Pumpkin Growing Question


10 Years
May 26, 2009
This is our first time growing pumpkins. The sprouts were labeled 'Jack O Lantern'. Now we have 2 small, very orange pumpkins and 1 green one still growing.

My questions are- How long do we leave them on the vine?

Will they last till Halloween?

Do they keep growing bigger after they turn orange? They sure arent you trypical 'store bought' pumpkin size yet.

The stems are looking pretty dry and are withering and Im not sure what I should do with them if they cant make it till Halloween for carving. I thought they wouldnt be ready till then for some reason.
Can I feed them to my chickens?
I asked DH: he says it sounds like your pumpkins are ready for picking, if the stems are withering. Best way to check if a pumpkin is ripe is to tap them. If they sound hollow, they're ready.
If you want to store them keep them in a cool, dry place and make sure they don't get damaged.
Haven't fed my chickens pumpkin yet, the pigs usually get them...
They sound ready to me too. You're so lucky that you can grow pumpkins! Everytime I've tried, I've failed. I've been told it has something to do with nematodes in our soil.
Get some potting soil, put it in old car tires or any large container and plant you pumpkins in there? They don't have huge roots.
We do that with potatoes. We plant it in a tire, let in grow, stack another tire on top with more soil, let it grow, stack another tire... Eventually you push over the pile and pick up potatoes!
Every year I take the old wilting halloween pumpkins and dump them behind the wood shed. We rarely carve them so they last longer....and finally this year I have a 30+ foot pumpkin vine growing. I have had to loop it back three times now so I can mow without running it over.

It has many flowers and many more buds, but so far I only have 3 pumpkins growing. How many pumpkins will usually grow on a singe vine?
Thanks guys- I think i will pick the really orange ones and store them in my cool, dark pantry and hope for the best! Will check them regularly for any signs of rot or damage. would be cool if they last, but 2 months seems to be pushing it!

I am hoping the small green one and a few promising looking flowers will give us some homegrown pumpkins to carve this year. I dont mind if they're small, I just want them homegrown!!
I've read in a magazine that you should let one pumpkin on the plant develop and pick all the other flowers, then you get one huge pumpkin. I've made the mistake of leaving all the pumpkins to develop and the plant ended up with 26, so it "realised" it's not going to work and threw off every single one of them!
I think 3-4 at a time is ideal.
When the plant dies back and the pumpkin stem will almost disconnect itself.
This is when I pick them and store in a dry building out of the sun.

If any get a spot I feed them to the chickens they love them.
I had a white pumpkin last almost a whole year.The rest I have winter over in the basement.
I used to grow pumpkins avidly for many years when I was a teen and I loved growing them. They are very easy to grow and fun to harvest. I mostly grew pie pumpkins, but grew many Jacks as well. I also lived to CA at the time so that will help me give you good advice as far as growing in the same conditions go.
As for your first question: Leave them on the vine until you can to long scratch the surface easily with your finger nails when gentle pressure is used, it should have the same resilience as an apple skin. Question 2: They certainly can, I kept mine for up to 5 months before I threw them out. Since CA is very arid especially where I lived (the high desert) things tend to last longer since there isn't very much moisture to excell the rotting prosses. Of course if you live on the coast your pumpkins probably wont last more then 2 or 3 months unless kept in a cool dry place. Question #3 if the plant is withered then no, they will not get any bigger.
If they are on the small size that would be because they didn't get the right amount of fertilzer and or water.
And your chickens will absolutly love your pumpkins!! Any other questions feel free to ask, I'll do my best.

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