Don’t harvest winter squash yet…

Although they often look very tempting to harvest now, in September, winter squash and pumpkins still need a little longer to ripen before you harvest them.

Fruits are usually ready to harvest in October. The first thing to look out for is the stalk which holds the pumpkin/squash to the main stem will also turn brown and dry. ┬áThen, to check that they are ripe, try pushing your thumbnail through the skin – it should be tough and almost impenetrable. Be sure to harvest them before the first frosts, and if they’re not quite ripe you can ripen them up in a greenhouse or warm, sunny room inside. You can expect them to store well in at room temperature for several weeks (sometimes months!)

If yours are behind, it might be a good idea to pick off weaker, smaller fruit leaving 3-5 larger fruits, and prune back the plant so that it can focus energy on the fruit.

 


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