How Do You Store Winter and Summer Squash?

How Do You Store Winter and Summer Squash?

“On storing squash for winter where is the best place to store a rather large abundance of fresh zucchini, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash.” Question from Jennifer of Wataga, Illinois

Answer: Summer and winter squashes are stored very differently. Tender zucchini and summer squash have a relatively short shelf life of a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, and they freeze fairly well but freeze even better as tasty baked goods. That’s why many gardeners bake and freeze zucchini bread and zucchini chocolate chip muffins, among other yummy treats. If you want to try freezing zucchini: wash, blanch, ice, and then freeze it in proper storage bags. (Click here for the steps.) Zucchini can also be made into relish for canning.

Storing Winter Squash

Tough-rinded winter squashes, like butternut, acorn, spaghetti squash, and pumpkins will often store well for months in a cool, dry place. Dry basements or cool mudrooms are perfect. You can also refrigerate them if you have space. Sometimes, I will process my pumpkins for pie and soup and freeze the frozen mash. This is another option. (Click here to learn how to cook pumpkins for mash and pie.)

I hope that these tips help!

Happy fall,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist



Spaghetti Squash Care

“I planted spaghetti squash and just got my first flowers! I have been told the first flowers are male. Do I need to do anything to ensure I get lots of squash?” Question from Deborah of Powder Springs, Georgia.

Answer: Yes! Male flowers appear first, followed by female flowers along the vine tips, once the vines get to a substantial size. You will recognize the female flowers immediately because they will have tiny immature fruits at the base of each flower.

To get lots of squash, watch to be sure the female flowers are getting pollinated by lots of visiting bees. Pollination is essential for fruit production. Also, be sure to feed the plants with a good fertilizer to encourage fruiting.

Keep your plants happy and well cared for and they should produce lots of delicious squash for you!!

Happy gardening!