pumpkins - Knowledgebase Question

oak lawn, Il
Avatar for sueperfan1
Question by sueperfan1
September 20, 2010
The birds planted me a huge pumpkin patch. I guess it was late in the season. The pumpkins are huge but are either a light tangerine or a green color. Will i be able to save these pumpkins or will i lose them. It is amazing what birds will help you grow. Thank you so much.

Answer from NGA
September 20, 2010
How nice of the birds to plant the pumpkins for you. What you are growing is an experiment in genetics. Squashes can cross pollinate and although the original fruits are true to their parents, any offspring they have may be a mixture of different squashes. The seeds the birds collected from a cross pollinated pumpkin and planted in your yard may be a surprise when they ripen - they may not develop a thick rind or they may be a color other than orange when they mature. As for what to do with them - leave them on the vine for as long as possible so they will mature as much as possible. Harvest them only when a frost is predicted by the weatherman. (Frost will turn them mushy). After you've harvested you'll need to cut into one of them to see if they are a summer squash or a winter squash with a tender rind. Either way, they won't keep for very long unless they are fully mature. So, whether or not they will have time to mature really depends upon how soon your first frost arrives.

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