When it is time to pick summer squash?


Staff member
The summer squash is finally starting to come in, though a month behind schedule.

One of the common mistakes people make is to leave yellow squash on the plant for too long. The issue is, the longer yellow summer squash stays on the plant, the harder it will get. So the trick is to pick yellow summer squash before it gets hard.

Zucchini does not have this problem. Zucchini can stay on the plant much longer than yellow squash and not get hard.

I usually try to pick the yellow summer squash when it is less than six inches long, and still has a bright yellow color. When the yellow squash starts to turn orange, it is starting to get hard. When squash does get hard, rather than picking it, leave it on the plant and let it mature. At the end of the growing season pick the squash, harvest the seeds, and save the seeds for next year.

However, Zucchini and yellow squash can cross pollinate, which would result in a hybrid. The saved seeds from a hybrid will probably result in a viable plant, but the saved seeds from a hybrid may or may not be viable.

If someone wants to eat yellow squash - pick it while it is still a bright yellow and maybe less than six inches long.

If someone wants to save the seeds - leave the squash on the plant as long as possible.