The Appearance of Ripe Acorn Squash
The first thing you will notice about your acorn squash is the color. As the squash ripens, and harvest gets closer, the rind of the squash will turn from a light green to a deep, dark green.
Additionally, the part of the squash that was resting on the ground will graduate from a light yellow to a dark orange color. When the squash is mostly dark green with a splash or orange, it is typically mature enough to pick.
Tip: If you have turned the squash to expose each side to the sun, the deep orange color may not appear.
Other Ways to Tell if Acorn Squash is Ripe
Although all varieties of winter squash are not the same color or shape when they are ripe, there are specific signs you can look for to see if it is almost time to pick them, This includes acorn squash.
- The vines will begin to turn brown and appear dead.
- The stems of the acorn squash will dry and harden.
- The squash fruits start to fall off the vine spontaneously.
- The rind is hard, and you cannot dent or scratch it with your nail.
Tip: Acorn squash tastes best when you allow it to ripen completely on the vine. In fact, it is one of the few squash varieties that do not mature well if you pick it too early.
Using You Acorn Squash
Like other types of winter squash like butternut, you can use acorn squash in many ways. You can steam or roast it, puree it for soups, and even use it in place of pumpkin for a sweet dessert.
Any way you look at it, the longer growing time from planting harvest acorn squash is well worth the wait.