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.
Q&A Library Searching Tips