Raised Garden Bed Related Knowledge-Harvesting Pumpkins And Storing Them Right
For beginners, pumpkin is a good horticultural crop because it is easy to plant. When there is enough space to plant, it is a high-yield producer. They are a good choice for park roads or devil's areas, where you may want to control weeds, but you won't spend much time taking care of the landscape. They can also be planted on the edge of the garden or in the corner of the elevated bed, and can be freely dragged aside. It's also fun to harvest pumpkins from olle’s raised garden bed!
Although it may be easy to grow pumpkins, there are some things to know when you harvest pumpkins to ensure that you get the most out of your crop. When choosing the variety you want to plant, remember that there are many different types of pumpkins, from pie pumpkins, jack lanterns, mini pumpkins to jack BeLittle, and even types that can grow to more than 100 pounds, such as BigMax.
When to harvest pumpkins
Once you have selected the pumpkin variety to plant, it is important to check the seed package for specific information about its mature size, color and harvest days. Except for the specific indicators that depend on the variety and type, all pumpkins have some general rules of thumb to follow. From the time you harvest pumpkins to the time you pickle them, you can follow some gardening tips.
Several different stages of pumpkin growth occur before pumpkin picking. Generally speaking, pumpkins can be harvested with a sharp knife in about 90-120 days. About halfway through maturity, plants will begin to bloom. Their large yellow pumpkin flowers resemble those of zucchini, walnuts, acorns, and other members of the gourd family. These pumpkin flowers are also edible. Like other members of the family, pumpkins have separate male and female flowers. The pollen of the male flower must be transferred to the female flower to make the fruit fall. After successful pollination, you will see the pumpkin begin to swell at the base of the female flower. They usually start with green, then slowly mature to the final color.
When the vines begin to die in the garden, you will know that your pumpkin harvest is approaching. As mentioned above, please pay attention to the date of harvesting the variety you choose. If this is consistent with the sign of death of the vine, usually the end of summer or early autumn, then your winter pumpkins are ready to be picked. No matter how mature your pumpkins are, you want to ensure that they are harvested before the first frost, whether in autumn or early winter. Although they are called wax gourds, they can't stand the hard frost. The vines will die, and if you expose your plants to severe frost, the fruit will rot in the garden.
In addition to the withering of the pumpkin vine, you will also notice that the stems that attach the pumpkin to the vine will begin to change from green to brown. The brown woody stems on the vines are a good visual indicator that your pumpkin fruit is almost ready.
If you study gardening techniques related to harvested pumpkin fruits, you may learn to test skin. Nail test is an unscientific method used to test the preparation of pumpkins. The skin of pumpkins hardens as they mature. If you press your nail into the peel and it leaves almost no trace, it indicates that the peel is beginning to harden and the fruit is almost ready to be harvested. Hard skin is the difference between winter squash and summer squash, and allows them to be stored for a longer time without rotting.
Pumpkins have many different colors, ranging from green, white, yellow, red, blue and the most obvious orange. They can even be speckled or solid. The fully mature pumpkin will gradually change from green to mature color, depending on the variety you choose. Check the vines in the garden to see if the fruit has become a mature color, whether orange, white or multi-color.
As with color, the size of a mature pumpkin will depend on its variety. Sugar pie pumpkins (best known as pumpkin pie) used for baking are usually smaller in size. At the other end of the spectrum, some species can grow to 100 pounds. The largest pumpkin on record weighed 2703 pounds! Depending on the variety, once the pumpkins reach the required size and are fully colored, it is time to continue picking pumpkins. Then, you can break the stems of the vines and take them out of the garden to become pickled pumpkins.
How to harvest pumpkins
In the sunny days at the end of the season, once the above standards are met, it is time to harvest the fruits of your labor. Picking pumpkins and harvesting pumpkins on sunny and dry days will help reduce the chance that mold and mildew (such as powdery mildew) will affect the harvest. As mentioned above, it is important to pick pumpkins before the first hard frost, as this may damage them and prevent them from being stored for a long time. Handle the pumpkin carefully to avoid damaging the skin, stem and skin.
It is important to keep the stem attached during harvest. Stems extend the shelf life of pumpkins. When the stem is removed, it creates an entry point for pests and decay. Use a sharp knife or prune the cut pumpkin from the vine. Keep at least 4 inches of stem intact. Do not pull pumpkins from the vines by hand, as this will damage the vines, and you may still have immature pumpkins at the other end of the vines. Once removed from the vine, the pumpkin will not continue to mature. Always place the pumpkin at the base, never near the stem.
