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  1. #1
    Nicky is offline Seedling
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    Sep 2006
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    Ipswich, Suffolk
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    Default How to ripen my butternut squash....

    They're looking a bit green still and the weather's not exactly condusive to them ripening on the plany as it's horrid wet and windy outside at the moment.

    I've had two thoughts:
    1 - I cut back a few more of the leaves and put my plastic corrugeted sheet cloches over them to try and warm them up
    2 - I take them off the plant and see if they ripen on their own in the greenhouse with the door and window shut.

    Any comments or suggestions greatfully recieved as it's the first time I've grown them I really like squash so would love them to ripen.

  2. #2
    dwrudd is offline Sprouter
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    Mar 2006
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    Ince, Wigan
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    Default

    Hi there,

    I have taken one off the plant and left a decent stalk on it. Left on the kitchen windowsill it did very well and coloured up enough that we ate half of it last night.

    I have only had a few this year but I am going to do the same with the others as well.

    Darren

  3. #3
    leona is offline Rooter
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    May 2006
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    surrey
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    Default

    i thought i had a green variety! we ate one the otherday that was still green and it was absolutely fine...
    will try to ripen the others though, had masses

  4. #4
    Peter's Avatar
    Peter is offline Cropper
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    Apr 2006
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    Default

    Your idea #2 is the best (and usual) method.
    Always thank people who have helped you immediately, as they may not be around to thank later.
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  5. #5
    Paulottie is offline Banned
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    Feb 2007
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    Petworth. West Sussex
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    Default

    It is only necessary to ripen them for storage, Perhaps, shed ripened ones will not store quite as long as plant ripened...We finished last years in August! Not nearly enough this year to make it till Xmas anyway! They are very nice texture when young though. They will continue to ripen on the plant without cloches, which is where I leave them, until the frosts come in.

  6. #6
    vegnut's Avatar
    vegnut is offline Tuber
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    Jun 2007
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    West Sussex
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    Default

    Just take them off the plant before the first frost, and bring them indoors for a few weeks, to harden the skins. Then store them in a frost free place till needed. As the skins harden, they turn yellow ( if it's a yellow variety ). Any damaged ones should be eaten quite quickly, and not stored with the others. When taking them off the mother plant, leave 6 inches either side of the stalk. That's all there is to it. Just no frost and don't store damaged ones. Enjoy

  7. #7
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
    Two_Sheds is offline Compost Everything...
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    Jan 2007
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    windy east coast, sandy soil
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    Default

    I cut my stalks too short when I harvested my squash, and they rotted. Cut a nice long stalk!
    As for drying, air is more important than warmth, so don't put them anywhere confined or damp. Frost free, yes, but not humid or damp (like my entire flat). The skins are porous, so moisture will evaporate out and it needs somewhere to go. Mine are hanging in my shed in a hanging basket this year (though hardly worth it, they're tiny)

    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  8. #8
    rustylady's Avatar
    rustylady is offline Gardening Guru
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    Lowestoft, Suffolk
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    Default

    I've only got one, and it's still on the lottie. About 8 inches long now and starting to turn yellow. As has already been said, you can use them green, but if you want to store them (if you have enough) then make sure they are kept cool, dry and with plenty of air circulation.

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