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This year is my first for growing butternut squash. I have picked up some great advice from Italophile (Thanks Italophile) and others on this board and my squashes are doing really well although I havn't fed them yet which I probably should have done.
The question is, when are they ready for harvest? I have several that are about 10" long and they are green and stripy coloured. Do they have to change colour on the vine when they are ready or is that nutty colour one that comes after picking and whilst in storage?
Also, how do I store them and for how long? I am really looking forward to having my first taste from them.
Unfortunately I have mislaid the seed packed and also neglected to make a note of the variety (a T&M one I think).
Hi Madeleine, they are ready whenever they are big enough to use but will become tastier and sweeter as they mature. There is a colour change but that will happen whether they are on or off the vine. Personally, I leave them on the vine until either all the leaves have yellowed (so growth is therefore finished) or the first frost is forecast. They cannot take any degree of frost and won't store if they get even a mild ground frost, so don't let that happen. Basically I treat them as a true winter vegetable and store them indoors on windowsills until they are needed - they look very attractive and I've had them last until Spring (they might last even longer, but I couldn't!)
I read your post and was going to answer, but Bob has said exactly what I was going to say. When I harvest them they are beige.
Thanks Bob and Lizzie. Re storing them indoors on windowsills, we have radiators beneath all our windowsills. Would that be too warm for them? I had wondered about keeping them in the garage but we have had mice in there that have nibbled at our potatoes in the past.