Picking Butternut Squash After First Frost

  • Thread starter Phoenix1
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Aug 8, 2020
  • #1
My lady and I have been throwing our food scraps in one of our flower gardens for about a year now. We figured it would compost and turn into decent fertilizer for the plants. It actually did, but our idea has led to some unintended consequences.

Earlier in this growing season, I noticed that we had a few squash plants growing right where we throw our food scraps. I guess the seeds and pits from past meals decided to take root. I saw the leaves, but I didn't know what type of squash they were. I originally thought they might be zucchini or yellow squash. I couldn't tell until a few weeks later when I noticed a bunch of small green butternut squash growing. Needless to say, I was very excited. We love butternut squash and I would be ecstatic if what I saw grew into full size, edible food! Throughout the summer, I kept checking on my squash and grew even more excited. I even watched as a tiny baby acorn squash grew into a huge monster. Bigger than I have ever seen before. We just kept letting everything grow.

Fast forward to this morning. We had a hard frost last night. When I woke up around 8am, the ground looked white like it was covered with snow. It melted quickly, but the frost took its toll on my tomato plants and the butternut and acorn squash leaves. Those were all killed, but the squash still looked very good. I read online that butternut squash won't survive a frost. Since mine look so good now, I'm hoping we avoided that devastation. I got worried though and I decided to cut each fruit and place them in the sun. They say that after cutting these from the vine, you should let them sit in the sun for a while to "harden." Most of mine already look pretty good. They've got a tan skin that's firm. Others still appear to be green. I'll wait to see if those ripen.

The temps are supposed to rise to normal levels this week, so I may just bring these guys inside tonight and then leave them outside in the sun to finish ripening. Check them out. Pretty nice, right?

Here's a picture of the flower garden in which the squash grew. I already pulled all the plants out and threw them on the lawn so I can run them over with the lawnmower.


And here is my entire collection. One of the squash split after a heavy rain this summer. I am going to keep it to see if I can save any edible parts.


Here's the biggest one. This is the one I watched most closely throughout the summer.


This stuff has got to be worth some money! I spend a fortune on squash every year. I would love for these to ripen so I can make some nice butternut squash soup out of them.

Okay, I have a few questions for you, if you've got experience with this sort of thing:

1. Have you ever picked green or otherwise not completely ripe butternut squash from the vine? Have they ripened by themselves after being picked?

2. Can butternut or acorn squash survive a frost?

I'm concerned that some damage has been done to these that I haven't noticed yet. Some folks say they can survive a frost while others say they can't. I'd love to know from an avid gardener who has experience.
Picking Butternut Squash After First Frost was posted on 09-20-2020 by Phoenix1 in the Cooking forum.
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