The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

When to harvest butternut squash?

butternut squash rain barrel

We harvested 38 healthy sized butternut squashes today.

There's still a whole lot more that needs another week or two on the vine.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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When do you harvest butternut squash? Can I leave it on the vine until frost or should I pick it now? And while we're at it, I have my first year planting of spaghetti squash and delicata squash. How long do I leave those outside? I'm in Michigan zone 5b
Comment by Linda B Mon Aug 17 15:39:29 2015
Butternut squash are filtering in here, as well. I suppose it's about time to bring most of the pumpkins. They're ready when they look ready, right?
Comment by Brandy Mon Aug 17 15:42:33 2015

Brandy and Linda --- You're right. Mark did tease you with that title. :-)

You definitely want to get your winter squash in before a freeze. Not only will they not store as well if touched by frost, they also will be harder to cure if you have to do so inside because of cold weather.

A butternut is ready to harvest when the green lines near the stem are completely or nearly absent and when the skin has turned tan with no mottling left. This usually coincides with the vines starting to die back, although I will sometimes harvest a bit early if I think we're in for a wet spell that will promote rot. Here's some more harvest information.

Good luck with your winter squashes!

Comment by anna Mon Aug 17 16:13:07 2015

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