Harvesting: Squash are at their peak when they are mature, firm, bright-colored, and have a hard rind.
Harvest all types of squash before the first frost. Squash are ready to harvest when the rind is hard enough to resist fingernail scratches.
Storage: Mature squash can be stored for several months at temperatures of 50-55°F. in a 50-70% humidity.
Preserving: Pumpkin and squash may be preserved by canning, freezing, and drying. The seeds can be roasted.
Canning (hot pack, cube only): An average of 16 pounds of squash is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 10 pounds for 9 pints.
Preparation: Wash, remove seeds, cut into slices, peel. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Caution: Safe processing times have not been determined for mashed or pureed squash. Boil 2 minutes in water. Fill jars with hot cubes and cooking liquid. Leave 1-inch head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, adjust lids, and process in a pressure canner.
Processing: Squash and pumpkin must be processed in a pressure canner at 240°F. (10 pounds pressure with a weighted gauge; 11 pounds with a dial gauge). Ask your county Extension Office for pressure adjustments if you live above 1,000 feet. Process at 240°F., pints 55 minutes; quarts 90 minutes. After processing, remove canner from heat and wait until pressure returns to zero. Remove weight or slowly open petcock. Wait 10 minutes. Unfasten canner lid and remove it carefully.
Credit: Oregon State University Extension Service