When do you harvest pumpkins?

I'm not sure when I'm suppose to pick my pumpkins. I have one giant atlantic that is turning orange but I think it's going to get alot bigger. Then I have the little jack o lanterns ( I think thats what they are called) anyway, there are alot of those mini ones, do I wait? some are very orange already.
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I had assumed that once fruit starts ripening it isn't going to grow in size anymore. Maybe that is a wrong generalization here.
I had to harvest my three Baby Bears growing in a container already. Two were fully orange, the third mostly orange. The vine had died away (I killed it by mistake.) I have the third in a warm area, I'm hoping it will turn a little more orange.
Here are some pages with tips...
http://www.pumpkinnook.com/howto/storage.htm
http://www.aces.edu/dept/extcomm/specialty/pumpkins.html
http://www.ahowlinggoodtime.com/carving/trivia/harvest.shtml DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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You can cut them off anytime at all, but you probably want to wait until they are very orange, since they won't ripen anymore once picked! You will notice the leaves starting to die back and the stem attached to the pumpkin will start to change color and die when the pumpkin is "done".
With the mini pumpkins, I cut them off as soon as they are orange and the size I want. This will sometimes cause the vine to set more fruit, even hopelessly late in the season. Remember that once you cut them off, they can begin to decay, too.
-=>epm<=-
In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same. - Albert Einstein
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.no.junk (EvelynMcH) wrote:

My vine died away and I picked up three pumpkins. One still had green stripes. Now I don't know what is going on in the inside of the fruit, but mine is definitely ripening in color by sitting on a sunny window in the past few muggy days.
http://members.aol.com/digitalvinyl66/pumpkins-ripening.jpg
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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Penny Goulden said:

Cut them when the stem is hard and the rind has toughened enough that it can't be easily pierced with a fingernail. For the little jack-o-lanterns, the stem will become as hard as the hardest of woods. The giant pumpkin will have a corkier stem (but it will still be dry and hard).
The longer the mini-pumpkins stay on the vine, the sweeter the fruit will be.
Once they start turning color, they won't increase in size, but they may still put on some weight.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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On Fri, 22 Aug 2003 13:05:32 -0400, "Penny Goulden"

I usually pick mine when they turn orange. Any excess energy will be diverted to other pumpkins still ripening on the vine.
DO NOT PULL the pumpkin off the stem. This will drastically reduce shelf life of the pumpkin. Cut the stem about 2 inches up with a sharp knife and hold the pumpkin at the base while carrying it. Bruising the pumpkin will also decrease shelf life.
I have many pumpkins that can last until April, while others that only last a few weeks...the trick is using the damaged ones as soon as possible. When a pumpkin or squash goes bad it's not pretty, it turns into the consistency of a big smelly water balloon and can cause other nearby fruit to quickly degrade.
Dan
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Yeah, there's nothing more fun than discovering the festive pumpkin on the front steps has rotted from the bottom up - something you usually discover when you least expect it...[g]
(We toss ours behind the yews in the front of the house, the same place we compost leaves and magnolia flowers. More than once we've surprised varmits on the front steps in mid-winter, feasting on pumpkin seeds.)
-=>epm<=-
In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same. - Albert Einstein
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