How to harvest & store pumpkins

Harvest & store pumpkins and gourds CIMG0272

Harvest your pumpkins when the vines are dry, and fruit is an even deep orange or characteristic color of the variety. The rind should be hard and not easily punctured. Cut a 3-6 inch stem with a sharp knife or pruning shears. Lift the pumpkin from the bottom not by the stem to avoid breaking off the stem. Pumpkins should be free of cuts, scratches or bruises.

 Jarrahdale Australian blue pumpkin

Australian blue pumpkin is a gourd w dense orange flesh. Great for cooking!

Clean your picked pumpkin with a light chlorine solution to help avoid fungal or bacterial rotting. A newly harvested pumpkin should be cured @ 80 degrees and 80% humidity for 7-10 days to finish ripening(curing) and heal over any surface bruising but its not always practiced and may not be necessary.

Storing pumpkins
After curing, store them in a dry, cool place with good air circulation and temperatures around 50-55F  degrees with relative humidity of 50-70%. Properly stored pumpkins (50-55 F) can last up to 2 months but if stored in warmer temperatures (70 degrees) only 2 weeks.
Avoid any ethylene gas exposure, don’t store pumpkins with apples or other fruits. Do not store them on hard surfaces like concrete or stack them on top of each other.

Today there are many types of Pumpkins to choose from, some varieties make great Jack-o-Lanterns, whereas others are better for pies.