When To Harvest Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a very popular winter squash, but when is the best time to harvest it? If you don’t know how long to let your acorns ripen on the vine, they can be hard as rocks and inedible. In this article, we’ll tell you all about when to harvest acorn squash so that you can enjoy these delicious fruits all winter long!
The best time to harvest acorn squash is when the skin is hard.
When the skin of a squash is hard, it’s ready to harvest. A few signs that your squash is ready for harvesting include:
- The skin is hard and not soft or mushy.
- The squash is not too large or small.
- The sides of the squash are flat and smooth, with no bulges or indentations where you can feel insides pressing against them from inside (this may indicate that there are seeds inside).
- You should be able to see green coloring on some parts of the skin but also some yellow coloring as well—the green indicates freshness while the yellow indicates ripeness (and will turn orange when fully ripe).
It should be easy to scratch the skin with your thumbnail, but it shouldn’t pierce it.
It should be easy to scratch the skin with your thumbnail, but it shouldn’t pierce it. If you can pierce the skin, it’s not ready to harvest. The skin should feel firm and somewhat hard, but when you scratch it, there will be some give in the flesh beneath.
If you need help deciding whether or not your squash is ready for harvest, try this simple test: stab your thumbnail into a spot on one of your acorn squash fruits that isn’t near any of its leaves or other fruit. If you can’t even get the tip of your nail into the fleshy part and have to jam down hard enough so that there’s no give at all, then chances are good that your squash is still too immature for harvesting!
If you see damage or blemishes on the fruit, cut them off right away and hope that the rest ripens before something else gets to it.
You can use the damaged fruit for cooking, compost, feeding the animals and chickens.
Harvest small acorn squash early and let the big ones get sweeter as they get bigger.
You can harvest small acorn squash early, which will give you more squash. If you let the squash get bigger, they’ll store and keep better but be less sweet. Harvesting before they are fully mature is fine, but we recommend waiting until at least two weeks after the blossom dies back to pick them so that all their sweetness has had a chance to develop.
Make sure that there aren’t any rotting squash on the vines, since they will invite bugs and mold.
Before harvesting, check your squash for any signs of rot or mold. This can happen if you let the squash get too old and have been sitting in the ground for a long time. Make sure that there aren’t any rotting squash on the vines, since they will invite bugs and mold.
Checking for bugs is important because they love to eat up your acorn squash before you even get to taste them! Check all areas of the plant, including its leaves and stems, as well as under them (the soil). If you find a bug infestation take care of it immediately by using an organic spray such as neem oil or pyrethrin spray available at most garden centers/home improvement stores; be sure to follow directions carefully when using pesticides around pets/children/pets who might eat what you grow!
Harvest at first light while it’s still cool out so you don’t overheat while harvesting.
Harvesting acorn squash at first light while it’s still cool out is ideal. If you harvest when it’s hot, you risk damaging the fruit by allowing it to overheat.
If you must harvest in the heat of the day, make sure your plants are well watered before picking and pick fruit that is fully ripe. You can also wait until after sunset and then harvest them when they’re cool again (or even better, wait until morning if possible).
Acorn squash ripen quickly, so check your plants regularly!
The acorn squash is one of those plants that ripen quickly, so it’s important to check your plants regularly! The squash should be firm, but not hard and dry. If you harvest too early, the flesh will still be hard and immature. If you wait too long, they may get soft and start to rot in storage. Harvesting at the right time is key!
Acorn squash is an easy and very rewarding plant to grow. The only downside is that it ripens quickly, so make sure you check your plants regularly for ripe fruit. You’ll know when acorn squash are ready for harvest by checking the skin—it should be hard enough that you can scratch it with your thumbnail, but not so much that it pierces the skin. Acorn squash are ready when they’re large enough to eat and have turned a dark green color (with tips of orange).