A Guide On How To Tell If A Squash Is Bad? 

Let’s look at the guide on how to tell if a squash is bad and when it is best to harvest them before going bad.

Squash is one of the favorite vegetables across America. They are versatile, easy to grow, and can be stored for months with minimal care.

There are many different types of squash that include:

  • Summer Squashes like zucchini and yellow crookneck squash.
  • Winter Squashes like butternut, acorn, pumpkin, and spaghetti squash.  Butternut squash is often the most popular of the winter squashes. It is a good source of vitamin A and C and it is also loaded with fiber.

Identifying Squash Plants By Leaves x
Identifying Squash Plants By Leaves
How To Tell If A Squash Is Bad

To help you learn how to tell if a squash is bad, you can follow this guide.

  1. The first thing you should do when buying a squash is to make sure that the seeds are intact. The squash should not have any damaged areas or brown spots.
  2. The squash should be heavy for its size.  If the squash is too light, it could mean that there is moisture in the seeds or there are insects in the seeds. You should be able to feel the seed if you tap on it lightly.
  3. When you buy the squash, you should also be aware of the sell-by date.  Squash usually don’t last very long and they start going bad at the end of their shelf life.  Squash that is past the sell-by date should be thrown out as they are no longer safe to eat.
  4. Look for a rotten smell. If you find any, it’s likely the squash has mold and needs to be thrown out. Squash that has been rotting for a while may have worms or insects.

How Long Does It Take To Grow Squash?

To ensure that you save your squash from going bad, the best thing to do is to harvest it in good time. The harvest time for squash is between late September and early October, depending on the variety. Harvesting it before this time will result in it going bad.

From planting seeds to harvesting, it takes squash approximately 70 days.

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Growing Conditions For Squash – How To Tell If A Squash Is Bad

The right temperature. Planting Squash requires a warm-weather environment to grow well.  It needs a minimum temperature of 14°C (58°F) during the day and 10°C (50°F) at night. If it is not grown under such conditions, then the plant can grow slowly or even die. Soil temperature should be around 18°C (65°F).

  • Water.  In addition to these, a good amount of water must be available at all times. The soil should be kept moist but not wet. Squash seedlings are very sensitive to dampness.
  • Rich Fertile Soil.  Squash plants grow best in soil that is rich in nutrients. The soil should be fertile and well-drained. They grow best in soil with a pH between 2.5 and  3. The soil should be well-drained, but it should also be moist enough to allow the roots to breathe.
  • Sunlight. They require lots of sunlight and must be protected from cold winds.

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How To Tell If A Squash Is Bad
  • Growing Squash. The squash should be planted in rows or in a single bed. Squash plants grow best when they are spaced at least 10 cm (4 inches) apart.
  • The Best Time to Plant Squash seeds is during late May and early June. The seedlings can be transplanted at the end of July.

Most squash varieties are self-pollinating, but some need cross-pollination.

When To Harvest

Squash is harvested when it reaches maturity, which is usually between 90 to 120 days. Before you harvest, you’ll want to remove the squash from the vine.

It can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator if you don’t plan on eating it right away. Storage: Squash will keep in your refrigerator for about a week and can be frozen for up to three months.

How To Cook

Squash is a delicious vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes, from sweet to savory. You can use it in soups, stews, casseroles, and other recipes that call for pumpkin or winter squash. Sautéing is the best way to prepare squash, as it adds a nice caramelized flavor. You can also bake the squash in the oven or roast it on a grill.

How To Cook Squash

Final Thoughts – How To Tell If A Squash Is Bad

How to tell if a squash is bad is just by trying it.  You can tell by the smell, the color, or the taste.  In some cases, the squash is already gone bad and just by looking at it, you know that it is bad.

Good healthy squash is green with yellowish streaks.  You can see the seeds and the stem.  It has a sweet smell.  The flesh is firm and dense,  not mushy or watery.  Squash is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and potassium.

To prepare the squash you should peel it, cut it into pieces, and then steam or bake it.  If you are baking it, add a little bit of butter or oil.  Add some salt and pepper if you want to.  There are many kinds of squash available.  Some are good and others are bad.  You have to be careful when buying squash.  Enjoy your squash when it’s still good!

FAQ’s

What happens if you eat bad squash?

The symptoms that develop after eating bad squash are similar to those that develop after eating a bad apple. The bad fruit has been damaged by a virus and the symptoms are similar to those of a cold or flu. You might also get an upset tummy.

What does a bad squash look like inside?

A good squash is firm and healthy-looking on the inside with the flesh still intact and does not have a bad smell.

How to know if squash is bad?

A "bad" squash will have a hard rind or no rind at all. The color will be dark, green, brown, or black and not light green or orange. There may be mold on the skin or seeds. You may notice a strong odor when you open it.

What does bad squash taste like?

The flavor of bad squash can range from mild to very bitter. What's the difference between squash and pumpkin? Squash has a thinner, more delicate flesh than pumpkin, although the two are very similar in taste. Squash is generally smaller than pumpkin, and the seeds are usually smaller as well.