The Q&A Archives: Softening Of Pumpkins On Vines

Question: Planted your Ghost Rider pumpkins and have a number of large nice orange pumpkins. Planned to leave pumpkins on vines until Haloween. Pumpkins have begin to get soft (They are resting on dry ground that does not get wet). The ones that began to soften first are on a dry vine (the roots of the vine has been supplied with water).

How can I save remainder of pumpkins?

Answer: It's best to let pumpkins mature fully on the vine, then cut the stems and store them in a cool, dry place. To test for maturity, press your fingernail into the rind. If the skin doesn't dent, then the shell is hardenend and it's ready to harvest. The one you lost probably rotted because it was in contact with moist soil, which hastens decomposition. In the future, if you want to leave the pumpkins on the vine a bit longer, simply place a piece of wood under each pumpkin, so it's not resting right on the ground.

Your pumpkins should last a few months if you take a few precautions: First, let the newly-harvested pumpkins sit in the sun or in a well-ventilated place for about a week. After that, the ideal storage temperature is 50-55 F.

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