The Q&A Archives: Harvesting Pumpkins

Question: I have several large pumpkins and gourds in my garden. How do I know when to cut them from the vine, and then how to I store them so the pumpkins will last untill Halloween and the gourd until Thanksgiving?

Answer: Winter squash will taste watery unless allowed to mature fully on the vine. Wait until the vines die before harvesting your pumpkins, but plan to cut them from the vines beforethe first frost of the season. Choose a dry day and cut the fruits from the vine, leaving a 3-4 inch stem. Allow to cure in the sun until the stems dry, then wipe the dirt off the pumpkins and store them in a cool, dry area, such as a garage. They should store well for months. Gourds should be left on the vine until the stems are brown. If frost is predicted, cut the gourds from the vines and cure them on a rack in a protected area that has good air circulation. Gourds should dry within a month of harvest.

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