You have to admit it: squash is delicious! I like the fresh flavor of the summer squash, but when it comes to winter squashes, I simply lose my mind. They have a somehow creamy texture and a sweet flavor that pairs well with both sweet and salty dishes.
If you love squash too, one type of squash you definitely must grow is spaghetti squash. Its spaghetti-like filaments look good, are tasty and can replace a bowl of pasta with success. But if this is the first time you’re growing it, you might wonder when to harvest spaghetti squash.
Read on to find out how to know if your squash is ripe and when to harvest it.
How To Know If Spaghetti Squash Is Ripe
As a logical answer to this frequently asked question, you should harvest spaghetti squash when is ripe. And now raises the second question: how to tell if spaghetti squash is ripe?
Actually, determining how mature is your squash is not complicated. You only have to pay attention to a few signs and make some simple tests. Here is what you can do:
- Monitor the color: fully ripe spaghetti squash should have a golden yellow color. If your squash is rather grayish or green, it must still mature.
- Check the brightness of the skin: spaghetti squash, just as most of the types of winter squash, tend to become dull when mature. If the skin is shiny, you can leave the fruit on the vine for a few more days.
- Check the vine: if it is rather dry and turns brown, your squash is fully ripe.
- Test the skin with your fingernail: if you can easily push your fingernail into the skin of the squash, then you should wait for it to mature properly before harvesting.
However, remember that in the case of spaghetti squash, there is a fine line between fully ripe and overripe. You might now think that overripe squash might be sweeter, but the truth is that overripe spaghetti squash is inedible.
For this reason, it is essential to understand when to harvest spaghetti squash.
Read on to find out all the tricks.
When To Harvest Spaghetti Squash
Depending on the type of soil and climate conditions you have, spaghetti squash, just as many other types of winter squash, will be ready to harvest anywhere from 60 to 110 days from sowing. This is quite a large period, therefore more specific information might help.
To narrow the average, it would be ideal to check what type of spaghetti squash you’re seeding in the first place. Yes, you read that right: there are several varieties of spaghetti squash and each of them has a different maturation period.
Here is a list of all spaghetti squash varieties and the average harvest time for each of them.
- Pasta squash can be harvested at about 90 days after sowing.
- Stripetti and Pasta Spaghetti squashes will need more or less 95 days from sowing to fully mature.
- Tivoli Spaghetti squash will be ready to harvest after about 100 days.
- Vegetable Spaghetti squash will need about 90 to 110 to mature.
To make sure you know what type of spaghetti squash you sowed, you should conserve the packaging of the seeds or remember the name of the variety, together with the sowing date, in your gardening journal.
Knowing the average maturation time, you can then simply check the other signs described above to determine if the squash is ripe and ready to be harvested.
If the squash is ripe, you should proceed to harvest as soon as possible.
You should harvest the squash on a sunny day, ideally after the morning dew dried out. Harvest the squashes by cutting the stems with a garden scissor or pruner, then leave them outside for a couple of days to dry completely.
You should pay attention to leave a few inches of stem attached to the fruit, as this will prevent early rotting. You should also proceed with the harvesting before the first winter frost.
Once you harvested all your spaghetti squashes, you can store them throughout the winter.
How To Store Spaghetti Squash
After harvesting, leave the squashes outside for a couple of days. Once the skins are completely dry, put the squashes in boxes, arranging them in single layers, and store the boxes in a basement or cellar for up to 6 months.
Consume immediately the squashes that present bruises on their skins, as they will rot earlier.
Have you ever grown spaghetti squash? Do you have any tips or questions to share? Please leave a comment below!
And don’t forget, it’s better to harvest unripe squashes than harvesting after a frost!