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Butternut Squash Plants

Q.Butternut Squash Harvest

Anonymous added on September 13, 2011 | Answered

Your explanation of how to harvest butternut squash was very helpful. However, I read elsewhere that you should wait until the leaves have died to give the squash the best taste. Is that true? Also, I plan to freeze much of the squash (since storage has not worked well for me). Will peeling, dicing, and steaming before freezing work well to allow later easy microwaving?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 14, 2011

This sometimes depends on the individual gardener; however, it is not necessary to wait for the leaves to die. In fact, if you wait too long the squash will lose its flavor. Many people do wait until the stems turn brown and begin splitting. Generally, once the 'greenish stripes' start turning orange or brown, the squash is ready for harvesting. You really shouldn't wait until the fruit is fully grown to harvest, as it will be much more tender and sweet at an earlier stage. Some people also prefer to harvest just after the first frost. I would do so right before.

As for freezing, you can slice it or dice it, blanch it and then bag it. Stick it in the freezer and use when you're ready.

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Answered on September 17, 2011

I just harvested by butternut squash, I did not wait until leaves died back, they were small to med. size, the taste is great..I agree withNikki to harvest soon. They are delicious now. I froze my squash last year, tasted great.

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