Farmerdill wrote: Folks all winter squash can be left until the vines die. Some of them can be eaten as summer squash, but other than the butternut types are not too tasty. If you are in a hurry you can pick them when the skin is hard and stem is hard and dry. Winter squash are used in the full maturity stage, They are best layed in a garage, barn or equivalent for a couple of weeks to allow them to lose some more water content and thus sweeten up. Just don't lay them directly on concrete.