Ripening

Harvest when stems begin to shrivel or you can no longer pierce the skin with a thumbnail, but be sure to harvest before the first hard frost.

When and How

Whole Fruit, 1-28 days after maturity

When: Winter Squash must be ripe for optimal flavor and keeping qualities. It takes 2 to 3 months from pollination to full ripeness. The fruits are normally gathered after the skin turns dull and the dry stem snaps easily. For good storage properties the skin must be too tough to dent with a fingernail. If they are not fully mature they won’t store well. The fruits must be picked before frost does any damage.

How: Cut the ripe fruit from the vine, leaving about 6˝ of stem attached.

Allow to cure in the sun for 10 days to finish hardening the skins.

Plants/person:

2.0

Yield/plant:

3.0-10.0lbs

Yield/sq. ft.:

0.5-1.0lbs

Fruit Size:

10.0"-12.0"

Exterior Color:

Tan

Interior Color:

Orange

Nutrition:

The yellow flesh contain complex carbohydrates, Vitamins B6, A and C. Winter squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene and a good source of potassium, niacin, lutein, and iron and thiamin.