Harvesting Pumpkins And Storing Them Right

Pumpkins make a fantastic newbie gardener crop as they’re simple to develop, and prolific producers when given sufficient house to sprawl. They make a fantastic selection for a parkway or satan’s strip the place you might wish to suppress weeds, however not make investments a number of time tending to the panorama. They will also be planted on the sting of the backyard or nook of a raised mattress and allowed to path over the facet freely. Harvesting pumpkins is enjoyable too!

Though rising pumpkins could also be simple, there are some things to know once you harvest pumpkins to just be sure you get probably the most out of your crop. When selecting the range you wish to develop understand that there are numerous various kinds of pumpkins starting from pie pumpkins, jack o lanterns, miniature pumpkins like Jack Be Little, and even varieties that may develop to weigh over 100 kilos akin to Large Max. 

When To Harvest Pumpkins

Pumpkins nonetheless rising can look very near achieved however not be hardened but. Supply: joeriksson

When you’ve chosen which number of pumpkin to develop it’s necessary to test the seed packet for particular information on its mature dimension, shade, and days to reap. Other than these particular indicators that rely on selection and sort, there are just a few normal guidelines of thumb to comply with for all pumpkins. From the time you harvest pumpkins, to the time you treatment pumpkins, there are some gardening ideas you’ll be able to comply with.


A number of totally different phases of pumpkin progress happen earlier than the time to choose pumpkins. Usually talking, pumpkins are prepared to reap with a pointy knife in about 90-120 days. About midway to maturity, the plant will start to flower. Their giant yellow squash blossoms resemble these of zucchini, butternut, acorn squash, and different members of the Cucurbita pepo household. These squash blossoms are additionally edible. Like the opposite members of this household, pumpkins have separate female and male flowers. The pollen from the male flower should be moved to a feminine flower for the fruit set to happen. After profitable pollination, you will notice tiny pumpkins start to swell on the base of the feminine flower. They often begin inexperienced after which slowly ripen to their closing shade. 

You’ll know your pumpkin harvest is shut when the vines start to die again within the backyard. As talked about above, be aware of the times to reap the range you selected, and if this aligns with the indicators of the vines dying again, often the top of summer season or early fall, then your winter squash is nearly able to be picked. Whatever the ripeness of your pumpkins, you’ll wish to be sure you harvest them earlier than the primary frost, whether or not that happens in fall or early winter. Though they’re known as winter squash, they can not tolerate a tough frost. The vines will die, and the fruit can rot within the backyard if you happen to expose your vegetation to heavy frost. 


Along with the pumpkin vine dying again, additionally, you will discover that the stem that attaches the pumpkin to the vine will start to show from inexperienced to brown. A brown woody stem in your vines is an effective visible indicator that your pumpkin fruits are nearly prepared. 


Pumpkin nearly ripe
This nearly-ripe pumpkin is exhibiting yellowing vines and good shade. Supply: prentz

When you look into gardening ideas regarding harvested pumpkin fruit, you’ll most likely study testing the skins. The fingernail take a look at is a much less scientific method to check the readiness of your pumpkin. The outer rind of the pumpkin will turn out to be onerous because it ripens. When you press your fingernail into the rind and it barely leaves a mark then it is a signal that the rind is starting to harden and the fruit is nearly able to be harvested. A tough rind is what differentiates winter squash from summer season squash and permits them to be saved for longer durations of time with out rotting. 


Pumpkins are available many alternative colours starting from shades of inexperienced, white, yellow, pink, blue, and most recognizably orange. They will even be noticed or stable coloured. Totally ripe pumpkins will slowly flip from inexperienced to their mature shade which can rely on what selection you’ve chosen. Examine the vines in your backyard to see if the fruit have modified to their mature shade, whether or not that be orange, white, or multicolored.


As with shade, the dimensions of a mature pumpkin will rely on its selection. Sugar pie pumpkins, that are used for baking (most notably in pumpkin pie), are often the smaller dimension. Whereas on the opposite finish of the spectrum, some varieties can develop to weigh 100s of kilos. The most important pumpkin on report weighed in at 2703 kilos! Relying on the range, as soon as the pumpkin has reached the specified dimension and is absolutely coloured, then it’s time to maneuver on to choosing pumpkins. Then you’ll be able to break the stems the place the vines are planted and take them from the backyard to turn out to be cured pumpkins.

How To Harvest Pumpkins

On a day with full solar on the finish of the season, as soon as the above standards have been met, it’s time to reap the fruits of your labor. Choosing pumpkins and pumpkin harvesting on a sunny and dry day will assist cut back the possibility of molds and mildews affecting your harvest. As talked about above, be sure you decide pumpkins earlier than the primary onerous frost as this will likely injury them and forestall them from being saved long run. Deal with pumpkins with care to keep away from damaging the pores and skin, stem, and outer rind. 

Preserve The Stem

When harvesting, you will need to preserve the stem connected. The stems extend the shelf lifetime of your pumpkins. When the stem is eliminated it creates an entrance level for insect pests and decay. Use a pointy knife or pruning sheers to take away the pumpkin from the vine. Depart a minimum of 4 inches of stem intact. By no means pull the pumpkin from the vine by hand as this may trigger injury to the vine and you should still have unripe pumpkins on the opposite finish of it. Pumpkins is not going to proceed to ripen as soon as faraway from the vine. All the time carry pumpkins by the bottom and by no means by the stems. 


