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Summer and Winter Squash: Growing, Harvesting and Storage Tips

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

Certain vegetables take new form or shape based on the environment or season in which they are grown. It implies this kind of vegetables produced both in winters and summers but the shape, color and taste differ significantly. One such versatile veggie is squash. Based on how they are used and when they are harvested, squash is generally divided into two categories.

Summer Squash: As the name indicates, summer squash is harvested during the summer season before veggie matures completely. As harvesting takes place before full growth, they have a shorter shelf life and the skin is edible. The summer squash varieties include zucchini, crookneck and straight neck squash.

Winter Squash: This squash is harvested in autumn after or just when they are about to reach full maturity. Their skin is inedible and they relatively have a longer shelf life than summer squash. The winter varieties include pumpkins, spaghetti squash, butternut squash and acorn squash.

Power-packed with essential nutrients, squash is a versatile veggie that is available all year-round. Organic squash suppliers and distributors in Mexico offer the premium quality of squash to customers based in Mexico, U.S. and Canada.

Grow Squash with Utmost Care

The primary step involves covering the plantation site with decaying leaves, compost or bark for insulating or enriching the soil. This even helps in protecting shallow roots of squash, discouraging the growth of weeds and retaining moisture also. Start applying some fertilizer as a side-dress application as soon as the first blooms appear. If squash blooms flowers that stops growing when it is very small or never becomes actual fruit, then pollination is a detrimental factor. Consistent and frequent watering is of utmost importance for the good growth of the fruit. At least, once in a week water deeply so that soil remains moist 4 inches down. Once harvesting begins, make fertilization an occasional practice for getting lots of fruits. If less quantity of water or poor quality of fertilization used during the growth process, the end result would be malformed or bad shape fruits.

Getting a good growth of squash is a tricky process. Thus, organic squash suppliers in Mexico always source the vegetable from such farms that know this art well and never disappoint their suppliers with their produce.

Different Ways to Harvest Different Kinds of Squash

Summer Squash: 60 days to maturity is considered as an ideal time for harvesting summer squash. When the squash is small and tender, say as 6-8 inches long, this is the best time to harvest it. Keep checking plants regularly for the new produce and once squash starts producing, start picking it regularly. The summer squash is prone to heat and frost damage, therefore pick them before the arrival of first frosts. One can store the fresh produce of summer squash up to ten days in a refrigerator.

Winter Squash: The best time to harvest different varieties of winter squash in late September through October when the rind is deep in color and hard also. The winter squash has a longer shelf life, thus they can be stored in a dark and cool place for a few months. The cool and dark place can be a cabinet, shelf or drawer in a kitchen. If your bedroom remains cool, you can even stash them under a bed. The ideal temperature range for storing them is 10 to 18°C (50-60°F). Except for acorn squash, other varieties of winter squash last for 2-4 months when stored properly.

Storage Conditions of Winter Squash

Keep checking them regularly to ensure that it is not developing soft spots. If you find spots, remove the damaged part and use it as earliest as possible.

ü Wrap them in a paper or cloth while putting it in a refrigerator or in a drawer. Try to place it at such places where it cannot come into the contact of any hard surfaces.

ü Try to store them at even temperature as frequent fluctuations in the temperature may encourage rotting.

Squash with thinner skin needs no storage. Such varieties include spaghetti squash, pie pumpkins, etc.

If you are purchasing it from Organic Squash Distributors in Mexico, look for an unblemished one. Any little spot on its outer skin will get worse with time affecting its quality and taste. The Mexican variety of Squash is available from June to October and considered as an ideal choice for stir-fries. It tastes lip-smacking when added in sautéed, grilled or roasted vegetables like cabbage. Mild in flavour, Mexican squash is also known as Tatuma squash and is grown locally at farms in California. So, if you are fond of gardening and have ample space, then produce squash in your own gardens as per the tips shared above.


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