Growing conditions affect the length of time a squash keeps its quality in storage. Those that were grown with abundant moisture and fertilizer, for example, or exposed to frost before harvest, will deteriorate sooner.
Thinner-skinned types such as acorn, delicata, and spaghetti squashes should be used within a month or two of harvest.
Hubbard and buttercup squashes and pie pumpkins can be stored for up to 4 months.
Butternuts and cushaws keep best in storage, sometimes lasting until spring.
The tough skin that allows for lengthy storage can be a challenge when it’s time to prepare a squash for eating. If your heftiest kitchen knife fails, reach for a hacksaw.
As you prepare a winter squash for cooking and scoop away its stringy insides, you may be tempted to save and dry a few seeds for next year’s garden. But if you grew more than one type of squash and left their pollination up to the bees, it’s quite likely that the next generation will be nothing but mongrels.