Butternut Sqush harvesting

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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First year growing butternut squash have, thinking they are looking good how do I know when to harvest?
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Hi Colin, they will turn a buttery beige colour when ready. Make sure, when cutting, to cut a 't' stem, leaving a bit either side of the fruit stem in a t shape . Looking good there!
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Dear Colin,
not only do the squash need to be nice and brown but the stalk needs to be the same. If you can get your fingernail to make an impression on the stalk then the squash needs to be on the vine a little longer. Picking butternut squash is really a last minute job before the frosts start; especially as they need as much time on the vine as possible to give them flavour. This is why they are planted earlier than most other pumpkins so as to give them their needed ripening time.

When they have been picked they should be treated like babies/apples as they need a perfect skin to store well. This means a blanket or lots of newspaper in the bottom of your wheelbarrow and between the layers for transportation purposes. Take them into the greenhouse/conservatory/south facing room and sit them on a bed of newspaper to further ripen; this takes about three weeks. After that they are best stored above 10C in a dry spot.

Taking the T shape (including that bit of main vine) cuts through the vine and if you have more squash to ripen along the stalk this is not a good idea. Do make sure that the cut end dries out by facing it towards the sun and making sure that there is good ventilation during the day to aid the drying process. Use a pair of secateurs to cut the end of the stalk neatly and don't twist off the squash when picking as this will bruise the stem and allow rot to start.

hope this helps,
regards Sally Wright.
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Lovely squash Colin. I'd leave it quite a bit longer until it has gone a darker colour with not so much greenness and the skin has toughened up a bit. The stalk will also harden and dry out. The plants will die back too. Yours looks still quite green.
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As Sally Wright says.

My example is soft skinned, harvested too early for show. Colour could do with being more like sand camouflage
This one is just over a foot tall, as are its counterparts which have now all been harvested and on their way into the greenhouse to continue ripening process

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If there are more coming on the plant I would be tempted to take it off (without cutting the vine as mentioned above) as it will help the later ones develop. Our early pickings are developing the right colour, we haven't grown butternuts often so I am a bit worried about the flavour comment. It's our Fairy that has gone mad, we have one plant in the tunnel; we have the seven in my photograph the other day, two we have given away and ten still on the plant (some are probably too small to develop properly).
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Thank you all especially sally for your help.
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Harvested a super lot this year. (I hope that fllowing the instructions may help them keep well)
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