When To Harvest Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) is a winter squash that has a long growing season. In fact, it takes 90 frost-free days for spaghetti squash to mature into an edible fruit. Spaghetti squash plants are relatively easy to grow and produce large fruits that don’t need to be planted too deeply in the ground. Once your spaghetti squash plants have produced their first flowers, there are still several steps you can take before harvesting them so they’ll continue producing future crops. Learn how to tell when a spaghetti squash plant is ready for picking and how best to harvest this vegetable so you can enjoy its unique taste throughout the coming year!
Spaghetti squash is a winter squash known for its noodle-like insides that can be used in place of pasta and rice.
Spaghetti squash is a winter squash that’s known for its noodle-like insides. While it looks like a typical yellow-orange summer squash on the outside, its flesh can be scraped out and eaten in long, spaghetti-like strands. Because of this, you can use it to replace pasta in many recipes—it’s also a good source of vitamins A and C as well as fiber.
Because spaghetti squash has such an unusual appearance and texture, there are lots of questions about how best to cook and eat it! We’ve put together this guide to answer some common queries about this unique veggie:
When To Harvest Spaghetti Squash
When to harvest spaghetti squash will depend on the variety you’re growing and the length of time you’ve allowed for it to grow. In general, here are some guidelines for when to harvest spaghetti squash:
- When your spaghetti squash is about 8 inches long
- When your spaghetti squash is about 12 inches long
- When your spaghetti squash is about 18 inches long
- When your spaghetti squash is about 24 inches long
- When your spaghetti squash is about 30 inches long
- or- -when a worm has begun eating through the shell of an unharvested flower
How To Tell If A Spaghetti Squash Is Ripe And Ready To Pick
- When the spaghetti squash is ripe, it will be a dark green color.
- The skin will be hard, but the squash will be soft and easy to puncture with your fingernail.
- The seeds inside of it should be brown and dry.
- The flesh should also be yellow and soft (not crisp or hard).
Cut A Spaghetti Squash Off The Vine Without Damaging The Plant
How To Harvest A Whole Spaghetti Squash Plant
Harvesting spaghetti squash is the same as harvesting other squash.
- Locate the fruit on the vine, and cut off its stem by cutting between the fruit and vine. This will allow you to remove it from the vine easily.
- Carefully cut the fruit off of its stem (remember, these are sharp!), then hold it over a bowl until all of its seeds fall out.
Storing Your End-Of-Season Spaghetti Squash Harvest
Once your spaghetti squash has been harvested, it’s important to know the best ways to store them. If they are not properly stored, they will lose their flavor and become dry.
There are many different options for storing your end-of-season spaghetti squash harvest depending on how long you want to keep them:
- Store in a cool, dry place (60 to 70 degrees F) for up to 6 months
- Store in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (do not wash before storing)
- Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry place (60–70 degrees F) for up to 3 months The key here is using that paper bag! A lot of people make the mistake of storing their spaghetti squashes out on their countertop where they can get all moist and gross from condensation from being against watermelon or other summer fruits. That’s why I recommend keeping things wrapped up tight in newspaper so everything stays nice and fresh
Knowing when to harvest spaghetti squash is one of the most important steps in growing a successful crop. Spaghetti squash has a long growing season and requires 90 frost-free days, so it’s best to start seeds indoors about three months before the last frost.
Spaghetti squash is a winter squash that grows throughout the milder parts of the United States. The name comes from its long, cylindrical shape and noodle-like insides. Spaghetti squash can be eaten raw or cooked, and it works well in place of pasta or rice to curb your carb cravings.
The best time to harvest spaghetti squash depends on your location, but in general you should allow around 90 frost-free days before harvesting so they ripen completely. Start seeds indoors about three months before last frost, then transplant them into an area where they will receive full sun during summer days and partial shade at night (they’re heat-sensitive).
As you can see, spaghetti squash is a plant that requires some attention. However, by starting seeds early and maintaining proper watering and fertilizing throughout the growing season, you will have an abundant harvest of tasty winter squash to enjoy all year long!