WHEN TO HARVEST PUMPKINS

When do you harvest pumpkins




Now that autumn is well and truly here, the western world is gearing up to one of the years greatest holidays - HALLOWEEN! Already the supermarkets are filling up with Halloween related items and that of course means giant boxes of pumpkins. So if the shops have pumpkins in stock then surely our home grown pumpkins are ready to harvest?

When do you harvest pumpkins
Well no, not quite. It is all well and good harvesting your pride and joy now, but it isn't going to last too long.

Now that isn't a problem if all you are using it for is Halloween decoration, but if you want to lift it from the field it so that it can be eaten at a later date, then it is still too early.

Best practice is to wait until the first decent frost hits your crop.

Once the leaves have properly died back the bright orange pumpkins hidden beneath will be revealed - unless of course you have grown a variety that isn't supposed to be orange.

Before you remove your prize there are three checks that you need to make to be sure that the pumpkin is ripe.

1. First you need to give it a good slap. If it sounds hollow then it is ready to be harvested.

When do you harvest pumpkins
2. Check the skin. If it is hard, and it should be, again it is ready to be lifted. If the skin is soft then you will need to leave it in place a bit longer. You can test this by gently pushing your thumbnail into the skin. If you can leave a dent in the skin without it puncturing then it is ready.

3. The final check is to have a look at the stem that attaches the pumpkin to the main body of the plant. If it is soft then leave it, but if it is hard then it is ready to be lifted.

Once you are happy that all three conditions have been met then you can be confident that pumpkin is ready to be harvested from the field.

In order for your pumpkin to remain in storage for as long as possible without it rotting it will need to be cured. To find out more about both harvesting and curing pumpkins you can click onto the following link: HOW TO CURE AND STORE PUMPKINS

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW CAN YOU TELL WHEN TO HARVEST POTATOES?
When to harvest Pumpkins
HOW TO COLLECT AND PREPARE PUMPKIN SEEDS FOR GERMINATION
HOW TO GROW GIANT PUMPKINS
HOW TO GROW PUMPKINS FROM SEED
HOW TO TELL WHEN PUMPKINS ARE READY TO HARVEST?
THE HISTORY OF THE JACK 'O' LANTERN HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN
WHEN ARE POTATOES READY TO HARVEST
WHEN ARE PUMPKINS READY FOR HARVEST?

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