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How to Harvest Butternut Squash

By Traci Joy ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning scissors


  • Store the squash in an area where the temperature is cool; between 35 and 55 degrees F. Do not pile the squash more than two or three deep, as this will prevent adequate air circulation and can cause the squash to rot.


  • 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.

About the Author


A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."