Last Updated on March 14, 2022 by Cristina
Yellow squash is one of the members of the squash family, with lots of nutritional benefits and the ability to grow rapidly during summer. When to pick yellow squash is one common question asked among gardeners. The yellow squash usually has a very short maturity period making it susceptible to quick picks.
Yellow squash is summer squash, and one of the varieties of marrow squash. It is largely an edible vegetable looking very much like zucchini in shape, flavor, and texture. Yellow squash usually come in different shapes, sizes, and hues, reaching their peak during the hottest weeks of summer.
This article offers insight into when to pick (harvest) yellow squash. So, let’s begin.
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Yellow squash should get harvested when it has attained maturity. The following are a few factors that should offer you hint into whether the plant is matured for picking or not:
Length Of The Yellow Squash – When To Pick Yellow Squash
The longer the size of the squash, the more likely it is matured for harvesting. When the squash appears long, then most of the seeds inside are very likely matured. While it is necessary for the seeds to matured, they should not be left to get too hardened inside. The ideal length for harvesting yellow squash is when it is about six inches in length.
Plumpness Of The Blossom End – When To Pick Yellow Squash
As a squash begins to mature, one of the signs you will notice is the bigger it gets around the blossom end. When the plump end gets really big around, thereby leaving the neck small, then the plant is matured for harvesting.
Color Of The Squash – When To Pick Yellow Squash
Although yellow squash is yellow from the beginning, as they mature, you begin to notice some changes. The matured squash begins to turn dark yellow as it nears the picking stage. When it becomes overly matured, there is an orange tint to the skin.
You Begin To Notice A Few Bad Ones – When To Pick Yellow Squash
Where you fail to pick any of the above signs, this last sign may come in handy. When you begin to notice that a few yellow squashes are getting worse, then you are sure that maturity has been attained. A change to brown is evidence of this.
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Picking Matured Yellow Squash – When To Pick Yellow Squash
After you have confirmed that the squash is matured for harvesting, then you should go ahead with the harvesting process. Squash can easily get harvested by being twisted off the vine or alternatively by using scissors or a garden pruner to cut off the vine.
You should be careful not to tug or pull fruit from the vine with force as this may result in injury to the plant. When cutting off the fruit from the vine, it is best to leave a short stem attached to the fruit as this will greatly help improve storage life.
Due to how easily the skin of the fruit can be injured, care must be taken when going about the harvesting of this plant. This is so as to prevent wounds to the skin.
Tips To Note When Picking Yellow Squash
Below are a few tips that should be considered by you when picking your matured yellow squash fruit:
- Not all fruits and vegetables are harvested the same way: While some fruits and vegetables are harvested when they are still hard, others require softness before harvest. Some fruits can ripe after picking while others cannot. You must therefore follow the prescribed picking way.
- The bigger fruit is not always the best: the more you leave your yellow squash attached to the vine, the bigger it gets. This however has its downside, as the seeds also get harder and tougher. If the fruit is to be used for cooking, the soft seeds are better than the hard ones.
- Exercise care when picking: You should ensure to use both hands when picking so as to protect such plants from being injured. Also, you should take enough care to ensure that the fruit is not yanked off the vine. Doing this may cause serious harm to the plant and growth hampered.
- Harvest in the morning; Just like most other plants, it is best to harvest the yellow squash in the morning. This allows the product to stay crisp and store longer, and this protects the fruit from becoming limp from heat during the day. Where morning is not possible, then the fruit should be harvested in the evening.
- Constant checking of the garden: When you notice that a plant is producing, you should begin frequent visits to the garden. This is to ensure that you do not miss a matured yellow plant. Constant picking encourages the plant to produce even more and as such should be done.
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Storing Yellow Squash After Harvesting
After picking the yellow squashes, you may need to harvest some when they cannot all be consumed immediately. Below are a few tips you should note when storing the summer squash:
- Wipe the fruit with a clean damp cloth and place it in a perforated plastic bag. Thereafter, place the bag in the vegetable crisper of a refrigerator. This is one of the best ways to store and maintain the humidity of the yellow squash.
- The temperature for storing the summer squash in the refrigerator should not be lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Where the temperature gets too low, it may result in injury symptoms in the fruit such as surface pitting, water loss, and decay.
- Grating and freezing: Another method that may be adopted when storing summer squashes is to grate and then freeze. Grating and freezing greatly help in retaining the quality and this may last longer than just freezing.
Conclusion On When To Pick Yellow Squash
The yellow squash is one of the lovely fruits you may decide to have in your garden. However, for the best possible result to be actualized, you must be conversant with when is the best time to plant as well as pick the fruit. This article gives you proper guidance into how to go about picking the fruit.
How to tell when squash is ready to pick?
There are a few things you would notice in a yellow squash to give you an inkling into whether it is ready to be picked or not. These include an increase in size to no less than 6 inches, plumpness of the fruit and a change in the color of the fruit to dark yellow as opposed to bright shiny yellow for young fruits. A yellow squash is usually ready to be picked about 50 to 60 days after planting
How do I know when yellow squash is ripe?
You know when the yellow squash is ripe by some of the features you will notice in the fruit. These include an increase in size to no less than 6 inches, plumpness of the fruit, and a change in the color of the fruit to dark yellow as opposed to bright shiny yellow for young fruits.
How do you pick squash off the vine?
You pick squash off the vine by carefully holding with one hand and twisting gently. Be careful and ensure not to pull so as not to break the vine. Also, for easing of picking, you may also use a scissors or garden pruner to cut the fruit off the vine.
Will yellow squash ripen off the vine?
Yes, if the yellow squash is allowed to stay on the vine long enough, it will ripen on the vine. You will gradually begin to notice a change of its color to a darker yellow. At this point, know it has ripened for harvest.