A mature pumpkin will have a hard, shiny shell that is not easily dented or punctured by a fingernail.Do not leave pumpkins in the garden if the weather turns cold and rainy or if a freeze is predicted.If pumpkins can’t be harvested before cold and rainy weather comes, put hay or straw under them to prevent rot caused by contact with damp soil.Pumpkin vines can be prickly, so protect your skin by wearing gloves and long sleeves when harvesting.Curing will harden the skin, heal wounds, ripen immature fruit, and, importantly, improve flavor.Curing will harden the skin, heal wounds, ripen immature fruit, and, importantly, improve flavor.If frost or cold nights are predicted, cover curing pumpkins with old blankets or move them into a shed or garage. .
Curing: The Simple Trick to Storing Squash All Winter Long
Did you know winter squash can last all winter if it's cured properly?Only after harvesting my very first “winter” squash did I realize all the pumpkins, hubbards, butternuts, and turbans that arrived at the turn of cool weather actually took three or four months to get there!With the exception of acorn and delicata squash (whose skins are soft and edible), winter squash have hard shells that need to be separated from the flesh.If left to mature through the end of summer, however, they can be cured and stored like winter squash.Because their skins have hardened, they’re prepared like butternut squash at this stage.Do you have to cure winter squash?Technically, you don’t have to cure winter squash.You can pick immature winter squash at any stage of growth and eat it like summer squash, but the flavor of “green” squash won’t be as rich and sweet as fully ripe squash.Immature winter squash won’t store well either, so they should be refrigerated soon after harvest.When is the best time to harvest winter squash?Squash that have been hit with frost will not ripen or store well.How to cure winter squash for storage.Once your winter squash have fully matured, cut the squash from the plant, leaving at least 3 inches of stem.You want to keep an eye out for blemishes and soft spots.In general, the harder and thicker the rind, the longer it will store.It keeps (without curing) in ideal pantry conditions for a month or two at most.Immature squash that were cured in this way may not last as long as squash that were ripened on the vine, so keep an eye on them and try to use them up within a couple months.You only need to refrigerate winter squash if it’s been cut or cooked. .
EXPERT TIP: Harvesting and Storing Pumpkins and Winter Squash
Winter squash are not only very nutrient-dense foods (containing high levels of vitamins A and C), but also have a long storage life and can be stored anywhere from one month (for the table queen variety), to six months for types such as Hubbard, thus prolonging the farmer’s season by generating cash-flow into the off-season.Sometimes harvesting may start in mid-August to early September, which requires good handling and storage of the pumpkin fruit before selling to the public in October.When mature, winter squash such as Butternut, Acorn, and Hubbard, have hard skins that resist puncture from your thumbnail.When vines die prematurely from disease or drought, for example, the fruits are probably immature and therefore will not store successfully.Green immature fruits may ripen during the curing process but not after the vines are killed by frost.Check the fruits regularly and remove the ones that are rotten, as they will spread pathogens in the storage area.Fall decorative displays include pumpkins and winter squashes, and those begin showing up after Labor Day. .
Curing & Storage Chart for Winter Squash
For the best-quality squash, wait to harvest all types until they are mature — at least 50–55 days after the fruit has set — and cure before storing and eating.The fruits of these types, like acorn squash, often have a dark-orange "ground spot" when mature.Varieties such as 'Sunshine,' ,'Red Kuri,' and Shokichi types can be consumed at harvest, and will store up to 4 months. .
Prolong the life of decorative pumpkins, gourds and squash in five
This week I watched the sun set on the farm a full hour earlier than I am used to.I hauled a heavy load of pumpkins, gourds and squash to market and returned with an empty wagon — a sure sign everyone is feeling the fall spirit.Whether you grow your own or purchase pumpkins, gourds and squash at market, these five preservation steps make autumn ornamentals last longer.Well-developed fruit and dead vines are good indicators Cucurbitaceae are ready for harvest.Hasty harvest, scratches and other surface injuries cause fruit to rot prematurely.Wash rind with a diluted bleach solution to kill surface bacteria and mold.The ideal post-harvest curing environment is a warm room with good air circulation.If you plan to eat pumpkin and squash after they’ve done their decorative duty, skip the polish and paint. .
How Long Do Pumpkins Last? Here's What To Expect – Home For
Pumpkins that have been carved have a much shorter shelf life.A carved Jack-o-Lantern on a chilly front porch usually lasts between 1-2 weeks, while a carved pumpkin at room temperature may only last a few days.Carved pumpkins may last longer if cut surfaces are sprayed with a sealant.After curing, a pumpkin can be placed into cool, dry storage or used as decor in a seasonal autumn display.Cured pumpkins last much longer in storage than pumpkins with a rind not allowed to cure.Healthy pumpkins will store much, much longer than diseased or damaged fruits.Damaged pumpkins have a much shorter shelf life than intact pumpkins that still have their stems.For the longest shelf life, pumpkins are sometimes “cured” for storage.Harvested pumpkins are placed in a warm, dry, airy location to harden up their peel/skin.Pumpkins last longer when the storage area is kept at a cool (but not cold) temperature.Pumpkins should not be stored at temperatures below 45°F (7.5°C), as these cold temperatures can cause softening (leading to rot).Pumpkins should also be stored away from apples/pears, as they can cause early pumpkin rot.Tree fruits are generally better stored at cooler temperatures than pumpkins anyways.Check pumpkins often for soft spots or other signs of rotting.Here are some popular sealants for cut surfaces to help carved pumpkins last longer:.Carved pumpkins generally go mouldy within a week or two of carving.If you are going for the “rotted pumpkin” look for your Halloween decor, the pumpkin generally has to be carved at least 2 weeks prior to Halloween. .
How to Dry Pumpkins and Gourds
Big orange pumpkins on the porch, brightly colored dried yellow corn hanging on the door and bowls of green gourds on the dining room table are all vibrant and lovely, but what if those colors don’t suit your décor?Here’s an easy way to dry pumpkins and keep the tradition alive while maintaining your personal style.Rinse off dirt and debris from the gourd, then disinfect the rind with a diluted bleach solution or distilled vinegar.Place them on a wire drying rack for proper air circulation, making sure the gourds do not touch.You can speed up the drying time by piercing the bottom of the gourds with a nail or a small drill bit.Place a paper or plastic sheet below the drying rack to protect the floor from drippings.The gourds have dried completely when you hear seeds rattling inside when you shake them.The entire process can take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the type of gourd and the air conditions.Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of cottage inspiration! .