Garden Bed Tips: Pumpkin Storage

Pumpkin is one of those annual fruits that are offered year after year in many seasons. It is also one of the many choices for garden bed planting.Some people are overwhelmed by the amount of pumpkins they produce and find different ways to store them. So, here we will discuss how to store pumpkins!

In this regard, you may wonder how summer pumpkins compare to winter pumpkins. Maybe you already know that some methods are most suitable for one of them, or maybe you have decided to plant kabocha, pumpkin or walnut for the first time.

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One thing is for sure: if you succeed in harvesting, healing and storing your pumpkin, you can enjoy it all year round. Spaghetti pumpkins in summer, or zucchini in winter are possible! It is easy to harvest these fruits before the first frost and after the last frost, and so is the curing process. Storage options are also ubiquitous.

Food Safety

In terms of safety, you should be vigilant, especially in terms of canned, preserved or fermented food. Improper storage can lead to disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a guide on home canning and botulism. If you are not familiar with any of these methods, please refer to this guide first.

Another excellent resource for long-term food storage is the National Family Food Preservation Center. Their long stored guide is great. Consult this content to learn how to increase the shelf life of your efforts in the garden. Please follow the guidelines correctly before starting this work.

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How to store wax gourd

After harvesting winter melons, find any pumpkins with soft spots or small jingles on the surface. These should be taken out of long-term storage and eaten or composted immediately.

After harvesting the wax gourd, wipe it with a dry cloth to remove dirt and debris. Treat the wax gourd in an area with a temperature of 70 to 85 degrees and a relative humidity of 80 to 85 percent. Make sure the fruit is in a single layer. Some guides suggest pickling pumpkins in the sun in the yard. Although this is good for some areas, others may be too cold.

The proper solidification of these winter fruits makes their skin form a hardened protective layer, which can prevent mold and decay. It also promotes a sweeter, more pleasant taste by increasing the amount of natural sugar in the meat. Curing can also reduce the respiration rate of fruits, thus making the long-term shelf life easier.

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Harvest all pumpkins on the vines before the first frost of the growing season. Treat fully mature and immature pumpkins. This can prevent the fruit you grow from rotting and provide you with more cooking experiment feed.

The structure made of window screen or chicken shreds keeps good air circulation around the fruit. The root cellar is a good place to treat and store pumpkins harvested before winter. Properly pickled fully mature pumpkins are such a pleasure.

Different wax gourds need different curing time after harvest. Some do not require any curing time at all.

For example, pumpkins or pie pumpkins, spaghetti pumpkins, acorn pumpkins, cooked pumpkins, and other pumpkins are ready to eat immediately after harvest. In particular, cooked pumpkin has a thin skin, which can be eaten with the flesh. Walnut squash, Hubbard squash, Big Cabocha squash and Lakota squash have specific curing times. They must be cured so that the skin eventually condenses into edible fruit.

The following is a list of the time required for each winter variety to be cured:

Walnut: 2 to 6 weeks

Hubbard: 4 weeks

Large Cabocha: 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the variety

Lakota: 1 to 2 weeks

Dry storage

The wax gourd can be stored in a dry place for up to 6 months, depending on the variety. They do not last long in places where the humidity is higher than in ordinary kitchens or colder. If you do not want to incur the additional costs involved in canning, fermentation and preservation, please store them in this way.

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As the whole pumpkin is best placed in a place with good air circulation at room temperature, the refrigerator is not a good choice for long-term storage. However, the boiled or mashed wax gourd shall be stored in a sealed container or a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Of course, this is not a good choice for long-term storage, but it is a good way to enjoy pumpkins many times a week.


The wax gourd freezes well. Keep it in a refrigerator in plastic bags or closed containers for up to three months. Walnut squash stored in the refrigerator can be used in soup and bread recipes. Please note that you must remove the skin before storing it in the refrigerator. Frozen containers are ideal for storing winter fruits.

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To dehydrate the wax gourd, peel it, cut it in half, and then take out the seed and stem. Save the seeds for next year's garden, or enjoy roasted and seasoned seeds. Cut the whole pumpkin into 1/4 inch strips and steam until soft (about 3 minutes). Then dehydrate for 2 to 3 hours at 140 degrees. Lower the temperature to 130 degrees and let the pumpkin dry until crisp. Store it in a sealed container for up to 2 months.

Use this method if you can use a dehydrator or low-temperature oven.

freeze drying

Wax gourd can be freeze-dried. It is best to cook the pumpkin in the way you like before freeze-drying, because if it is precooked, the hard flesh will be better rebuilt. This can extend other storage methods, such as smoked pumpkins. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your device.


Wax gourds cannot be kept at room temperature in cans because they are low acid foods. For these storage methods, it must be avoided to mud the wax gourd. Any preserved or canned wax gourd should be treated as fresh food and stored in the refrigerator - never at room temperature, which is too hot for foods with low acid content.

The result of pickling and storing winter melon in a warm room is botulism.

Pumpkins, acorn pumpkins and walnut pumpkins can be quickly salted and stored in the refrigerator for about a week. Peel the pumpkin, remove the stems and seeds. Then slice or cut them into pieces.

Use the same amount of vinegar and sugar to make your favorite brine, boil the pumpkin in the brine, and then put it into the pot. Let it cool and seal tightly on the refrigerator.

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Although this method requires contact with smokers, it is the most delicious way to enjoy wax gourd. However, it will not be stored for a long time. Smoked wax gourd should be eaten immediately or 1 to 2 days after preparation.

After pickling the gourd, cut it in half and remove the seeds and stems. To taste, wrap it gently with foil and poke holes in the area where the seed cavity is located. This provides ventilation and air circulation, allowing smoke to penetrate the skin.

Place the pumpkin in a smoke oven at 225 to 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 11/2 to 2 hours, or as thick as you like. Slice or slice it and add butter and other spices.


Although it is not necessary to ferment wax gourd, you can do so. It is important to make safety mistakes and treat all forms of canned wax gourd as fresh food, rather than those that can be stored for a long time without deterioration.

Use a gourd that is easy to cut into bite size. Immerse it in brine and transfer it to a tank that is pressure sealed or has a fermentation lock. Let it ferment in the refrigerator.

Wax gourd is great in chutney, with raisins, cinnamon and garlic. Properly fermented wax gourd will be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. Please finish eating within one month after opening.


Canned wax gourd must be canned under pressure because it is a low acid food. It is important that you cut the wax gourd into cubes, not into mud. You can always pound it into mud when you are ready to use it in the future.

This method requires the use of pressure cans, seals, lids and tools to remove air bubbles. These are not very expensive, but at the low end the price may be about $100. In addition, you need to leave space in the kitchen to make gourds and other winter melons. Use the tested safe formula of the National Family Food Preservation Center.

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Store the wax gourd in a jar for 3 years. The correctly canned wax gourd can also have a storage life of up to 5 or 6 years. These cans can be stored at room temperature, but once you open them, please pay close attention to them and eat them quickly.

How to store summer pumpkins

Although you must cure the wax gourd, its skin is much thinner and does not need to be salted. Although you can store the wax gourd in the whole state for a long time, this is not necessarily applicable to summer varieties.

The spaghetti pumpkin may look like a pickled pumpkin, but in fact, it can be eaten immediately.

Since we are on different courts here, please know that you can harvest wet fruits and eat them immediately. Wet fruits have a high moisture content.

Pumpkin, summer squash and other pumpkins that mature in summer fall into this category. They are abundant on the vines in the garden, but they do not last long in dry conditions.

A good rule of thumb is that pumpkins do not need to be cured in summer, while some winter pumpkins do. Try to pickle summer pumpkins (even spaghetti pumpkins), and you will find that they will soon deteriorate compared with winter varieties. So let's talk about how to keep the summer squash stored so that you don't have to do extra work and help you get more from the garden.

Dry storage is the same, because summer squash will never be pickled squash, so it will not be stored in dry storage for a long time. The storage life of pumpkin harvested in summer shall not exceed two weeks. Pumpkin stored at room temperature will lose its flavor over time, even if it is still good.


Summer pumpkins stored in the refrigerator are even shorter. Pumpkins stored in the refrigerator can be stored in perforated bags for several days, and water can be captured with towels. When you store summer pumpkins in the refrigerator, please eat them quickly.


Pumpkin can be frozen in summer, but it is softer and more delicate than winter varieties. It is used in soups and casseroles that do not require structural integrity. Keep your summer variety pumpkin store in a refrigerator in an airtight container or plastic bag for no more than six months.

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If you have a dehydrator, please cut the grapes harvested in summer into 1/4 inch thick slices and dehydrate them at 135 degrees for six hours. Then cool them. You can even boil them for about a minute, then soak them in ice water to blanch them. They will keep it for one to two months.

If you have space and access, this is a good way. If not, please try pickling!

freeze drying

Pumpkin can be freeze-dried in summer, whether raw or cooked. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your device.


Pickled cucumber is a great summer food, rich in vitamin C Make salt water, sugar and vinegar, then pour them into a jar filled with speared cucumbers, garlic, crushed red peppers and peppers, leaving about an inch of head room. Then seal the jar properly, and you will get the pickle in a few days.

As long as you have enough jars to keep your harvest, this is a good way to enjoy it a few months later.


Because the meat of summer pumpkin varieties is more tender, you will not be able to smoke among smokers. Instead, use a closed grill. Sprinkle zucchini spears or zucchini, add your favorite hot oil and seasoning. Bake directly on the grill or aluminum foil for a few minutes, then enjoy immediately.


To ferment hot weather pumpkins, follow the quick pickle instructions above, instead of freezing them, let them cool at room temperature with a weighted top for 3 to 4 weeks. Check them frequently when cooling, and remove any jars that contain sticky or damaged fruit or mold. It is then sealed and stored unopened at room temperature for 4 to 6 months. Once they are opened, eat them within a month.

This method is very suitable for those who can use counter space and sealable cans.


Pumpkins soaked in hot weather cannot be canned as is. However, it can be used for enjoyment. Use boiler cans to properly seal cans. Cut or chop the pumpkin and mix it with other ingredients. Then simmer in liquid medium for 20 minutes. They are sealed in boiler tanks and stored unopened for 3 to 5 years. Finish in a week.

This method is most suitable for those who can use boiler cans.

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common problem

Q: Do pumpkins need refrigeration?

A: It depends on the pumpkin. Some hot weather varieties need refrigeration, while thick skinned varieties can be stored at room temperature.

Q: How long can pumpkins be stored?

A: Again, it depends on the thickness of the skin. If you marinate pumpkin on chicken shreds, it can last for several months. If the skin is thin, it can last about a week at room temperature.

Q: How do you prepare pumpkins for storage?

Answer: Pickle pumpkins from autumn harvest. Others should wash and eat quickly.

Q: How long can boiled pumpkins be kept in the refrigerator?

A: All varieties can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

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