[Market-farming] Harvesting winter squash

Margaret Hoeffel bluemoonfarm2 at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 3 11:41:29 EDT 2003

Fellow growers:  My crop of butternut squash is not yet finished, even
though I started them from seed on April 22 and planted out about 3
weeks later.  We had the warmest growing season here in the PNW that
anyone can remember.  the squash was planted into black landscape cloth
so the soil was nice and warm when planted out and the plants never
skipped a beat.  Used drip irrigation and they did well all summer.
Although the squash is tan, many still have pale green stripes and the
stems are just beginning to turn brown at the squash end.  I think that
we have had the last of our dry and warm weather.  The rain is predicted
to arrive on Monday and next week looks like showers and cool temps all
week. A local has told me that they'll rot if I leave them out once the
rain starts.   My question is this:  if I harvest now, will they finish
ripening in storage?  I store my squash for distribution through the
winter in an unheated but insulated storage container.  should I bring
them inside for a couple of weeks first?  I would love a definite answer
from someone who knows a lot more about this issue than I.  And
also--why in the heck didn't my squash ripen by now?? Thanks in advance
for any advise on this.
Margaret Hoeffel
Blue Moon Farm
Vashon, WA

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