Harvesting and storage
Cucurbits should be harvested as soon as they reach
maturity. Leaving the fruit on the plant too long may
result in excessively large squash, split melons, or
fruit decay. It also results in fewer flowers developing
later on and a yield reduction. When harvesting be careful
to not damage the fruit or stems. Twist off the fruit,
instead of cutting it, to avoid spreading disease.
for most squash and cucumbers is short. They may be stored
for a few weeks under refrigeration. Melons, too, lose
color and crispness if stored too long. However, some
melon flavor improves because some acidity may be lost
in slightly immature melons. Hard melons such as the
winter melons can be stored in cool conditions for many
Harvesting and storage tips
||Harvest melons when a slight crack completely circles
the stem where it is attached to the fruit. For Honey
Dew, Crenshaw, or Casaba, harvest when the fruit
softens at the blossom end and starts to turn yellow.
||Harvest slicing types when they are 8 to 10 inches
long; pickling types, at about 3 inches.
||If planning to store, leave on the vine to mature.
Mature fruits have hard outer shells.
||Summer squash is ready to be harvested 50 to 65
days after seeds are planted. Winter squash develops
in about 100 days. If you wish to store squash leave
it on the vine to mature
||To test melons for ripeness (about 90 days after
planting), rap the side of the fruit with your knuckles.
A light or metallic sound means that the fruit is
still green; a dull sound means it is ripe. This
test is most reliable in the early morning.