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The Best Time To Harvest Pumpkins From Your Garden

There’s something mysterious about figuring out when to harvest pumpkins in the garden. Is it too early or too late?

Find out how to tell when pumpkins are ready to harvest and leave the mind treasures to your trick-or-treaters. It is possible to determine whether pumpkins and gourds of all colors, shapes, and sizes are ripe by looking for several straightforward clues.

Depending on their maturation, pumpkins can last up to two months. Here’s how to harvest pumpkins for pie or jack-o-lanterns weighing 2 pounds or more.

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A Guide To Harvesting Pumpkins

Riping pumpkins like watermelon, strawberries, and grapes on the vine are best. Harvest timing is crucial for pumpkins you wish to use for baking and cooking because the sugar content of the fruit cannot increase once removed from the vine.

The maturation process on the vine helps pumpkins resist rot, even though sugar content doesn’t matter. The pumpkin plant and its rind can help you determine when to harvest.

  • A fully developed color palette
  • Lack of luster
  • Squash vines on the verge of dying
  • The tough rinds

Pumpkins and gourds are mature when they have thick, leathery rinds. If your fingernail can dent the skin, it’s too harsh. It prevents bacteria from rotting the fruit.

It’s best to have warm, dry conditions. Allow immature pumpkins to cure in the sun for 7 to 10 days. A freeze is a good time to bring them inside. Frost can damage pumpkins, but a freeze shortens storage life and weakens the rind.

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Harvesting Pumpkins: How To Do It

Pruning is the most effective way to harvest pumpkins and gourds. Make sure pumpkins and gourds have a 3- to the 4-inch stem. The stem prevents bacteria and fungi from growing.

How To Store Pumpkins

Display your homegrown pumpkins for fall decor in a cool, dry place. Put pie pumpkins in the basement or garage where it stays cool and well-ventilated, around 60 degrees. Use a bleach and water solution to clean pumpkins and gourds. Rinse and dry with water.