Butternut squash is a warm season vegetable grown in home gardens across the U.S. This winter squash develops a hard outer shell encasing delicate orange fruit as it matures. If harvested after the fruit matures and seeds have developed it can be eaten fresh or stored for months in a cool dry place. Harvesting takes place in the late fall before the first hard frost.
Monitor butternut squash a week or two before the expected maturity date. Although there is some variation between cultivars, butternut squash generally matures in 110 to 120 days from planting or 45 to 55 days from blooming.
Look for a deepening in color. Butternut squash ranges from cream to yellow and darkens to a tan when ripe. Check the outer shell, ripe winter squash will resist a scratch from your fingernail and vines will begin to die back when the squash is mature.
Harvest butternut squash on a clear dry day when the squash are dry. Cut the squash from the vine, leaving a two to four inch stem attached to the squash to prevent the introduction of disease or bacteria that may cause decay. Store in a cool dry area with temperatures between 50 and 55 degrees.
How to Grow Butternut Squash
Grow butternut squash in sunny spots and fertile, freely draining soil. Water regularly in dry weather and apply nitrogen fertilizer.
How to Know When Butternut Squash Is Ready to Pick
Sweet, orange butternut squash is delicious used in baked goods or soups, or baked and served hot with a bit of butter...
When to Plant Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is part of a large group of squashes, and produces large, butter-colored gourds with a vase or bell shapes. These...
When to Harvest and Pick Acorn Squash
Pick acorn squash when the skins are dull and tough, which is usually 80 to 100 days after sowing. An orange patch...