Monday, September 26, 2011

Tech tip: Optimize Winter Squash Flavor

Winter squash market display
For many growers autumn means it's time to harvest, store, and enjoy winter squash. Different squashes achieve their best flavor at different times. Here are some guidelines:

Acorns (and the red squashes- Sunshine and Red Kuri) are delicious right from the field, but only last a maximum of 3 months.

Spaghetti Squash is ready to eat when picked and will keep up to 3 months.

Delicata and Sweet Dumplings can be enjoyed immediately after harvest, and store for 4 months.

Buttercups are sweeter after a few weeks of storage, and will keep up to 4 months.

Kabochas get sweeter with a few weeks of storage. The green ones will keep 4-5 months and Confection will keep up to 6 months.

Butternuts and Hubbards are better after a few weeks in storage and will keep to 6 months.

Whether you've grown for your own consumption or for market or CSA sales, the general rule of thumb for best flavor and storage is to consume the smallest squashes first.


edilum said...

We grew some pumpkins from your seeds here in Ireland. We just took them off their vine at the weekend and moved them onto paletts as slugs were eating the inside, but now the problem is there are starting to rot around the stem, I wonder is it the weather. Is there anything I can do to halt the roting? we still have a couple of weeks to halloween.

Johnny's Seeds News said...

The rot near the stem attachment is most likely caused by a fungal disease. You can spray Oxidate or a weak bleach solution (10ppm) to the affected area. This may slow the progression but not necessarily halt it. Proper curing is also very important.