winter squash

dab07August 20, 2012

I read the posts on winter squash harvest and still have a couple of questions.

FIrst of all, it's been 71 days since I transplanted out the three kinds of winter squash I started from seed. (The 100-day varieties were started on 5/18, the 95-day kind on 5/29.)

My understanding is that "days to harvest" is from date of transplant, is this correct?

Also, do buttercup types turn dark green only when ripe? Mine are already that color, but it's way too early for them to be ripe according to the maturity date. Or do they attain their final color weeks before they're actually ripe?

Last question: Can winter squash really become overripe on the vine?

I"m not sure when to harvest them. I don't want to do it too early. I've been thinking of waiting until the stems turn brown or right before danger of frost.

Thank you.

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You can post this in the vegetable gardening forum, but I think others there will say to let the buttercups stay on the plants as long as you can -- until nights are in the 40's. They are the best winter squash! I have butternuts this year but my buttercup planting failed. Good luck, I'm envious.

In my experience, buttercups start out green and stay green. The stems turn brown and woody when the fruits are ripe, and you must be sure to gather them with the stub of stem attached. It's a barrier to microorganisms.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 8:46PM
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Oh thank you. Interesting that they start green and stay that way. Looking at my notes now, I don't think I even planted buttercups! I planted three kinds I'd never grown before, Sibley, Sweet Meat and Sweet Dumpling. I'll take a picture tomorrow and post it on the veg. gardening page. Either the Buttercups were mislabeled or they're actually unripe Sweetmeats? But the shape is blockier than Sweetmeats are supposed to be.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:11PM
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All three of those are great squash. If some are a little off type, so be it. They will be delicious! I think all of them change colors when they are ripe, with noticeable lightening of the rinds.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:32AM
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