Curious as to When To Pick Yellow Squash? Here is a quick and easy guide on when and how to pick and harvest yellow squash the right way!
Yellow squash is a highly nutritious vegetable that needs to be planted with access to full, direct sunlight.
However, if you’ve never grown yellow squash before, you might be curious to know: When do you harvest yellow squash?
In this article, I will cover some key information about yellow squash, including when to pick yellow squash so you know the signs to look for.
Let’s get started.
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When To Pick Yellow Squash
If you’ve not grown yellow squash, it can be difficult to know when is the perfect time to harvest these beautiful vegetables.
Yellow squash thrive and grow at a rapid rate during the summer season, with fruits reaching maturity in around 60 days.
There are a variety of signs that you will need to look out for. These signs include:
One of the easiest ways to tell if your yellow squash is ready is to check the length. You should harvest when your squash measures 6 to 8 inches long but while the skin is still tender and can be pierced by a poke with your fingernail.
While yellow squash can grow to a much bigger size if you allow them to, they retain the most flavor when they are picked at this length.
The longer the squash, the more the squash seeds will develop. The more the squash seeds develop, the tougher they will become to eat.
Bearing this in mind, picking your yellow squash at an earlier stage will therefore prevent the seeds from becoming tough and compromising any dish that you decide to cook with your yellow squash.
The Color Of The Squash
The color of ripe yellow squash might throw you off, as some people might think that they are picking the squash prematurely. However, the majority of yellow squash that are ready to be picked should be a soft, light yellow.
When the squash starts to turn a darker shade of yellow, this is a clear sign that it is starting to mature and is when problems can occur quite quickly. Squash that are too ripe have a somewhat orange tint to them.
Unfortunately, yellow squash that have been left to mature for too long develop a hard rind and seeds, which can ruin the texture and flavor of it. As a result, you will want to pick your squash before this happens.
The Plumpness Of The Blossom End
Another sign you can look for when determining whether the yellow squash is ready for harvest is the plumpness of the blossom end.
It is normal to expect some difference in diameter between the blossom end and the neck of the yellow squash.
However, if you see the end of the yellow squash begin to balloon out, it’s a sure sign that it is time to harvest it.
A yellow squash that is large and that has been allowed to grow to 2-3 inches in diameter will unfortunately have tougher seeds inside that aren’t appetizing at all. In addition to this, the skin can also become hard and tough to eat.
To prevent a tough squash, you will need to make sure that you harvest the yellow squash when it reaches 1 to 1 and a half inches in diameter. At this point in time, the seeds and the skin will still be soft.
Tips When Picking Yellow Squash
Discard The Overly Mature Squashes
It’s important to harvest the squash right away so the plant can divert energy into growing new squash.
When you are harvesting squash, make sure that you’re checking for any yellow squash that have gone bad. They shouldn’t be too difficult to spot, as the blossom end has usually started to turn brown. In addition, overly mature squash will feel squishy and might even be starting to wrinkle.
Overgrown squash missed during harvest sap energy from the plant and can limit production. If you don’t pick and discard the overly mature squash, then this will result in your plant trying to send nutrients to that squash to help it grow.
However, it’s counterproductive to allow your plant to waste valuable nutrients.
Use The Yellow Squash Relatively Quickly
When it comes to harvesting your yellow squash, you will want to make sure that you have some of your favorite recipes to hand. This comes down to the fact that yellow squash don’t tend to keep very long, so you will want to use and enjoy them within a few days of harvesting them.
If you want to store your yellow squash, make sure that you place them in an open plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to a week to extend their shelf life.
How To Pick Yellow Squash
Once you have established that your yellow squash is ready to harvest, it’s time to pick!
Squash stems can be very prickly, and can be very uncomfortable to touch due to small, prickly hairs that can be abrasive if you touch them with your bare hands.
As a result, you will want to make sure that you wear gloves for this process and take a knife with you to make it easier for yourself.
Slide your hand down the squash to get rid of any small hairs. Once you’ve done this, you will want to move the stems out of the way, and cut the squash from the vine.
Typically speaking, you will want to leave 2 to 4 inches of stem and be careful not to break this off. This is because the setm can protect the squash from rot as well as pets, meaning that it will last a little longer when it comes to storing your squash.
When harvested, be sure to rinse and wash your yellow squash thoroughly and store in the refrigerator.
So, there you have it! Hopefully after reading this article you will have a better understanding of when to pick your yellow squash.
Make sure that you time it perfectly to enjoy your fresh, home-grown produce!