The other day, I brought my friend out to the garden and parted the vines of my ‘Howden’ pumpkin plant, revealing an enormous green fruit.I knew it had something to do with the green color changing to the classic rich orange that this cultivar typically exhibits.As long as you know what to watch out for, you’re sure to pick your pumpkin at its prime, to enjoy as a Halloween decoration, pureed and baked in a pie, or slow-cooked to perfection in your favorite fall soup.By monitoring your Cucurbit plants and keeping your eye out for these five signs, you won’t miss the perfect picking time.An important thing to do is keep tabs on how long your plant has been growing and compare it to the days-to-maturity section on your seed packet.But instead of using this timeframe as a hard and fast rule, just start keeping your eye out for signs of readiness once mid-August hits.So you’ll need to harvest them early and let them ripen indoors if you notice that the weather’s going to cool off significantly, or your first killing frost is on the way.All immature gourds are green, so it’s common sense to assume that a pumpkin isn’t ripe until it turns orange, right?Along with color, one of the most important indicators of squash maturity is the shell, which should be hard and firm if you aim to keep a pumpkin around for a few months.If your nail makes a small dent but does not puncture the skin, that’s a good sign that the rind has matured into a hard shell and it’s time to pick your Cucurbit.The shell will protect the pumpkin from pests and diseases after it’s picked, which means it can be featured as a bright spot of autumnal sunshine on your front porch for a nice, long time.Say your gourd has mostly turned orange, and the vine around it is beginning to succumb to autumn’s cool temperatures.If the stem of your gourd feels hard to the touch, as opposed to being slightly spongy, check the color.The portion of stem that you leave on the gourd will actually continue to provide the last dregs of nutrients to the fruit, meaning it will last longer after it’s harvested.All you need to do is wipe the freshly cut fruit down with a dry cloth, and leave it in a warm, sunny spot for 10 days to two weeks.If your area is extra hot, you may want to provide a few hours of shade each day so the skin doesn’t get sunscald.After a week and a half or so of curing, your pumpkin will store nicely in a cool (50°F or slightly higher), dark, dry place until you can cook it. .
How Long Will Pumpkins Keep on the Vine After They Are Ripe?
The ripe fruits can stay in the garden until the first frost if the weather is dry and temperatures do not dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a week. .
Will a Green Pumpkin Ripen Off of the Vine?
For a pumpkin, the ripening process slows down on colder days and speeds up when the sun is present.This removes dirt, grease and any film on the surface blocking the sun's rays.Also, remove any objects, such as pots, yard equipment, furniture or garden implements, that are casting a shadow on the pumpkins.If possible, move your pumpkins inside the house on nights when temperatures drop below freezing.Or, store the pumpkins inside if your weather turns unusually cold during the day and put them in a warm, airy room with large windows and plenty of direct sunlight.Whenever the weather is cold, this environment is better suited for ripening a pumpkin off the vine than outdoors. .
How to Ripen Green Pumpkins
A little time, space and sunlight is all you need to turn that weather mishap into good eating fortune.Be gentle with the squash in that their skin hasn’t cured and is likely tender unlike those that have fully ripened on the vine.Place the green pumpkins in the sunny window leaving some space between each so that they aren’t touching and air can flow freely between the squashes.How long it takes for them to ripen will depend on the amount of light, how far along they were when harvested, and other factors that can’t be nailed down.If the pumpkins don’t cure well or do start to get soft, there are ways to preserve it so that they can still be eaten throughout the winter months.Remember that in most cases any winter squash can be swapped for another in recipes, so don’t be shy in using what you have on hand.And, of course, pumpkin cookies are great treat for lunchboxes, care packages, and weeknight dessert. .
Pumpkin Planting & Growing
Growing pumpkins stands as an enduring symbol of fall, whether they end up as smiling jack-o'-lanterns or stacked near cornstalks for a lovely autumn scene.Meet those requirements, and these sprawling vines will bear a bumper crop, especially when you start with strong young pumpkin plants from Bonnie Plants®, the company that has been lending a hand to home gardeners for over 100 years.Improve your native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.In cool climates, warm the soil a week before planting by covering it with a piece of black plastic.It is best to use a drip system or soaker hose to directly water soil at the base of vines so as to avoid wetting foliage.Wet foliage is more susceptible to fungus, such as powdery mildew, which can slowly kill all the leaves on a vine.Some gardeners promote branching to get more pumpkins by pinching the tips out of main vines when they reach about 2 feet long.You can also increase the yield on a vine by removing all female flowers (these have a small swelling at the base of the bloom) for the first 3 weeks.These practices may produce a sturdier vine that can set more, albeit smaller, pumpkins during the growing season if you have good soil, sun, and moisture.Insect pests of pumpkins include spotted and striped cucumber beetles, which can transmit bacterial wilt disease, which causes vines to collapse and die.As pumpkins form, you can slip a piece of cardboard or folded newspaper beneath the fruit to prevent contact with soil and possible rot, especially if you are growing a precious few.Fruit is ripe when the outside is fully coloured, skin is hard, and the stem begins to shrivel and dry.Pumpkin vines are often prickly, so wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting to keep from itching.Before storing, cure pumpkins by setting them in the sun for 10 to 14 days to harden the skin, seal the stem, and improve taste.Dry, warm weather is best; protect curing pumpkins from frosty nights with old blankets or by moving them into a shed or garage. .
N.J. pumpkin picking 2016: 20 places to pick straight off the vine
The ease of rolling up to the pumpkin patch in a wagon, selecting a squash and driving home.Many New Jersey pumpkin farms offer pre-cut patches, but others allow visitors to pluck their own pumpkins straight from the vine.(Always call ahead to confirm availability.).Hillsboro Farm Country Market.Red Wagon Farm Market.Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @AmyKup or on Facebook. .
Will dark green pumpkins turn orange? When to pick?
Your pumpkin will turn orange if the vine is still in good shape and has not rotted or died, and there has not been a frost.A pumpkin is ripe when the skin and stem are hard, and it sounds hollow when you thump it.Gently clean the pumpkin, dry it and wipe it down with a diluted bleach solution. .