The Q&A Archives: pumpkin

Question: When do I know when to pick my pumpkin? I have 2 or 3 on my vine. One is orange and two are turning. Do I wait til the vine wilts, or can I pick the orange one now?

Answer: Pumpkins will color before they are truly ready to pick. You will want to leave them on the vine until the skins have hardened up. When you can no longer pierce the skin with your fingernail, they are ready to pick. Cut them off the vine leaving a stub several inches long as a "handle". This is important to helping them keep better. Next, leave them in the garden to cure in the sunshine for about ten days. Then, dip them in a weak bleach and water solution to help avoid mold problems, let that dry thoroughly, and then store them in a cool dry location out of direct sun. The ideal temperature for storage would be about 50 to 55 degrees.

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