Summer has come and gone and Fall is now here which means the first frost is not far behind. I tried a new vegetable in the garden this year “Yellow Spaghetti Squash”. One reason was I always like to experiment with new vegetables and second I am on a Gluten Free Diet because I have Celiac Disease and was looking for a good substitute for spaghetti.
Spaghetti Squash usually takes between 90 to 100 days to reach its maturity, depending on the variety. You can tell it is ready to harvest when the fruit has turned a deep yellow color, and the rind is hard. Another way to make sure it is ready to harvest, is your fingernail to test the hardness of the skin. You want to make sure it does not give anywhere on the fruit.
Once you are satisfied it is ready to harvest, cut the stem leaving about 2″ so as not to damage the skin. Leave the squash in a warm location for about a week so the skin can harden and cure. Once cured store the fruit in a cool, dry area with temperatures between 50-55 degrees and low humidity.
Store the fruit in single layers with the fruit not touching each other to lessen the chance of rot. Under these conditions the fruit can be stored for up to six months. The storage could be a basement, unheated garage, or root cellar.
For more ideas on how and where to store them check out Colorado State University (CSU) Extension Fact Sheet #7.6
Article and pictures contributed by Rich Young, Colorado Master Gardener.