Image by zenia
By Kathleen Mierzejewski
Toward the end of the season, there is nothing worse than having some squash still on the vine waiting to ripen and a frost comes along and prevents them from ripening. You might think a lot of squash went to waste. That is simply not true. You are simply left with unripe squash and you can ripen them pretty simply.
You could take the unripe squash and just throw them away I suppose. But why? These squash are still good and you can ripen squash if you follow these simple procedures.
The first thing you need to do to ripen squash is to harvest all the green squash. You can cut them off the vine but be sure to leave at least a couple of inches of vine as a stem so you don’t have to handle the squash too much until it is ripened.
Bringing unripe squash indoors to ripen them is a great idea, but make sure you wash them off before you allow them time to ripen. There is a great threat to ripening squash of mold or rot. You don’t want to spend your time gathering all the unripe squash only to have it all rot in a pile.
To prevent rot or mold, take your ripening squash and wipe them off. This is just a preventive measure to make sure they do not succumb to mold or rot before they get a chance to ripen.
Remember, you are going to try ripening squash, so making sure they don’t rot is important. It’s also important because you spent the time planting these squash. Just because an early frost has stopped their chances from flourishing on the vine doesn’t mean they won’t still produce some nice squash for you.
Once you wipe them off, you will want to find a warm, sunny spot for perfect for ripening squash. Ripening squash needs sunlight to ripen. Without the sunlight, they will just remain green and unripened, doing you absolutely no good. If the whole squash is unripened, you will want to turn it periodically so that it can ripen on all sides.
If you happen to have several squash that are still unripe only on one side, the sun can help the part that is not ripened to ripen. Just put that “green” side toward the sun and it will do the job.
Remember, an early frost doesn’t mean you are stuck with unripe squash. You can ripen your squash by picking it and utilizing the sunshine.