Harvest Gourds, Pumpkins & Squash

GOURDS 
Harvesting Tips: 

  • Harvest from late August and through October 
  • Gourds must completely mature on the vine to prevent rotting 
  • Harvest gourds when the skins are hard and the stems are dry and brown 
  • Use clean and sharp pruning shears to cut the gourd off the vine 
  • It is best to leave 2-3 inches of the stem attached to the gourd 

Storing Tips: 

  • Gently wash with soap and water 
  • Use a soft cloth to disinfect (vinegar & water or lysol) 
  • Place in a dry, warm, and shaded location such as a garage or shed 
  • Spread out gourds on a newspaper to dry 
  • Complete drying should take 1-6 months 
  • Get rid of gourds that start to decay immediately 

PUMPKINS 
Harvesting Tips: 

  • Harvest from late August and through October 
  • Be sure to harvest before the first frost, even the lightest of freezing will destroy the plant 
  • Harvest when pumpkins develop a hard rind and a deep/uniform color 
  • Test for ripeness by pressing your thumbnail into the rind; if it's dent resistant the pumpkin is ready 
  • Use clean and sharp pruning shears to cut the pumpkin off the vine 
  • It is best to leave 3-4 inches of a “handle” to prevent rotting 

Storing Tips: 

  • Never carry pumpkins by the stems 
  • Cure at a temperature of 80 degrees F for 10 days 
  • Never store near apples, pears, or any ripening fruit 
  • Make sure individual pumpkins do not touch 
  • Never store in piles 
  • Get rid of pumpkins that start to decay immediately 
  • Properly cared for pumpkins should last for around 3 months 

SQUASH 
Harvesting Tips: 

  • Harvest from late August and through October 
  • Squash is ready exactly a week after flowering 
  • Harvest when squash develops a hard rind and a deep/uniform color 
  • Test for ripeness by pressing your thumbnail into the shell; if it's dent resistant the squash is ready 
  • Check your squash variety for color, size, and shape matching 
  • Example: Butternut Squash should have a Deep Tan color and should be 8-12 inches long 
  • Use clean and sharp pruning shears to cut the squash off the vine 
  • It is best to leave 2 inches of stem attached 

Storing Tips: 

  • Gently wash with soap and water 
  • Use a soft cloth to disinfect (vinegar & water, lysol, or rubbing alcohol) 
  • Store in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated area (temperature of 50-55 degrees) 
  • Wrap each squash in an individual cloth 
  • Spread the squash out in order to avoid touching 
  • Get rid of gourds that start to decay immediately