Correctly cured pumpkins can preserve at room temperature for months. To treatment your pumpkins as quickly as they’ve been faraway from the vine, place them in a dry and sun-filled spot for 7-14 days to permit the pores and skin to harden and treatment. As an additional layer of safety, some gardeners recommend wiping your winter squash down with a diluted combination of 1 half bleach to 10 components water to additional stop any pest or ailments from spoiling your harvest, though that is optionally available. As soon as they’ve been cured, they are often saved in a cool and dry place with good air circulation that’s out of direct daylight, like a shed, root cellar, and so on. Now that we’ve lined find out how to treatment pumpkin let’s talk about some extra recommendations on find out how to preserve the fruit as soon as they’re faraway from the backyard.

How To Retailer Pumpkins

Pile of harvested pumpkins
A pile of harvested pumpkins. Supply: maxim off

When you select to develop pumpkins in your backyard, you’ll be rewarded on the finish of the season with a harvest of meals and decorations. It’s necessary to know find out how to retailer them to get probably the most out of your harvest. The storage technique will even rely on what you select to do together with your pumpkins as soon as they’re moved from the backyard on a sunny day. Pumpkins that present any injury to the pores and skin or rind needs to be eaten instantly and never chosen for long-term storage. How lengthy do pumpkins final? Let’s speak about it!


The simplest option to retailer pumpkins is within the fridge. Pumpkins which might be going to be consumed inside a month do greatest within the chilly of the fridge. They don’t should be cured earlier than storing this manner. Nonetheless, curing them will even enhance their longevity within the fridge. Retailer the fruit within the again the place the temperature is the chilly.  

Room Temperature

Storing pumpkins at room temperature is somewhat trickier. When you select to retailer pumpkins this manner they’ll should be cured first after they’re taken from the backyard. Then they are often saved in an space like a root cellar, shed, basement, or one other dry place that has good air circulation and even cool temperatures. Remember to retailer the fruit in a single layer. Stacking pumpkins may cause injury to the pores and skin and stem, which might trigger them to rot. That is the very best storage technique for pumpkins that you just want to use for fall decorations at Halloween.


That is the very best resolution for long-term fruit storage if you happen to want to retailer your pumpkins for a number of totally different culinary makes use of. Pumpkins could be roasted, pureed, after which frozen for future use for baking pies, bread, muffins, truffles, and so on. The seeds could be eliminated, roasted, and stored in an hermetic container. They will also be lower up into little orange cubes and frozen for future use in soups and stews. Frozen pumpkin can technically final indefinitely, though it is going to style greatest when consumed inside a yr. Any longer than that, and also you danger freezer burn and a lack of texture.


Dehydrating pumpkin is an effective possibility if you happen to’re curious about using pumpkin powder straight from the backyard. You may dehydrate pumpkin slices after which mix them right into a powder utilizing a spice grinder or espresso grinder. This powder will also be utilized in baking and in soups so as to add a pumpkin taste. Toss some roasted seeds on prime, and also you’re set. Even higher than that, dehydrated pumpkin slices make a fantastic deal with for canines! The pumpkin fiber is understood to assist with digestion. 


Freeze-drying is the final word long-term storage possibility, and whereas freeze dryers aren’t low cost, they are often well worth the funding you probably have a big harvest that you just want to protect for an extended interval with out taking on a number of house. You may freeze-dry lower cubes of fall pumpkins that may be saved in mylar luggage and can rehydrate by being thrown immediately right into a soup. The freeze-drier additionally permits the flexibleness of with the ability to freeze-dry many extra types of meals out of your backyard than you’ll have the ability to protect with a dehydrator. It’s even attainable to freeze-dry cut-up items of pumpkin pie for scrumptious pumpkin pie bites. 

Regardless of which method you select to retailer or make the most of your pumpkins, don’t let these seeds go to waste! Scoop out the insides of your pumpkins, rinse the pulp away from the seeds, calmly salt and roast them for a scrumptious snack! 

Regularly Requested Questions

Harvesting pumpkins
Harvesting pumpkins once they’re prepared is necessary. Supply: catmccray

Q: How are you going to inform when pumpkins are prepared to choose?

A: Analysis the mature dimension, shade, and days to reap for the range that you’ve got chosen on your backyard. These indicators, alongside the die again of the vine and the looks of a woody brown stem, implies that your pumpkin is able to decide from the vegetation. Be sure you do that on a day when the solar is vivid. 

Q: Can you permit pumpkins on the vine too lengthy?

A: Sure, if left on the vine for too lengthy they will rot. The flowers, vine ideas, and fruit will also be broken by frost. Minimize them from the plant on the proper time and also you’re gold.

Q: Ought to pumpkins be picked as quickly as they flip orange?

A: Sure, as soon as they’re absolutely coloured and present different indicators of being ripe akin to passing the fingernail take a look at. Keep in mind, a pumpkin grows for about 90 to 120 days. After then it may be lower from the plant.

Q: What to do after harvesting pumpkins?

A: Curing them is a superb first step. Whereas they treatment for 7-14 days, you’ll have loads of time to resolve find out how to eat them and/or retailer them long run. You’ll even have time to resolve what to do with the remainder of the pumpkin plant in your backyard. 

Q: How lengthy will a pumpkin final after being picked?

A: As soon as correctly cured they are often saved for a number of months. Freezing, dehydrating, and freeze-drying can protect them for even longer. 

Q: Will pumpkins flip orange if picked inexperienced?

A: No, they won’t proceed to ripen as soon as faraway from the vine. 

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