When to harvest Delicata squash?

I am growing delicata squash for the first time this year and haven’t a clue about when it’s ready to harvest. The squashes are already a decent size, but they are just kind of a light yellow without the dark green stripes. Should I wait until they color up more before picking them?

I did not care for Delicata my self but when it comes to winter squash. You can pick them at just about anytime. I picked my first Acorn this year at just a little larger then the picture below. It would not have stored anyware nearly as long a fully mature but it was just as good to eat. It was like a firm summer squash. I used it in a recipe similar to this one Soy-Braised Kabocha Squash Recipe | Saveur

The second benefit from picking winter squash early is the plants can put more energy back into growing the vines and recovering from squash vine bores. The second and third flushes of fruit can be much larger then a first flush left to fully ripen.


I am growing kabocha squash and found that the stem is more lignified and snaps off easily from the vine when the squash is ready. I have been harvesting them since two weeks ago and the vines have started the second flush of blooms.

Not sure if it’s the same with delicata. Never grew them before.

One thing about Delicata. . .they have very thin skin and can be eaten along with the meat. My family and I love it. Can’t tell you when to pick it though. . .my ex was always in charge of that.

Yes, that’s why I’m confused. I know if you leave them on the vine as long as you would a typical winter squash, the skin will get tough. I want to eat them while the skin is still tender. But it’s not obvious to me when it is ripe enough to pick, but not so ripe the skin gets tough.

I kind of thought the general rule with most winter squash was to pick them when the stem was getting dried out, as opposed to green and moist. . .

Delicata can be used as summer squash or winter squash.

yes, most squash can honestly. just pick and eat early in the season and let them mature fully later in the season.

I have picked delicata as a summer squash as soon as it has good size. Sometimes I think I have picked them too early so not much flavor. I do like to let some go and harvest as a winter squash as they keep for me until April or so. I also like them as they are the perfect size for one person…one or two meals. I still have about 6 in the garage now.