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As you referred to a winterAs you referred to a winter squash such as butternut? This plant turns yellow in the fall. In general, harvest winter squash when the rinds are tough enough to resist being punctured with a fingernail. Be patient and don't harvest too early or it won't keep in storage as well.

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?