Now that planting season is over and done with. It’s now time for harvesting our tasty veg. Acorn squash is another amazing kind of veg to grow in your garden but do you know when they are ready to pick? Let’s find out.
Acorn squash is from the family of winter squash that is grown and harvested just like other kinds of winter squash variety. When it comes to harvesting, winter squash is quite different from summer squash.
Getting to know when acorn squash is ready to pick isn’t so difficult and we will let you know in this post. So, let’s begin.
Acorn squash is a type of winter squash fruit that is from the family Cucurbita pepo and they are great in culinary dishes. Their outer skin is smooth with a hard skin and dry flesh. Acorn squash often has a dark green with a yellow or orange marking. It may also have orange or white variegated color.
The inner flesh has a golden (yellow-orange) color with a firm grip and buttery nutty taste. The texture is somewhat stringy and it has this sweet flavor.
With their sweet flavor, this acorn squash fruit can pair well with a wide variety of seasonings both savory and sweet.
One acorn squash, which is about 2 pounds, can make a meal for two when you stuff them with filling ingredients. Then baked and served right in their shell.
When Is Acorn Squash Ready To Pick
Getting to know when to pick acorn squash is very important so you don’t pick them at the wrong time. The confusing thing is that this squash can always turns green before they mature and they even stay green long after they are matured.
Gardeners would want to avoid harvesting an unripe acorn squash because an unripe acorn is totally boring in taste.
But generally, most varieties of acorn squash are often ready to be picked 75 to 100 days after seed planting. This will majorly depend on the right conditions you give them and one important factor is sunlight. Acorn squash should be supplied at least 6 hours of sun per day.
So how exactly do you know when acorn squash is ready to pick? Let’s find out.
When To Harvest Acorn Squash
Here are some ways you can tell when acorn squash is ready to pick.
One easy way to tell if your acorn squash is ready to be picked is from its color. A matured or ripe acorn will turn green then the portion of acorn squash that has been in contact with the ground would have a visible yellow patch.
Acorn squash which is still immature will have a shiny skin look compared to the ripen squash that will have a more dull look.
Once your acorn fruit is ripe, a couple of inches which is connected to the stem will become withered and brown.
3. Skin Texture
The skin texture of the acorn squash is another way to tell if they are ready to pick. A ripe acorn skin texture tends to be hard. On the other hand, an unripe acorn skin texture will be soft.
One good way of testing the maturity of the acorn fruit is by pressing your fingernail on the skin and try to make a mark on it. If you were successful in marking the fruit and the mark is noticeable, then it isn’t ripe yet. However, if you find it hard to make a noticeable mark on the tough skin, then it’s ripe.
As we mentioned, acorn squash will take about 75 to 100 days to become mature. But this should be after the seedling transplanting stage has passed. However, if you wish to calculate from the seed stage, you can add 2 weeks to the harvest time.
So, if every other tip fails, simply set a reminder and calculate 75 to 100 days or roughly 3 months after seed plating.
How To Harvest Acorn Squash
Once the acorn squash is ready to pick, use a sharp knife or a sharp tool to harvest your fruit. Aim at cutting the fruits 5 cm or 2 inches away from the stem. Avoid cutting the fruit too close to the stem. Cutting the acorn squash too close to the stem can predispose the plant to bacterial infection which can cause the plant to spoil.
We recommend you only harvest the ones you are ready to use. Leave the rest on the vine and allow it to harden some more so they can ripe fully. So far the weather is warm enough, the squash is safe and it will continue to mature. However, you should harvest them if they are prone to frost.
Storing Acorn Squash
Once you’ve harvested your acorn squash, storing them appropriately is important. This is so they can last longer and maintains their quality as you store them. Below are some important tips to storing your acorn squash appropriately:
- Temperature: Store your harvested acorn squash at a temperature between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, store them in a cool dark place such as a pantry, basement, or warmer area of a root cellar.
- Humidity: The appropriate relative humidity to store your acorn squash is around 50 to 70%. Also, make sure your harvested acorn squash has adequate ventilation or airflow to encourage longer storage.
Generally, store acorn squash in a cool dry location. Refrain from piling up your harvested acorn fruits. You should rather create space between these fruits and spread them out in single rows. This will help make air circulation easier and it will also avoid bruising of the fruits. You can as well freeze your acorn squash to store them for long.
Final Thoughts On When Are Acorn Squash Ready To Pick
As we can see, harvesting acorn squash is not so difficult if you have the right knowledge on how to go about it.
So we hope you’ve learned some good things you need to know about when acorn squash is ready to pick.