A root cellar is not required to do that. Anyone can store it easily so this article is all about how to store winter squash for months, and it will be useable.
I don’t think that it’s related to our garden. We don’t need to plant the seeds of these plants but Volunteer squash plants grow up every year around our compost piles. They give us amazing and tasty squash without putting any effort into the plants.
The squash plant which we grow can produce the tone of products. It’s not bad to count on a good squash crop in every season of growth like garlic and do you know how many cloves are in a head of garlic?
Here are some interesting things about winter squash and you will love the. They are very tasty and mega healthy. It can be used on fall decors and they look beautiful. I love that, they are having the best-storing abilities. Like you ever don’t need a root cellar or a basement for that. You don’t need to have a cold frame or something like that but you can easily store winter squash in a bit small apartment.
I consider that winter squash is a perfect crop for anyone to start on food storage. By following some simple, easy, and right steps you will be able to store them and can be eating them next year. If you are interested in this then visit the local farmers’ market any time and try butternuts or acorn squash.
For How Long You Can Store Winter Squash?
Easily you can store it for about 6 months under proper conditions but it also depends on the variety you have.
All of the harvest squashes are not perfect to store. Squash must be clean and have unblemished skin. Squash which are having stems with them will be better to store instead of other ones which do not have stems. Your squash should be fully mature and it’s not better to store little green pumpkin. Any squash that has been through a frost or a freeze should be used instantly because it will not be stored for a long period
How to curve it?
Winter squash is perfectly edible and delicious when they are harvested and come off the vine, but their skin maybe a little more soft and sensitive to expose out through the long storage. Just start curing. Curing is easy peasy all you just need is a sunny place, preferably a dry place (but a little wetness won’t damage anything).
Now place the squash out in the sunlight on a flat surface and in a single layer for about 7-10 days, rotate it for few times so all the squash gets equal sunbathe. Our cure place is a wooden picnic table in the middle of our backyard. Few squashes were lost to strange chickens but we can say that it was the best place for curing.
How will you observe whether your squash is properly cured or not? Well, press your thumbnail lightly into the outer layer of uncured squash, you will observe a nail-shaped bruise sometimes it may be a full-on cut of your fingernail. Repeat the same test with a totally cured squash, and you will barely observe any dent where the thumbnail was pressed the outer layer is tough, thick and it is ready to face the winter!
The Squash which you picked from any store or market might be cured, so repeat the thumbnail test to observe. If you do not feel any bruises you can move to the next step without curing.
Best way to wipe that
It’s not necessary to do this process and you can skip it. But if we will wipe them with light vinegar (25%) mixture with water (75%). This process helps to make the storage more successful and I advise you to do this process. This mixture will kill all the bacteria and other storage killing critters a quick wipe down will kill bundles of chunks from the product and will help squash to stay longer.
Mostly a bleach solution is used to wipe them but it’s better to use natural options like vinegar and you can do that easily.
Beautifull pack cured squashes loosely with the newspaper. For storage purposes, you don’t need a moist environment because squash doesn’t like a moist environment. That’s why we use newspaper which helps to keep the air around it and it also absorbs humidity from the air.
After doing all the upper steps now pack the squash in large boxes. Now don’t touch squash put them in the box and make sure that air can move around them. For this purpose, we can use different types of crates and boxes. Large size squash can be placed on a shelf or on cardboard. Make sure to leave space around the squash so air can circulate easily around.
The Right way to store winter squash
The best temperature to store winter squash is about 12-13°c and 55-60% humidity, these are not too much because almost every home has such a spot. Such a spot can be outside the wall, under the bed, or anywhere else in your house.
Also Read: How To Tell If A Watermelon Is Ripe?
The best temperature and humidity are about 13°c and 50%. It’s not necessary to be perfect a little up or down in temperature and humidity will not make any issue. But the temperature must be more than 50°F and don’t let them freeze. A little warmer temperature will lose your storage interval but you are not going to lose product quality. But if you will them at a normal room temperature which is 72°F will be required few months as squash time.
We store them in a basement at our farmyard and they stay cool in winter. We store winter squash on the lower shelf of the basement and they remain at their maximum for almost the first two to three weeks of the spring season.
How to use it?
Check out your stored squashes every week. Maybe some of them start appearing with black spots over them or shriveling, these all should be removed from the storage. Such a squash can no longer survive in storage but they will be good in taste and you can eat them and can make delicious meals. Compost all of the rotting or collapsing squash.
Most of the time I put a lot of effort to store them but later on, I forget about them. Many people have such common things but it will be better to store the squash in a busy room where you come daily. In this way, you will check and remove all of the affected products and will enjoy them all winter.