How to Harvest Butternut Squash


Butternut squash, known as a winter squash, is commonly found on dinner tables in fall and winter months. Harvest butternut squash in late September or October, depending upon your climate. Wherever you live, harvest the squash before the first hard frost. While a light frost won't damage the squash, a hard freeze may cause it to rot.

Step 1

Gently press against the rind. If the rind is hard, and the squash is a deep, golden color, it is ready to harvest.

Step 2

Lift up on the squash so that the vine it is attached to also raises up.

Step 3

Cut the squash from the vine, leaving 3 to 4 inches of vine stem. Repeat steps 1 through 3 until you have harvested all of the ripe butternut squash.

Step 4

Gently remove any dirt from the outside of the squash, being careful to not puncture the rind.

Step 5

Gently twist on the vine stem that is still connected to the squash. If the vine is dry and ready to be removed, it will easily pop off. Removing the stem before storage will prevent it from damaging or poking into the rind of the other butternut squashes.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not wash the squash until you are ready to use it, as excess moisture during storage can cause rot and damage to the rind.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning scissors


  • University of Illinois Extension: Winter Squash - Watch Your Garden Grow
  • University of Massachussetts: Winter Squash Harvest and Storage
Keywords: butternut squash, harvest squash, picking butternut

About this Author

A freelance writer for over 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.