The popularity of pumpkins is enormous amongst gardeners and farmers because of good yields and nutritional values.
To bring your pumpkin seeds to fruition, there is a process you need to follow – harvesting, curing, and storing them.
To obtain the best yield and attain lasting freshness, it is important to cure and store the pumpkin the right way. Read on to find out how to have the best harvest!
What Is the Color of a Ripened Pumpkin?
A pumpkin is commonly considered ripe when it turns orange. However, it isn’t always true. A pumpkin may be entirely ripe to pick, even if it is solid green.
In other words, the colour alone won’t help make a final call. Other aspects can also indicate the maturity of a pumpkin.
What are the Signs of a Mature Pumpkin?
Give the pumpkin a good knock (similar to the way we knock at doors). Sounding hollow is one of the signs that the pumpkin is ripe for picking.
Additionally, if the pumpkin has a hard shiny surface with hard rinds, and it doesn’t get a puncture when gentle pressure is applied with the fingernail (or only results in bruises to its skin), it is another sign that the pumpkin is ripe for picking.
Never pick a pumpkin just because it has reached the size you require. Pumpkins harvested young will rot.
Take all of these signs collectively into account to make the best decision on harvesting the pumpkin.
7 Precautions To Keep In Mind When Picking The Pumpkin
Here are a few things to remember:
- The weather is vital when it comes to harvesting pumpkins — they should be picked and kept dry.
- Pumpkin vines can be prickly so precaution must be taken to avoid contact with the prickly skin. Wear proper working gloves and a full sleeve shirt to avoid any mishap.
- Proper pruning tools are recommended when cutting the stems of the ripe pumpkins but a sharp knife can also do the job.
- At least 3 inches of the stem should be kept intact with the final harvested pumpkins as the stem will protect the pumpkin from disease and insect attacks. It’s vital for keeping the crop fresh for an optimum period of time.
- Pumpkins should be handled with greater care or they will bruise.
- Always place a hand under pumpkin while carrying it. Carrying a heavy pumpkin by its stem can quickly get it detached and cause irrecoverable damage to the pumpkin.
- The harvest should be adequately cleaned with soapy water. This ensures the pumpkin is free from all sorts of dirt and kill all the pathogens on the surface of the pumpkin.
What Is the Process of Curing Newly Harvested Pumpkins?
Soon after harvesting the pumpkins, sorting and thorough checks on the extracted yield should follow (another critical task of curing pumpkins).
This process makes all the pumpkins fit for human consumption. As the term suggests, it’s all about restoring the pumpkin’s health and bringing it on par with the better crop. The process involves taking care of any sort of wounds or problems alike.
Curing is generally recommended outdoors in a dry and sunny environment. The sunnier it is, the quicker the pumpkin will heal and cure causing the skin to toughen.
The timeline for the process will purely depend on the availability of sun and warm temperatures. Make your final decision based on the signs of ripened pumpkins as discussed earlier.
How to Store Newly Harvested Pumpkins?
The pumpkins should be stored in dry places with temperature in between 10 and 15 C along with proper ventilation.
They should be placed on a soft ground apart from each other or at least not touching each other, which may increase the chance of rotting.
By following all these steps, you can extend the life of Pumpkins by up to 6 years!
In a Nutshell
Sowing pumpkin seeds, harvesting the pumpkin and elongating are important tasks. The trick lies not just in preparing the scrumptious pumpkin pie, but in harvesting and saving it too.
For more information, feel free to get in touch with us.