Last Updated on May 31, 2022 by Cristina
Do you know how and when to determine if butternut squash is ready for harvest? Will butternut squash ripen off the vine or not? These questions and more shall we answer in this insightful post.
Butternut squash which is a winter squash is a rich-tasting squash that can be incorporated into sweet and savory dishes. This squash is one type of squash that is most loved amongst growers.
Butternut squash is this kind of squash that is characterized by this hard outer skin. This squash can even be stored in a cool and dry spot for as long as 6 months once it has matured.
Will butternut squash ripen off the vine or not is what we would like to know. We will also discuss how to tell if butternut squash is ready for harvesting, how to store butternut squash, and so on. So, let’s dig in.
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It may be possible for butternut squash to get ripened off the vine. But usually, it’s better to allow butternut squash to remain on the vine so they can get ripen. Leaving them on the vine to ripen allows them to taste better and even last longer.
However, there are some situations that cause us to harvest our butternut squash early. Winter is the most common cause for growers to harvest their butternut squash very early. So, if your region experiences winter earlier than expected, butternut squash can be harvested early. Then you can use curing techniques just to improve the length of the storage.
How To Ripen Butternut Squash Off The Vine
So, if the frost in your region is predicted to come earlier than expected, then harvesting your butternut squash is advisable so they won’t freeze on the vine.
You may get lucky trying to ripen butternut squash off the vine. So, here are some tips on how to ripen butternut squash off the vine:
- Clip the butternut from the vine and aim to leave several inches of stem. Do this the morning before the frost.
- Then try curing the unripe squash by storing it at 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, provide a humidity range of 80 to 85 percent for 10 days.
- This curing procedure is used to extend the storage life of butternut squash by hardening the skin, healing the wounds, and ripening the immature squash.
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How To Tell When Butternut Squash Is Ripe
It may seem a bit tricky to determine when butternut squash is ripe. But with the right knowledge, you can know when this squash is ripe.
To get a sweet and better-tasting butternut squash, it is important you harvest them at the right period. If butternut squash is left too long on the vine, it can get rotten. On the other hand, if butternut is picked too early, you will get an unripe and less sweet fruit.
Most growers like to work on the duration of time to tell when butternut squash is ready for harvest. For instance, if butternut squash was planted on time during summer, the squash may get ripened in late September or sometime in October.
However, there are 3 main factors that determine when butternut squash is ready for harvesting and they are discussed below:
1. Color And Length – Will Butternut Squash Ripen Off The Vine
Once butternut squash is matured, the squash will usually attain a length of 12 inches. Also, you should notice a deep tan color once the fruit is ripe. But to get a better-matured squash, the color should help you determine the ripeness of the squash.
2. Test Using Fingernail
The fingernail test is one good method to know when to harvest your butternut squash. The test is simply done by pushing your fingernail through the skin of the butternut squash. The squash isn’t ready for picking if the skin punctures. Then if the skin of the butternut squash feels very hard and refuses to be punctured, then it is ripe.
3. Brown Color Of The Stem – Will Butternut Squash Ripen Off The Vine
The butternut squash is attached to the vine of the fruit by a short stem. During most of butternut squash growing season, the stem is often green. But once the fruit begins to ripen, you will notice the stem starts to turn brown. Again, when the stem is totally brown and dried, it’s a good indication that the fruit is matured.
Storing Butternut Squash
So, after you must have cured your harvested butternut squash, simply wipe or brush out any dirt on the fruit. Then make sure you keep them dry. Butternut squash should be stored in a cool and dry place. The temperature range should be between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Examples of this type of spot are places like a cool basement or even a garage attached to your home.
Make sure you store your butternut squash in its own place. Don’t store them together with other types of fruits. They should be stacked on shelves or placed in a container with holes so they can get good air circulation.
Final Words – Will Butternut Squash Ripen Off The Vine
Even though it’s mostly better to leave your butternut squash on the vine to become ripe, there are still some cases that can cause anyone to harvest them before ripening on the vine. Frost is the most common reason why growers want to harvest their squash on time.
After all, it’s better to harvest your butternut squash even if they’re underripe than to lose your entire crop to frost.
So, we hope we’ve been able to answer the question: Will butternut squash ripen off the vine?
Can you pick butternut squash when it’s green?
You may pick butternut squash when it’s green or if the skin is hard. However, you should know that the appropriate color to pick butternut squash when it’s ripe is a deep tan color.
What can you do with unripe butternut squash?
You may get lucky if you try to ripen the unripe butternut squash you may have. You should store the unripe butternut squash at a temperature of 80 to 85 degrees with a humidity range of 80 to 85 percent.
How do you know when butternut squash is ripe?
You can know if butternut is ready for harvesting if the outer rind is tan in color. It should not have any trace of green spot and it should have a hard skin. Also, the skin should be hard that when you puncture the fruit with your fingernail, it should be hard to puncture.
How do you ripen butternut squash on the vine?
You can ripen butternut squash on the vine by providing it with some sun. This is because sunshine helps squash ripen. So, turn the plant from time to time so that all parts of the plant can get proper sun.