Green pumpkins

I've been trying to grow pumpkins for the last 12 years and all I got was NADA. Until last year. Unbeknownest to me I had 6 good sized pumpkins growing underneath all the vines. But when the vines died back, they were green and they stayed green untill they rotted. It is now this year and I can see the little darings beginning to form (about the size of a softballs now). WHat should I do to insure they turn turn orange this year? My wife says you have to stomp on the vines around Labor day and expose the pumpkins to sun. I have to believe thats a bit dramatic but do I do that?
I dont remember what variety I grew last year (I was trying to go for a average size not the giants). LAst year my neighbor had this really great looking pumpkin (looked like Cinderellas coach) and I found one at the local grocery store that looked similar and I planted its seeds this year (Note that I found out neighbors pumpkin was plastic when it hadnt rotted by New years eve.)
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Mine are already turning orange. It's the only thing in the garden that's ahead of anyone else's garden. I contribute that fact to the massive amounts of draft horse manure that I've been dumping on them. Er... wait... let me rephrase that... the massive amounts of manure that I've been putting on them after my draft horse dumps.
Anyway, I won a blue ribbon for one perfect little orange pumpking at our county fair. I was the only one who had one. :)
I think if a frost hits before they orange up, they stay green. Mine turned orange on the vines and hidden below all the leaves. I suspect stomping the vines might not be good but I have no logical reason why I believe that.
Oh, yeah, and all my pumpkins are always volunteers from last Halloween's carving discards. I have dozens of vines this year. I hand fertilized so there are lots of pumpkins. Too bad I'll have to leave t hem all behind. :(
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jmagerl said:

The foliage on my vines normally start to die back even before frost, exposing the fruit. I should think bending a few leaves back would be more than adequate. Never stomped on mine!

Choosing the variety carefully would help. There are shorter and longer season varieties.
The 'Cinderella's coach' pumpkin is possibly a squash of the buttercup type (Cucurbita maxima) named 'Rouge Vig D'Etampes' which is very long seasoned (and no where near the eating quality of a buttercup). 130 days to maturity.
Most ornamental/carving pumpkins are in the same species as acorn squash (C. pepo) and many varieties should mature in 90 - 100 days.
Some pumpkins are bred to have a trait called 'precocious yellow' which means they will color early (before they are completely ripe).
Lil' Goblin, Oz, and Autumn Gold are all full-sized pumpkins that have the 'precocious yellow' trait. 'Autumn Gold' was an All-America Winner and should be widely available in the States. 'We Be Little' is a mini-pumpkin that has the 'precocious yellow' trait.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snip
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When they say 130 days to maturity, is that from when the fruit first forms or from when you palnt the seed? Example: I planted the seeds indoors on May 1. May 31, I stuck the plant in the ground, July 15 is when I saw my first fruit. Will I have ripe fruit by HAlloween with a 130 day maturity? Chicago area
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jmagerl said:

Days to maturity generally means from the time of transplant (or, when direct seeding, from the time of emergence).

Eeeeh, it's possible, barely, but the weather has to hold up through mid-October. If late September turns cold and damp, or there is an early frost...well, I remember snow on Columbus day. But that was 14 years ago...may never see that again.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote in

I guess that's why I get orange ones so early. Mine just grow where I threw the guts from last year's. None of that fussy start-em-in-the-house stuff for me. In fact, I usually have two dozen of them starting in my fire pit, too. By April, they've already got a good start. And our Black Spring didn't slow any of them down.
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I have so many critters around me that any guts left over will be eaten by spring (I tried it the last 10 yrs), Can't even throw grass seed out without it getting eaten. I have to start the plants indoors to give them a fighting chance. You wouldnt believe the slugs I have. I put the plants out on the 31st because that seems to be date that pumpkin packages say to direct sow. Something about soil temperature.
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