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How To Tell If Acorn Squash Is Bad – 4 Signs

How to tell if acorn squash is bad has become the common question which many people ask. This is because people consume it.

Typically, acorn Squash is a form of winter squash grown and then harvested just like other types of squashes. Winter squash is different from summer squash during the harvesting period.

Acorn squash is harvested during the mature fruiting stage, when the rind becomes tough rather than the more delicate rind found in summer pumpkin varieties. This provides better storage, as most winter squash varieties are stored during the winter season after harvest.

How To Tell If Acorn Squash Is Bad
“Mold INSIDE Acorn Squash” via Reddit

How To Tell If Acorn Squash Is Bad?

1. Soft spots inside

Acorn spots can turn orange at times, which is excellent. But if you see soft spots, this is a sign that your acorn squash is rotting. In this case, it is bad and cannot be used anymore.

2. Weak vegetable

In general, when the acorn squash becomes soft, then the shelf life will increase. If this vegetable is weak, it means it is bad and not suitable for cooking.

3. Limping of the stem

The stem offers helpful tips. If you pay attention to the acorn squash’s stem, you will know if it is bad. This will be seen if the stem is limp.

4. The shell feeling soft

If the shell of acorn squash is hard, that means it is suitable for consumption. But if you press the shell, it is supposed to be harsh and without pressure. Likewise, if you press it and realize that you don’t feel the hardness, it is bad.

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How To Grow Acorn Squash To Get A Good Harvest

How To Grow Acorn Squash To Get A Good Harvest
Acorn Squash via Flickr

1. Get the seeds

Buy a bag of acorn squash seeds from the local store or order online. Since one squash produces enough fruit for a small family all summer long, you don’t need to buy more than one packet of seeds.

There are different varieties. Some take up less space, and others grow on the ground. Choose the ones that best suit your needs. 

2. Choose a landing site

Acorn squash, like most vegetables, needs enough sunlight. Also, choose a location in your vegetable garden with good drainage. When squash is flooded with water, it rots and dies off before the end of the season.

When planting a climbing variety, make sure there is enough room for the plant to grow approximately two meters in all directions.

To test soil drainage, dig a hole and fill it with water. If it absorbs quickly, the place is good. If the water will stand, look for a place with better drainage or compost the soil.

3. Plow the soil and spread a layer of compost

Acorn squash will grow up healthy and strong if the soil is prepared well. Use a cultivator or rake to plow the soil to a depth of about 30 cm. Breaking the breasts will help the roots to strengthen. Then, add a 10cm layer of compost and mix with the plowed soil.

4. Sow the seeds after the last frost of the season

Plant them 2.5 cm deep and 30 cm apart. Acorn squashes need enough space to grow, so don’t plant them too close together.

If you are planting seedlings, place them 45cm apart to give them plenty of room to grow. Be sure to wait until the last frost threat has passed; otherwise, it will be difficult for the squash seeds to germinate.

Acorn Squash Care

  • Maintain soil moisture

Acorn squash needs to be watered every week, distributed throughout the day. Water it every morning until the sun is hot. Pour water over the roots for about a minute so that they absorb moisture well. Do not water the plant on rainy days or when the ground is wet in the morning. 

Excess moisture must not be allowed. Do not water the plant late in the afternoon or evening, as the water cannot evaporate in the sun. If it stays on the plant, mold can grow.

  • Repot the seedlings

If necessary, repot the seedlings further apart so that they are at least 45 cm apart. They will grow larger for the remaining of the growing season, so they should be transplanted.

  • Add mulch

As soon as the first leaves appear on the plant, add mulch. It will help to retain moisture and inhibit weed growth. Apply any organic mulch in a thin layer around the base of the plants.

  • Cut off the growing tips

In the middle of the growing season, cut off the growing tips. When the vines are up to 1.5m, cut off the tips to stimulate fruit development instead of the plant putting its energy into growing the vines. Cut off the part of the vine from which the last pair of leaves protrudes.

When is Acorn Squash Ripe?

There are several ways you can tell that acorn squash is ripe and ready to pick. One of the easiest ways is to note its color. A mature acorn squash turns dark green.

The part that has been in contact with the ground will change color from yellow to orange. In addition to the color, the skin of the acorn squash will become tough.

Another way to determine maturity is to look at the stem of the plant. The stem attached to the fruit itself will turn brown when the fruit is fully ripe.

The Time To Harvest Acorn Squash

Normally, acorn squash is harvested for about 80-100 days. If you store it instead of eating it right away, let it stay on a vine a bit longer. Typically, this enables the skin to harden a bit.

Even though it can remain on a vine for some weeks after ripening, it is vulnerable to frost. Squash damaged by frost does not hold up well and should be discarded along with the soft spots.

It is important to harvest the pumpkin before the first hard frost in your area. This is usually in September or October. Also, when harvesting acorn squash, carefully cut the pumpkin off the vine, leaving at least a couple of inches (5 cm) of the stem to retain moisture.


Acorn squash is like winter squash, which bears bright, fragrant fruits throughout the season. It can be quickly grown in your country house. 

Also, it grows fast that you will need to go to the garden every day and check if the fruits are ripe. Sometimes it gets bad and with this article, you know the signs.