Curing pumpkins

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Curing pumpkins involves hardening the skins to protect the flesh inside from deterioration. Do it properly and you can expect fruits to stay in top form for at least 3 months, comfortably taking you to the first harvests of next spring.

The fruit is harvested when it is uniformly orange and the rind is hard. Harvest the fruit by cutting it off the vine with a sharp knife or a pair of looping shears, leaving 3-6 inches of the stem attached to the fruit. This makes the fruit less likely to be attacked by fruit rot pathogens at the point of stem attachment.

Remove the fruits to a greenhouse or as sunny a windowsill as you can find, after  brushing off any dirt or washing in soap and warm water, drying first. Allow your fruits to sunbathe and develop a tan. This should take about two weeks for the top of the fruit then, once carefully flipped over, another two weeks for the bottom.

Pumpkins and winter squash prefer a well-ventilated, dry place. Keep the fruits raised up off hard surfaces on racks or wire mesh with a thick layer of newspaper or straw. Keeping them off the ground will allow air to circulate around the fruits while the extra padding will prevent the skin softening and becoming vulnerable to infection.

Once cured, store the pumpkins in cool, dry storage.

Published by

thekitchengardenblog

20 year old who lives in the South East of England. Family owns pets: dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, kune kune pigs (not for eating) and bees (that we never get any honey from). I am vegetarian because I have never liked the taste or texture of meat but my family do eat it so I will be including meat recipes on this blog. I work in our vegetable garden alongside my mum. Our dream is to be self-sufficient. I hope that this blog inspires, informs and is found interesting for any readers. I will be discussing anything to do with gardening, growing, working on the land and food, including recipes as I go along. Please feel free to ask any questions relating to the blog.

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