Summer squash is easy to grow, and you can harvest it early. However, you’ll still need to wait a few months to get the best taste. Keep reading the article to know, when to pick summer squash?.
The summer squash is a vegetable that is harvested in the late summer or early fall in the United States. It is popular in the Eastern United States and Canada, as well as southern states like Georgia. The summer squash is an underground gourd that has a sweet flavor and light orange flesh. The summer squash can be varied with different varieties. The most common variety of summer squash is yellow summer squash.
Learn what to look for in summer squash so you can enjoy it and eat the best summer squash ever.
How to Pick Summer Squash?
You’ve learned when to pick, how to eat, and how to store summer squash. But if you want to make sure your squash gets to the table as fresh as possible, there’s one thing you need to know about harvesting it. It’s best to cut it away from the vine with a garden pruner or sharp knife.
As fall comes, squash gets sweeter and sweeter. Now is the time to get squash from the garden. Squash can be eaten cooked like winter squash or pureed for a soup. Summer squash can be eaten raw, grilled, or baked with a savory topping.
For more questions about vegetable gardening, see our other blogs and visit our garden centers in Chicagoland! Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery in the Chicagoland area.
When to Pick Summer Squash?
Harvest zucchini, crookneck, and yellow squash when they are 6 to 8 inches long. Harvest scalloped varieties when they are 3 to 6 inches in diameter. You can harvest zucchini and yellow summer squash as baby squash when the fruit is 4 to 6 inches long.
Baby summer squash is not only delicious but also nutritious. They have a low water content, so they need to be cooked properly to achieve the desired texture and flavor. To prevent the squash from turning mushy, cook them gently for 5-7 minutes in a covered pan with a few tablespoons of water.
Check your plants at least every two or three days once they begin to produce fruit. Leaving large fruit on the vine will slow and can even stop production; large squashes that go to seed signal the plant that its life cycle is ending. Harvest summer squash before the fruit grows large and seedy.
Squashes are a type of cucurbit. They are generally available in the summer. To get a perfect squash, select it when it is neither too hard nor too soft. Squashes that are too hard to be marked by a thumbnail are past their prime and should be discarded.
How to Store Summer Squash?
Store summer squash by gently wiping the fruit clean with a damp cloth and then placing it in a perforated plastic bag (to maintain humidity) in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator. You can store summer squash for up to 4 days if you keep it in the refrigerator, but if you’re planning to eat it sooner, consider storing it at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Storing summer squash at temperatures below 50°F (10°C) can cause it to be more susceptible to chilling injury. Chilling injury is a type of food damage that occurs when fresh produce is stored at low temperatures for long periods. The result can be a loss of quality, color, texture, or smell.
Zucchinis can be frozen for use in bread and soups. Peel, slice, or cube, and blanch the fruit by placing the squash in a wire basket then plunge it into a large kettle of rapidly boiling water for three minutes. Then cool the squash by plunging the basket into ice water for another three minutes. Drain and pack the fruit in freezer containers.
Frozen summer squash is ready for eating as soon as it is done. However, you need to remove the skin of winter squash before cooking it. If you do not, the skins will toughen, which is not a good thing.
There’s a lot to consider when picking out which squash to plant this fall, including what kind of squash you want to grow, what time of year to plant it, and how much you need to grow your crop. Once you’ve selected the ideal variety for you and your garden, here are three ways to maximize your harvest.