Mature squash will have a deep solid color and hard rind. Pick winter squash when skin is hard and resists thumbnail pressure. A indentation made by a thumbnail pressed into the fruit near the stem does not fill with fluid when squash is ready to harvest.
Usually should be picked after a light frost kills the vine but before the first hard freeze.
Cut stems 1 to 2 inches from the end of the fruit leaving stem in place to delay decay in storage.
Cure squash to dry and harden shells completely before storing. Acorn types are not recommended for curing. To cure, place squash in a warm (75° to 80° F) well-ventilated place for a week or two.
Store for long-term at 50° to 55° F at 50 to 57% humidity. Will store up to 6 months in these conditions. Periodically inspect for soft spots.
Acorn squash will store 10 to 15 weeks under ideal conditions.
Storage and Preservation Methods
Common storage at 50° to 55° F at humidity of 50 to 57 percent. Will store up to 6 months in these conditions.
Is also suitable for freezing (in cooked form) or canning.
Squash plants produce both male and female blossoms. To aid in pollination, select a male blossom (with a straight stem) and rub the stamen of a female blossom (with a bulge behind the blossom) to pollinate.