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Harvesting and Storing Squash

Enjoy the best flavor by harvesting squash at its peak.

Pick zucchini when the fruit is 6-8 inches long, not the size of a baseball bat. Harvest scalloped squash, like patti pans, when they are 3 to 6 inches in diameter. Summer squash taste best when small and can be used fresh, fried or for baking. 

You can store summer squash in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper drawer in your refrigerator for several days.

Harvest winter squash when the fruit is full sized and the rinds are firm and glossy. The portion touching the ground turns from cream to orange when the fruit is ripe. Use a pruner to harvest the fruit, leaving a one inch stem on each fruit.

Cure all winter squash, except for acorn, in a warm humid location. Then move to a cool, dry well-ventilated area to store for several months.

A bit more information: Check summer squash plants regularly. Fruit are ready to harvest in just 4 to 8 days after flowering.

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