Pumpkin cured properly can be kept at room temperature for several months. To cure pumpkins immediately after they are removed from the vines, place them in a dry and sunny place for 7-14 days to harden and cure the skin. As an additional layer of protection, some gardeners recommend wiping the wax gourd with a mixture of 1 part bleach diluted to 10 parts water to further prevent any pests or diseases from damaging your harvest, although this is optional. Once they are cured, they can be stored in a cool and dry place with good air circulation and avoid direct sunlight, such as shed and root cellar. Now that we have introduced how to treat pumpkins, let's discuss some more tips on how to preserve fruits after they are taken out of the garden.
How to store pumpkins
If you choose to plant pumpkins in your garden, you will be rewarded with abundant food and decorations at the end of the season. It is important to know how to store them to make the most of your gains. The storage method also depends on how you choose to handle the pumpkins when they are removed from the garden on a sunny day. Pumpkin that has any damage to the skin or skin should be eaten immediately, rather than being stored for a long time. How long can the pumpkin last? Let's talk about it!
The easiest way to store pumpkins is in the refrigerator. Pumpkins that will be eaten within a month perform best in the cold of the refrigerator. They do not need to be cured before being stored in this way. However, curing them will also improve their life in the refrigerator. Store the fruit on a cold back.
Storing pumpkins at room temperature can be tricky. If you choose to store pumpkins in this way, you need to marinate them after they are removed from the garden. Then, they can be stored in root cellars, sheds, basements or other dry places where there is good air circulation and even cool temperatures. Make sure the fruit is stored in a layer. Stacking pumpkins can damage the skin and stems, causing them to rot. This is the best way to store pumpkins that you want to use for autumn decorations on Halloween.
If you want to use pumpkin storage for many different cooking purposes, this is the best solution for long-term fruit storage. Pumpkin can be baked, mashed, and frozen for future use in baking pies, bread, muffins, cakes, etc. The seeds can be taken out, baked and stored in an airtight container. They can also be cut into small orange cubes and frozen for future use in soups and stews. Technically, frozen pumpkins can last indefinitely, although they taste best when eaten within a year. Any longer than this, you may burn and lose texture in the refrigerator.
If you are interested in using pumpkin powder directly from the garden, dehydrated pumpkin is a good choice. You can dehydrate the pumpkin slices, and then use a spice grinder or a coffee grinder to mix them into a powder. This powder can also be used in baking and soup to increase the pumpkin flavor. Throw some roasted seeds on it, and you will be ready. Even better, dehydrated pumpkin slices are a great treat for dogs! Pumpkin fiber is known to aid digestion.
Freeze drying is the ultimate long-term storage option. Although the freeze dryer is not cheap, if you want to keep it for a long time without occupying a lot of space, the freeze dryer may be worth investing. You can freeze dry the cut autumn pumpkins. These pumpkins can be stored in polyester film bags and added with water by directly throwing them into the soup. The freeze-drying machine can also freeze and dry more forms of food in the garden flexibly than using the dehydrator. You can even freeze dry chopped pumpkin pie to get delicious pumpkin pie.
No matter which way you choose to store or use pumpkins, do not let these seeds be wasted! Spoon out the inside of the pumpkin, wash the flesh off the seeds, gently salt, and bake into delicious snacks!
Q: How do you know when pumpkins are ready to be picked?
Answer: Study the mature size, color and harvest days of the varieties you choose for the garden. These indicators, together with the withered vines and the appearance of brown woody stems, mean that your pumpkins are ready to be picked from plants. Make sure you do this on a sunny day.
Q: Can you keep the pumpkin on the vine too long?
A: Yes, if they are left on the vines for too long, they will rot. Flowers, vine tips and fruits may also be damaged by frost. Cut them from plants at the right time, and you are gold.
Q: Should pumpkins be picked immediately after they turn orange?
A: Yes, once they are completely colored and show other signs of maturity, such as through a nail test. Remember that pumpkins can grow for about 90 to 120 days. After that, it can be cut from plants.
Q: What should I do after harvesting pumpkins?
A: Healing them is a good first step. Although they can cure for 7-14 days, you will have enough time to decide how to eat them and/or store them for a long time. You will also have time to decide what to do with the rest of the pumpkin plants in your garden.
Q: How long can the pumpkin last after picking?
A: Once properly cured, they can be stored for several months. Freezing, dehydration and freeze-drying can keep them longer.
Q: If the pumpkin is picked green, will it turn orange?
A: No, once removed from the vines, they will not continue to mature.