicata squash will be ripe at the same time, only pick ripe squash. When cutting the stem of the squash, be sure to leave 1” to 2” (2.5 to 5 cm) of stem on the squash for better preservation.

Only harvest delicata squash that is ripe because once off the vine they do not continue to ripen. Be sure to harvest all delicata squash before the first frost.

How to Store Delicata Squash

How to Store Delicata Squash? If you plan to consume the delicata squash immediately, curing is not necessary. On the other hand, if you want to store the delicata squash for several months, you will need to cure the squash.

In a well-ventilated location, place the delicata squash (without stacking) for 10 to 14 days for curing. The ideal curing temperature for delicata squash is between 80 and 85 °F (27 to 29 °C). Make sure that if it rains, the squash does not get wet during the curing process.

Once the curing process is complete, you can store the delicata squash for up to 3 months. Never stack the squash for storage because they will be damaged. A good place to store delicata squash can be in a garage or somewhere where the temperature is kept between 50 and 55 °F (10 to 13 °C).

how to store delicata squash
Delicate squash being cured for storage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Delicata Squash Ripen Off the Vine

Delicata squash does not ripen once it was harvested from the vine. It is best to harvest at the right time, following the advice in this article.

Can You Leave Delicata Squash on The Vine Too Long

You can leave the delicata squash on the vine longer, but the inside of the squash will become harder and drier for consumption. I do not recommend leaving delicata squash on the vine any longer if it is to be used for consumption.

When is Delicata Squash Ripe

Delicata squash is ripe when it changes color. When delicata squash is ready to harvest, the skin will have transitioned to a creamy beige or pale yellow color. It might also have green stripes on its skin, which are a common characteristic of delicata squash. You should also verify that the skin of the delicata squash is hard to the touch.

Final Conclusions

Delicata squash is an excellent squash for preparing a variety of tasty dishes. An advantage of this winter squash is that it can be consumed without peeling the skin of the squash, other varieties of winter squash must be peeled to be consumed.

I hope this article about when to harvest delicata squash will be of great help, and you will harvest the best squash. If you are interested in knowing more about when to harvest different types of squash, I recommend the following articles:

When to Harvest Red Kuri Squash

When to Harvest Pattypan Squash

delicata squash
Delicata Squash.

About Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan is an agronomist and a master gardener. In her previous roles, Julia was an advisor promoting large-scale food growing in urbanized areas, introducing the concept of chemical-free produce. She is an expert in putting her hands in the soil, developing organic foods, and improving production processes for decades. Julia is a natural teacher and encourages every person in her way to grow their own food. She split her days between writing and reviewing for The Garden Style Website and offering assessments to cure edible land. Julia enjoys connecting with The Garden Style Community.

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