Acorn squash is one of the most popular varieties of winter squash, which come in many different types packed with vitamins. Winter squash is called just that because you harvest winter squash when it has matured. The hard rind and rich flavor found in matured winter squash is what makes them well-suited for storage in the cooler, winter months. Although the many types of winter squash come in various sizes and shapes, and each have their own particular signs of a maturity, and thus signs that they are ready to be harvested, the way that you grow and harvest acorn squash is similar to the way you grow and harvest other varieties of acorn squash.
Winter squash, contrary to it’s name, typically begins to mature towards the end of august and in September, and there are a few ways to tell when acorn squash, or other winter squash, have matured and are ready to be harvested. When growing acorn squash, you will notice the color changes. When acorn squash ripens, the color of the squash will become a very dark green, and the bottom of the acorn squash, the part of the squash near the ground, will turn from yellow to orange in color. This is the easiest sign to tell when to pick acorn squash, however there are other signs, as well. The stem of the acorn squash will become shriveled and brown, and the rind of acorn squash hardens quite a bit when it is time to harvest acorn squash.
The visible signs of ripened acorn squash make this winter squash very easy to know when the right time to harvest is, however there are additional, helpful tips about harvesting acorn squash. Typically, acorn squash are ready to be picked after eighty to one hundred days. Also, it is important to remember that acorn squash can be damaged by frost and soft spots. Acorn squash with these signs of damage won’t keep well, so they likely should be discarded. It’s also a good plan to leave acorn squash on their vine a bit longer when you are planning to store the squash and not use it immediately. This way the rind of the acorn squash can harden more to allow the acorn squash to store better.
After harvesting acorn squash, you can store them for several months if stored properly. To store harvested acorn squash, keep them in a temperature of around fifty to fifty-five degrees Farenheight, in a dry area, and do not layer the acorn squash, but place them in a single layer. Now you know when to pick acorn squash and how to store this popular winter squash, too!
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