When To Harvest Pumpkins? Now Answered

When To Harvest Pumpkins? Now Answered

Growing pumpkins is enjoyable for the whole family. When the time comes to harvest the fruit, pay close attention to the condition of the pumpkins to ensure the timing is correct. Harvesting pumpkins at the proper time extends storage time. 

When to harvest pumpkins

Harvest pumpkins after they have attained a rich, uniform orange color and the peel is firm. Mature pumpkins can also be kept in the garden/field until a light frost or freeze kills the vines.

When collecting pumpkins, use caution to avoid wounds and bruises. Using a sharp knife or a pair of lopping shears, cut the pumpkins off the vine. Allow several inches of stalk to remain connected to each fruit.

A pumpkin with a stem or handle of 3 to 5 inches is more appealing. Pumpkins with stems are also less prone to decay. Carry pumpkins by the stems only. The stems may fail to withstand the weight of the pumpkins and snap off.

Cure the pumpkins after picking them at a temperature of 80 to 85°F and a humidity of 80% 10 days of relative humidity Curing hardens their skin and heals wounds and scrapes.

After curing, keep the pumpkins in a cool, dry place. Temperatures should be kept between 50 and 55°F. When storing pumpkins, keep them in a single layer so they don’t contact.

Good air circulation prevents moisture from accumulating on the fruit’s surfaces and slows the growth of decay fungus and bacteria.

Placing the pumpkins in mounds produces unnecessary heat, which may cause part of the fruit to spoil. Remove and discard any pumpkins that show symptoms of deterioration as soon as possible.

When should you harvest pumpkins?

When the pumpkin has achieved the correct color and the peel has hardened, it is time to harvest it. You may verify its ready by pressing your fingernail on the rind’s outer skin.

It should be tough enough to withstand puncture. You may also determine if a pumpkin is ripe by hearing a hollow sound when you beat on it.

When are the most pumpkins harvested?

However, the pumpkin harvest normally begins between the end of August and the end of October. With a few simple tactics, you can easily determine when your pumpkin is ready to harvest.

Is it feasible to maintain pumpkins on the vine for an extended period of time?

Pumpkins should be gathered before cold weather arrives, whether for nutmeg-spiced pies or sneering Jack-O-Lanterns. Pumpkins should be allowed to ripen for as long as possible on the vine.

They will only ripen and change color while still in the process of growing. Pumpkins, unlike tomatoes and bananas, do not improve after plucking.


Pumpkins remain longer if harvested when the color is ripe and the peel is firm.

Further Reading

  1. Production and Postharvest Assessment of Tropical Pumpkin Flowers Harvested for Consumption
  2. Harvesting & Storing Pumpkins (pumpkin)
  3. Commercial Production and Management of Pumpkins and Gourds