Signs on How to Tell if Butternut Squash is Ripe!


 A scrumptious soup made from a freshly picked butternut squash

Butternut squash is a good source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and vitamins such as C, A, and E. It is a type of winter squash which grows on a vine. It is known as butternut pumpkin in Australia and New Zealand.

How to tell if butternut squash is ripe? Well, its skin is tan-yellow in color and turns deep orange when ripe. The taste of butternut squash is similar to pumpkin. It’s sweet and also has a nutty taste. When ripe, it becomes sweeter and richer. Technically, butternut squash is a fruit, but it is usually used as a vegetable. It may be roasted, sautéed, or mashed.

Butternut squash sautéed to make a dish for a celebration

How a good and ripe butternut squash look like from the inside

Excited to harvest your very first butternut squash? Do you know how to tell if butternut squash is ripe? One thing is for sure, it’s unlike spaghetti squash is ripe. Are you tempted to pick those plump butternut squash from your garden? Better not yet. Here are some ways on how to tell if butternut squash is ripe and ready to be picked.

  • The skin is beige with no green lines showing.

  • The stems are browns, and the vines have died.

  • Wait until the first frost to harvest any squash.

It is very important to know how to tell if the butternut squash is ripe. A ripe butternut squash should be creamy, nutty, and sweet. If a butternut squash is not yet ripe, it’s bland and tasteless. There are simple ways to determine if it will be delicious or not.

What can you do and how to tell if butternut squash is ripe?

A ripe butternut squash that is ready to be picked should have beige-colored skin

#1 Look

Visual clues are a good way to tell how ripe fruit or vegetable is. A ripe butternut squash should be beige in color. The darker the shade, the better. Its skin should not be shiny and free of cuts. It should have a matte look skin. Are there any patches of green? It means it’s not ripe yet. If there are also blemishes, it’s still okay, but you really have to make sure that there are no cuts. Thus, it is very important to be cautious when you use tools like garden tillers and avoid accidentally cutting the butternut squash.

An unripe butternut squash growing on a vine in a garden

#2 Touch

If the butternut squash feels heavy for its size, it’s a sign of ripeness. It should also feel hard just like an unripe avocado. Comparing it with the least ripe butternut squash is also a good way on how to tell if butternut squash is ripe. An unripe butternut squash is still green. You may pick the greenest one for weight comparison. Seeing the stem intact is also a good sign of ripeness. If the stem is still intact, the butternut squash will be kept fresh longer.

Several ripe butternut squashes growing on a vine and ready to be picked

#3 Tap

By using your knuckles, you can tap the butternut squash gently. If you hear a hollow sound, then it’s ripe and ready to be picked.

Wrapping Up; Things to Remember

If the butternut squash is picked too early, it will be too firm, and the sugar inside will not be fully developed. But don’t wait too long to pick it up because the butternut squash will be too mushy. You will see some green lines on them when a butternut squash first appears on the vines. As it grows, those green lines will begin to fade and the rind’s color will turn to pale orange, but it will still depend on the variety of the butternut squash. They usually mature when it is 8 to 12 inches long, but you also have to consider the growing conditions. Larger butternut squashes usually grow better in rich soil. You can watch them every day to monitor their lengths. You may notice that at some time, the butternut squashes will eventually stop growing. If you see this happen, your butternut squashes are probably ready to be harvested. You may also consider doing the right gardening by using tools such as a fertilizer spreader and maintaining clean surroundings using an electric pressure washer around your garden to produce a good harvest.

A lot of freshly picked local butternut squashes in a bucket

When picking your butternut squash, you should use shears to cut it from the vine. Make sure to leave an inch of stem still attached. Harvested butternut squashes can be stored for 2 to 3 months. Just make sure you store them in a cool, dark place. Butternut squashes can also last for up to 14 days when at room temperature.

Hi there! I’m Lucy – founder of and I’m a self-confessed garden fanatic. Gardening has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and have one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other garden enthusiasts like me.


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About the author

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog! I believe in living green, organically, and natural in every aspect of our lives. My mission is to help educate you on how to live green, help save our environment and to help you and your family live a happier, healthier life!

9 thoughts on “Signs on How to Tell If Butternut Squash is Ripe!”

  1. Pingback: Autumn's Bounty, Harvesting, Storing, and Recipes

    1. HI Rosie.
      I am glad my article helped guide you on when to harvest your squashes and pumpkins. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Great article and very informative information! I live in central Florida and don’t have much luck with squash, meaning they don’t usually make it til harvest time, however, after reading this I am wondering if my soil isn’t just too crappy. Anyways thanks for sharing the information! I absolutely love your posts!

    1. HI Annie,
      Glad you found the article informative. Soil is always a big issue with almost any vegetable – they need the proper nutrients to grow. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Please come back and visit again soon. Have a healthy, happy & blessed day!

  3. I’m very glad to contribute more useful & informative articles to your awesome blog. Thanks for giving me the chances. Love you, Marla 🙂

    1. Hi Lucy,
      Would love to have more anytime you have a chance. Thanks for your great information and stopping by to comment!

    1. Glad you found this information helpful. I love butternut squash and am still eating ones I stored from last fall. Hope you able to grow some this year. Have a healthy, happy & blessed day.

Would love to know your thoughts!

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