What the heck? I have at least 4 that started to turn orange. How are they going to make it to October?
Can you store them in a cold basement or something? I think that helps them to store longer. Not sure if that is true though.
reg, put something over them like a white towel. keeping the sun off slows the orange.
Pumpkins and winter squash seem to store best for me at about 55-60 degrees. A cool basement might do it.
Is your plant still producing? Pumpkins you harvest in mid-September might have a better chance of making it until Halloween.
In any case, don't pick them immature. They won't have developed a tough skin and will spoil quickly. Also, cut a couple of inches of stem with the pumpkin, rather than snapping the stem off.
ok i havea basement. and can coverwith towel but how to know when mature?
When the skin is orange and tough, the pumpkin is mature. Maybe others have a better test?
I wouldn't use the towel trick -- I think you want to let your pumpkins mature at their normal rate and color, pick and store them, and keep your fingers crossed. Meanwhile try to grow some more.
It'll be fine, let it grow, mine are on their way to 500 lbs each and I need them in the ground as long as possible. They are tough little buggers, they can easily hang on till Oct 31 st
holy moley John?
So they keep growing even when they turn orange?
reg, i think john might be growing AG,s and you are growing field pumpkins. so i would do the towel. when its ripe its ripe. the towel will slow down the oranging and keep the skin soft so it can grow bigger.
Don't go by what I say (if someone else contradicts it), I have only been growing Pumpkins for 3 years and by all accounts,my garden is supernaturally blessed, so what I accomplish ,may not translate to others.....
But... in the 3 years, all of mine turn orange and grow until picked.
But.... Honestly, I don't even know what (AG,s or field pumpkins) are... I didn't even know there were different kinds, I just go to Wal-mart, look at the pictures on the seed packages and plant.
This year however, someone gave me a seed that would supposedly grow to 500 lbs.... we'll see ;-)
So Far So Good ;-)
You might consider keeping only your largest pumpkin on that vine by removing all competitors. And bury a lot of the vines so they can put down more roots. That'll help you get a big, big pumpkin.
Here is a link that might be useful: My average-sized, already-orange pumpkins.
I think there may be some confusion in this thread. Two types of pumpkins are being discussed here. There is Cucurbita pepo, which is your standard pumpkin. This species has a great number of varieties as you can see from Louie's Pumpkin Patch - C. pepo . The pumpkins in this group start off green and turn to orange. Once they start to turn orange their full size has been reached, they are done.
Then there is another species, Cucurbita maxima, which is what the atlantic gaint and other large pumpkins are. Most large squash/pumpkins are in this group, their varieties can be seen from Louie's Pumpkin Patch - C. maxima The pumpkins pictured so far in this thread are all C. maxima, they started off yellow and over their life get more and more orange, they never started as green. These ones do continue to grow once they look orange, though the color does continue to develop as well.
That being said, I believe the original poster has a C. pepo since it "turned orange" and wasn't always that way. You can leave pumpkins on the vine for a period of time when they are ripe, I'd only do it for a few weeks. The longer you leave them on the more prone to rot and critters they are. The timeframe isn't that far off, commercially pumpkins start to be picked in the end of august/early september and continue through october. Actually I have already picked 15 of mine that are ripe. This will encourage the plant to produce more as well. Disease free pumpkins store an incribely long time. I have many still from last year. C. pepos don't last as long as C. maximas in general, but I do have a few C. pepos left. After the pumpkins are fully ripe (a deep rich orange with no green) pick them and let them sit outside for a few days to cure, then move them to a cool dry place. I also like to wash all the dirt and debris off mine with soap and water before storing.
I planted both Racer (F1) and jack-o-lantern. Both are shown in the pictures linked above. Yes, they were dark green and are transforming towards orange. ill post pics tomorrow. This is my first time growing pumpkins and the kids and I are excited!
John, you might be growing Atlantic Giant pumpkins. They grow up to 1000 lbs or a bit more. I think that's what AG means. I have a package of these pumpkins, but planted way too late and too deep, so they didn't germinate this year :(
That would be great,(to bury some of the vines/and cull).... I just don't have the land, they are growing on 12" of packed gravel, that is also why I didn't cull any of them, I figure that they won't get too their potential anyway, so I will just let them be and see what I can get, using no fertilizer,or culling,or extra water (they are on their own, they can either "man-up" or get out of Dodge), I am not going to baby these things, just don't have that much desire ;-)
I have some Rouge vif D'Etampes, or Cinderella pumpkin. Mine never really did the green thing. They started creamy colored and went to orange. I guess that would make them c. maxima. One is orange the other still creamy colored. I don't mind if they don't last till Halloween. I grow them for baking and soup. When they're ready they're ready. Come Halloween, if there are not any on my vines for my kids to use I just buy a couple easy enough.