Vegetable farming can be fun when done correctly. Garden grown spaghetti squash is easy to plant, mature, and harvest. However, it is essential to how to pick it.
Picking spaghetti squash requires the right timing. This determines whether you are getting quality and results for your gardening efforts.
Picking the vegetable at the right time ensures the taste is right. Do not pick them before they are ready or wait for them overstay in the garden.
There are many features to look for before picking your spaghetti squash. These include the spaghetti skin color, size, and how tender or firm the skin is. With a keen eye, you can be able to observe all these and act.
When To Pick Spaghetti Squash
There are several squash types, but the spaghetti type has grown in popularity over the years. It derives its name from the spaghetti flesh look when cooked. It is grown due to its nutritional value and wide range of uses in your diet.
Most squashes do well during the cold season and are ready to pick in the winter. Picking spaghetti squash before maturity affects its overall quality and taste as well. No one wants to mess up the taste of such a delicious vegetable. So how do you know when to pick it?
Timing For Spaghetti Squash Picking
It takes between 40 to 45 days after spaghetti squash blooms for you to pick. Since you are not using all the ripe produce in a day, you need to prepare where to store them in advance. The storage location has to be dry and relatively cool. The vegetable is perishable and proper storage keeps it fresh longer.
Planting and tending take much of your time, and it can be frustrating to see your vegetables get spoiled due to lack of timing.
Whether you are using them at home or not, a good spaghetti squash should be ripe and fresh; this can only be achieved when picked at their prime.
Monitor Spaghetti Squash Color
As the vegetable matures, its color changes. Towards maturity, the color transitions from creamy greenish white to a darkish shade and then golden yellow. At the golden yellow stage, it is the time to pick. Do not pick them when they still have the green shade since they are not ready.
The color and size of spaghetti squash is the surefire way to alert you it is time to pick them from the garden. When they are fully mature and turn yellow, you need to start picking them. The more they overstay in the garden, the higher chances of losing their properties.
Testing The Spaghetti Squash
The easiest way to test to know when to pick is through scratching. Use your fingernails and gently rub the rind skin. If the top cover comes off easily, the vegetable is not mature for harvesting. It would be best if you gave it extra days to mature. When they are ripe, they are resistant to gentle scratches.
The mature ones have their stems firm. However, if you leave the squash unpicked, the stems naturally detach from the squash, which is a bad sign. This should be avoided at all costs.
Size Of Mature Spaghetti Squash
It is vital to be familiar with the sizes of spaghetti squash. A healthy one should weigh between 4 and 8 pounds. Smaller squashes are common, but their size is attributed to the garden fertility level, soil type, and amount of water used during watering.
How To Pick Spaghetti Squash From The Garden After Maturity
Now that you have confirmed your spaghetti squash is ripe and ready for picking, you need to have the right tools and techniques to ensure you do not hurt them. The vegetables are easily damaged when mishandled.
By using sharp and clean shears, cut the mature spaghetti squash from the bush or vine. Ensure that the stem is at least 4 inches from the fruit. When the stem is left attached to the squash, it prevents the vegetable from rotting from the cut scar.
The stem left on the squash protects it from pests and other organisms that speed up rotting. The stem helps in keeping the veggie fresh for a longer period. Without the stem, the wound that is left makes it spoil, thus losing its flavor and nutritional value.
Care has to be taken when moving the spaghetti squash from the garden to the store. It has to be carried upright to avoid breaking the stem or scratching it to inflict wounds. Ensure you lift them from the bottom for safe movement.
Depending on the weather conditions you expose your spaghetti squash to, you need to be careful with the ones you pick. Only go for ones without soft spots and heavy according to size. Squashes with stems missing cracked or deep scratches should not be mixed with healthy ones during picking and storing.
Picking spaghetti squash should be a straightforward procedure. You do not need any specialized skills; all you need is to do the right thing at the right time. If you provide the proper conditions to the vegetable, the results are excellent.
Apart from timing during picking, the vegetable will scream at you when it is ready to be picked; it does this by changing its color to screaming golden yellow. There is no way you can miss a ready-to-pick piece. However, you need to keep monitoring them and do tests and prepare for their picking.
If you are not sure about ready-to-pick spaghetti squash, the tests are easy and foolproof. A little observation and touch are all you need to harvest your produce.
However, you should avoid picking spaghetti squash when mature but green. The ripening process is time-consuming, but worth the wait to yield the best results for your vegetable.