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Long Storage Squash

Discussion in 'The Harvest: Recipes, Canning, Preserving' started by digitS', Feb 24, 2019.

  1. Feb 24, 2019
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    Cucurbita moschata,

    IMG_20190223_152625.jpg
    Autumn Crown, f1

    It seems that there may have been another time that I have had a squash this late into winter but, maybe not. Usually, they are having problems right through January, so this is about 3 week beyond a safe date. Hey!

    It was my plan to keep several well into February. I have grown Early Butternut a couple of times. I'd prefer a smaller squash but came to realize that C. moschata has a good reputation for storage. Having enough days to maturity is a problem in my garden.

    Curing might also be a problem for me. Mostly, I have hastened to squirrel them away on basement shelves. Protecting from frost is important but it may have finally gotten through to me that winter squash should stay somewhere dry and cool for a couple of weeks. Maybe, fresh air is important. I'm not sure if my basement has what squash really should have, right after harvest.

    One Cha Cha Kabocha also went right through January and well into February with zero problems. Tasty! I like the flavor of C. maxima squashes! Kabochas are especially good ... or, that variety is. I have grown several kabocha varieties but that is the only one that consistently gets thru the growing and storage season just fine.

    Autumn Crown hasn't had the best flavor. I'm curious if long storage has improved the flavor but I suspect that it probably doesn't measure up to a kabocha, buttercup, or a Hubbard. Still, it's kind of a cute thing and the vines are fairly productive. We will bake it tomorrow and maybe I can risk having more squash for storage in 2019!

    Steve
     
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  2. Feb 24, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    in my experience winter squash should be cured for a while after picking to make sure any injuries during picking/moving will callous over before being put into storage. in storage they need some air flow - if stacked too closely it seems like the fungi get going.

    some people go as far as washing them with bleach water but we've never done that.

    after a few months they are usually gone here, but i don't mind cooking them up and putting portions in the freezer for later eating.
     
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  3. Feb 27, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    I have never tried to store squash. Don't have a basement or anywhere to put them. I did keep a wash pan of Delicata squash, but we ate them pretty fast.
     
  4. Feb 27, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    we don't have a root cellar either. we can store them in the garage until it gets to be the really cold part of winter then we can bring them in and put a box by the front door where it gets cooler, but that is really not the best place to put them either, but it is better than nothng. within a few weeks of that time we usually need to put them up somehow or eat them. oh darn! yum! :) we likes our squab (what we call squash or squish).
     
  5. Feb 27, 2019
    Collector

    Collector Garden Addicted

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    We still have 2 or 3 spaghetti squash left from the garden and still in pretty good shape. We had a bunch of white acorn squash also but it started to go soft about a month ago so we made soup and froze some of it. We did the weak bleach rub down on the squash this year, i am not sure there was any difference. I picked up the idea from @w_r_ranch, maybe it helps in the warmer temps of Texas to wipe them down with bleach. We only had 1 ripe butternut last year so going to have to find another variety that may be faster to mature.
     
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  6. Feb 27, 2019
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    Okay, there is more to squash than how long you can keep them around in whatever conditions that is available. However ... this little squash had much improved flavor from the wait.

    Starch changes to sugars in some foods and maybe that was happening. If there's a "squash spiciness," maybe that was happening, also. I have to say that right after harvest, Autumn Crown would have only rated a princeling's garland. Better now!

    @Collector , should you be happy with those spaghetti squash? This is now the last month of winter. That is about 5 months for storing them.

    I made an extra effort to get the Cha Cha Kabocha seed for 2019. Since they look so much like Buttercup, I need to separate them so that I know which vines are which while they are growing. Another "more to squash" quality is the question of how productive are the plants. I'm really not sure because they blend together until harvest!

    Production is one reason I took Early Butternut off my list. Later, I began to wonder if those plants would have tolerated closer spacing. Squash do take up quite a lot of room aannnd there is the difficulty of weeds in the squash patch.

    Steve
     
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  7. Feb 27, 2019
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    Most years I spread paper or cardboard in the winter squash growing area and top that with wheat straw to keep the weeds down. The straw holds the paper or cardboard down. It makes a big difference. I probably space them a bit tighter than optimum and am constantly turning the growing vines back into that mulched area.
     
  8. Feb 27, 2019
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    That "turning back" is something I do quite a bit of, @Ridgerunner ! Mulching ideas always make me hesitate because of the problems I have had with voles.

    Ha! What in Heavens is this?

    https://www.eatwintersquash.com/squash

    I found this site looking for information on Tetsukabuto Squash. Read about it in my Johnny's catalog a few weeks ago and wondering about it. (Might be of help to Collector if'n he is looking for more diversity.)

    Gotta say, this "eating winter squash" is an important part of my interest in gardening!

    Steve
     
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  9. Feb 27, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    from those pictures it looks like what we grow is a cross between at least three squash, the buttercup, kabocha and some other unknown orange punkin. the ends on our squash barely have the odd cap down there any longer. at no time have i planted Kabocha or the orange kind so those pollens came from the bees from some other garden or the cross was already in the seeds we got all those years ago.

    we eat 'em anyways. they're so good. :)
     
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  10. Feb 27, 2019
    Collector

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    @digitS', some of those squash on that site you posted look delicious. I may branch out and try some other varieties this year. I really only eat the spaghetti squash, I like the others ok but don’t eat them much. I would like to find one that will grow here dependably and I enjoy eating more regular.
     
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