My Pumpkins Are Ripe And It's 8/23/00 - Knowledgebase Question

Philadelphia, PA
Avatar for Rdelany
Question by Rdelany
August 22, 2000
I counted the number of days like the envelope said but my pumpkins are now (8/23/00) orange and the vines are mostly withered. The vines grew out of control and I did prune them which may have forced premature ripening.

The question is:
The pumpkins are beautiful and I would love to keep them for the fall. Will they keep? What should I do? i.e. leave them in the field / pick then / put them in the inside basement / leave them out on the back yard grass. . .

Answer from NGA
August 22, 2000
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; but do not allow them to be frosted. 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 would be about 50 to 55 degrees.

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