Squash

Hardening of zucchini – How to store zucchini over winter

Gardeners choose from an astonishing variety of pumpkins with an amazing range of shapes, colours, textures and flavours. Pumpkin plants are rich in vitamin C, B and other nutrients. They can be cooked in an almost infinite variety of ways, from desserts to soups, stir-fries and purees. It is important to know how to store your zucchini to increase their shelf life. The fruit needs a little preparation before storing winter squash to increase its freshness.

How to take care of pumpkin

Some varieties of squash can keep for months under good storage conditions. The skin must be protected from injury when storing winter and other squashes, as this promotes the presence of pests and infections in the fruit. Harvest the pumpkin when it is the right size to be eaten now, but ripe fruit is needed to preserve it.

Dead vines can be an indication of maturity or can be the result of a simple pumpkin twist. A better indicator is to drive a nail into the bark.

If it is difficult and almost impossible to drill, it is ready. Cut the pumpkin with pruning shears, leaving a 1-inch stem for the pumpkins and 1-inch for the winter pumpkin. The stem helps prevent rot when winter squash is stored.

Hardening of pumpkin

Once you have harvested your pumpkin, rinse the soil and put it in a single layer. This will prevent damage to the rind. To preserve winter squash well, the skin must be cared for. It is important to care for the pumpkin to harden the skin and create an impermeable barrier against moisture, insects, mould and bacteria, which will allow the fruit to degrade more quickly.

High temperatures and humidity are the necessary conditions to create a hard crust. Cure the pumpkin for 10 days at temperatures of at least 80 F. (27 C.) and 80% humidity. Acorn pumpkin does not need to be cured because it loses its quality. Turn the fruit from time to time to expose it to the air when storing winter squash.

Storing the pumpkin

Zucchini will last longer if you can slow your breathing rate. This can be done by lowering the temperature. Each 18 degree drop in temperature increases the shelf life of winter squash. Keeping winter squash at a temperature of 10-13 C is the optimal range for most squashes. Good ventilation is a necessary aspect in the care of zucchini. It prevents spoilage and maintains a uniform temperature and humidity in the storage area.

Saving your winter squash for the cold season is a great way to put fresh produce on your table. The shelf life of the fruit varies depending on the variety.

  • Acorn-fed zucchini can be stored for five to eight weeks.
  • Pumpkins are good for two or three months.
  • Hubbard pumpkin can last up to six months if hardened and stored properly.

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