Delicata ripe now

veetaJuly 16, 2012

Another day, another delicata question. I'm growing them for the first time, but I grew candy roasters last year. I've got several vines in varying states of maturity, so the bigger older vines have fruit that appears ripe now (hard, pale yellow with thin green stripes). The candy roasters were different in that they were so big that I was harvesting them all quite late in the season without this confusion.

Should I leave them on the vine as long as possible, and if so, how long? Or, should I cut the ripe ones now and cure as normal? Thanks in advance for any input.

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weirdtrev

I pick when things are ripe, I have a few pumpkins that are a week or two away from being picked. Nothing wrong with picking now, doing so will actually encourage the plants to produce more. You can wait if you want, but the longer the ripe squash is on the vine, the greater the chance of it rotting before you pick it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:12AM
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veeta

Thanks--delicata on the menu soon!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:23AM
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tcstoehr

Are you sure they are ripe? Looking ripe doesn't mean ripe. I have some that look ripe but I know darn well they are not, and won't be for quite some time yet. But your climate is likely much warmer than mine.
If they are satisfactory to eat now, go ahead and harvest what you want to eat now. The rest I would leave on the vine as long as possible. Despite being a so-called "fall squash" I find Delicatas to store quite well in my unheated, attached garage. Leaving them on the vine as long as possible will delay the time at which they begin to degrade and will allow them to develop the fullest storage potential.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:46AM
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veeta

Actually, although they could not be nicked with a fingernail, when I cooked them they tasted fine but could have been sweeter/firmer, so I am not going to pick any more until the stems really start drying out.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 11:29AM
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