Spaghetti squash is a unique squash variety that turns into noodles when cooked properly. It is a winter kind of squash that is quite easy to grow.
However, it’s crucial to get the right timing when harvesting. Getting the timing right ensures the best flavor and consistency!
So, if you want to learn the perfect time to pick spaghetti squash, keep reading!
Signs That Your Spaghetti Squash Is Ready For Harvesting
It can be hard to tell when to harvest spaghetti squash because it has a dark yellow color and hard rind. These oval-shaped veggies weigh about 3 to 4 pounds, but some can reach up to 8 pounds!
Younger squash have a light green or white color, which means that these are not ready to be harvested yet. Once they turn a uniformly dark golden yellow color with a firm rind, it is a sign that they are ripe.
If there are some light green spots on it, I would advise you to wait a little longer to harvest them.
There are also a few tricks that you can use to check – for instance, you can use your fingernails. The squash is not yet ready to pick if your fingernail can leave a mark on the skin’s outer layer.
Spaghetti squash generally take between 90 and 110 days to grow. You can always check the seed packaging and see how many days they require to grow and mature.
If you live in the northern US, then you should begin harvesting in September.
Harvesting Summer Squash
It’s important to pick your spaghetti squash before hard frost arrives. You should also cure your squashes for a couple of weeks before storing them. Here are the steps that will get you the best results:
1. Choose deep yellow squash with brown and stiff stems (you can even do the fingernail trick to see if they are ready for harvesting).
2. Cut the stem of the squash, leaving 3 to 4 inches of it attached. Always use sharp and clean pruners to do this.
3. Avoid picking up the squash by the stems because their shelf lives are shortened if the stems break.
4. For one to two weeks, place the squash in a warm, dry place with plenty of ventilation. Temperatures between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for curing.
5. Squashes can be stored up to two months if you harvest them properly and keep them in a dry and cool location. The best storage temperatures for your spaghetti squash are between 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ripening Spaghetti Squash Off The Vine
If the winter is approaching and your squashes are not ready to be harvested, what you can do is ripen them off the vine. They will continue maturing for several weeks after picking. So, it’s better to do this than pick frozen squashes.
How your spaghetti squash ripens off the vine depends on how mature it is when it is picked. If it suddenly gets colder, then it’s better to bring your squash indoors. Place it in a sunny window with the unripe portion facing the sun after washing and drying.
To promote even ripening, you may want to turn the squash every few days. In two to three weeks, the squash should develop a deep yellow color.
If you need more information, check out this video: