How To Know When A Pumpkin Is Ripe

How To Know When A Pumpkin Is Ripe

The big question on most farmers’ minds is how to know when a pumpkin is ripe or ready for harvest. Usually, the color is a good indicator of pumpkin ripeness and the color of most ripe pumpkins is usually orange. But they can as well come in other shades such as blue, white, grey, and even stripe colors.

Pumpkin is from the family of Cucurbitaceae and they fall under winter squash. We have over 50 varieties of pumpkin. The round orange pumpkin is one of the most common or recognizable pumpkins.

In this article, we will be sharing great tips on how to know when a pumpkin is ripe or ready for harvest. So, let’s get right into this.

Some Info On Pumpkin

Pumpkin is from the gourd family. Pumpkin is a smooth, round, and partially cultivar of winter squash. It has ribbed-like skin and the most common colors tend to be deep yellow to orange.

It is a nutritious plump nutritious vegetable and it is loaded with great nutrients. Pumpkin has a low-calorie composition. It is as well loaded with vitamins and minerals and these nutrients are included in its seeds, leaves, and juice.

Some Info On Pumpkin

There are many ways to use pumpkins in our dishes. Pumpkin can be integrated into soups, salads, desserts, preserves, as well as a substitute for butter.

Pumpkins are as well used in decorations such as Halloween decorations. They can also be pureed and baked in a pie or you can slow cook them to perfection in your favorite fall soup.

How Do You Know When A Pumpkin Is Ripe: Helpful Tips

Pumpkin offers many signs once they are ready for harvest. As long as you know what to watch out for, it’s pretty easy to know how to tell if pumpkin is ripe.

So here are 5 signs on how to tell when pumpkins are ripe:

1.    Right Time Of The Year

Generally, most squash from different varieties takes about 3 to 4 months or even 5 months to attain maturity. This also depends on your climate, the growing conditions, and the variety planted.

Therefore, the easy way to know when a pumpkin is ripe is by simply keeping a good watch and knowing how long it has been growing. You should compare the growing period to the days to maturity that are on your seed packet.

Right Time Of The Year

An important thing to note is that pumpkins can only tolerate light frost and will not get ripe after you’ve harvested them after they’ve been exposed to heavy frost. Therefore, before the frost in your area gets heavy, ensure you harvest all your pumpkin on time.

Also, they shouldn’t be exposed to temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. You can simply pick your pumpkin early and allow them to get ripe indoors if your first killing frost is approaching.

2.    Desired Color Change

As a general rule, a change in the desired color is a good indicator your gourd is ripe and ready for harvest. Golden-orange is a sign of the fruit attaining maturity.

Generally, an immature gourd tends to remain green. Therefore, it’s safe to say the pumpkin isn’t matured yet when it’s still green.

However, there are times when a squash refuses to turn orange even after the stem has died off. If this is the case, the fruit can be ripened off the vine.

3.    Hard To Puncture Rind With Fingernails

To know when a pumpkin is ripe, the rind of your pumpkin should be hard and difficult to puncture with your fingernail. This is one of the most popular signs of squash attaining maturity.

When you puncture the rind of the pumpkin and your fingernails create a small dent and the skin doesn’t puncture, that’s a good indicator your pumpkin is ready for harvest.

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If you’re however growing pumpkin pie, harvesting should be done when the fruit rind is firm but not hard as a rock. This is important especially if you wish to make pies within the next week or you wish to roast and puree the flesh to store in the freezer.

4.    Stem Turns Brown

Once you notice the stem of your gourd becomes hard to touch instead of being slightly spongy, check the color of the stem. If the stem is beginning to dry out and turn brown, then the stem is dying. This means the supply to the plant is diminishing.

However, you can still leave the gourd and allow the entire vine to die around your squash before harvesting them. but ensure this is before the first sign of frost.

5.    A Hollow Sound Is Generated When You Knock The Rind

Another method on how to know when a pumpkin is ripe is to gently knock the rind. When you hear a hollow thunk sound, then that’s an indication that it’s ready for harvest.

How To Harvest Pumpkin

We now know when a pumpkin is ripe and ready to be picked. Let’s now briefly look into how to harvest them.

Use a clean sharp tool or knife to harvest pumpkin. Measure the stem at least 3 to 5 inches from the top of the fruit then cut the stem away from the vine.

The part of the stem you’ve left on your fruit will actually keep o supplying the last residue of nutrients for your fruit. This means it will last long after you must have harvested them.

It’s important you don’t carry the fruit by the stem as this isn’t a handle. If by any chance the stem breaks off, your fruit will immediately begin to rot. So, ensure you give some support to the sides and base while you carry your squash.

Conclusion On How To Know When A Pumpkin Is Ripe

It’s pretty fun growing and harvesting pumpkin. How to know when a pumpkin is ripe is also not difficult to determine. Kindly look through the helpful tips we’ve outlined for you and you can easily learn when the right time is to harvest your pumpkin.