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How to Identify Summer Squash

By Constance Barker
Summer squash has tender outside skin.
zucchini image by Silvia Bogdanski from Fotolia.com

There are many varieties of summer squash, including zucchini, crookneck, sun burst, yellow and patty pan squash. Summer squash is picked in the summer before it has ripened, whereas a winter squash is picked when it is fully ripe. Summer squash is eaten cooked, grilled or raw. Even the skin is edible in summer squash. There are differences between summer and winter squash and ways to identify the summer varieties.

Feel the outside skin of a zucchini, a crookneck or yellow squash. The outside skins of summer squashes are tender, not hard.

Look for summer squash during the summer months at local grocery stores. Winter squash is normally the only squash available during the winter unless you live in an area that has warm weather year round.

Cut into a squash. The knife should slice into summer squash easily. It is much more difficult to cut into winter squash.

Inspect the seeds in the squash. Summer squash seeds are soft and edible.

Pick up a squash to test its weight. A summer squash will feel heavy and firm.

Look at the color of the squash. A summer squash skin will look bright and have a shiny gloss.



  • Eat a summer squash within a week of purchase, as it can go badly quickly.
  • The tender skin of summer squash can bruise easily, so handle with care.

About the Author


Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.