How to Choose Buttercup Squash

How to Choose Buttercup Squash

Buttercup squash, of the Cucurbita genus, is a winter variety famous for its sweet, fine-grain flesh and gray cap on the blossom end. Even though buttercup squash typically start maturing in late August or early September, you must check for ripeness a few weeks earlier if your area experiences a heat wave. Buttercup squash possess a bouncy, thick rind that permits them to survive through winter, and harvesting requires several steps but much care.

Examine the buttercup squash to get a weight ranging between 3 and 5 lbs, dry vines, a matte look to the skin, a smooth, firm texture and a hollow sound when tapped. These signs suggest a ripe buttercup.

Grasp the squash and lift it above the dirt. Do not catch the vine.

Cut the stem 3 to 6 inches above where it matches the squash with lopping shears or a backyard knife. Make the cut clean and straight. In addition to aesthetic appearances, a relatively long stem inhibits the introduction of pathogens in the stem base.

Mix together 1/4 teaspoon of mild dish soap using 1 part bleach and 10 parts tepid water. Wash the squash using the mix to remove soil and pathogens. Rinse with plain water and enable the squash to air dry. Place the squash in a place with 80 to 85 percent humidity to heal for 10 days.

Store the squash in a cool, dry place with a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of 50 to 70 percent. Utilize the squash within two to three months.

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