When do I harvest my winter squash – and how should I store them?

Harvest winter squash when the skin is hard and will not break under thumbnail pressure. Appearance tends to be dull, rather than bright like the summer squash at harvest-time. Spaghetti squash should be a golden yellow. Always harvest before the heavy frosts. Hazards of leaving the fruit on the vine too long include foot-traffic damage, theft, bug, and disease damage.

Leave a 2″ stem on the fruit. Cure at room temperature (70-85 degrees F) for 10+ days before long-term storing begins.

Only put squash that is firm (no soft spots), heavy, and free of blemishes in long-term storage. Store at temperatures from 45-55 degrees, with 50-70% humidity.

Small squashes, like Butternut and Spaghetti will only store 2-3 months. Banana and Hubbard squash will store as long as 5-6 months under ideal conditions.