Early Pumpkin Ripening
- Excerpt from Pumpkin and Winter Squash Harvest and Storage, written by Ruth Hazzard, University of Massachusetts.
Ideally, pumpkins should be harvested when fully mature, with a deep orange color and hardened rind. However, as long as pumpkins have started to turn color, they will ripen off the vine if held under the proper conditions. While not ideal, this may be preferable to leaving them in the field if conditions are not favorable.
If necessary, pumpkins can be ripened in a well-ventilated barn or greenhouse. The best temperatures for ripening are 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 80-85%. Night temperatures should not drop below the sixties. Even if pumpkins are ripe, a period of curing can improve storage life. The curing period should be about 10 days. During this process, the fruit skin hardens, wounds heal and immature fruit ripens all of which prolongs the storage life. Pumpkins should be stored in a cool, dry place. Ideal temperatures are between 50 F and 60 F and relative humidity of 50 - 70%. Higher humidity allows condensation on the fruit with risk of disease, and lower humidity can cause dehydration. Higher temperatures increase respiration and can cause weight loss. Temperatures lower than 50 F cause chilling injury. In a greenhouse, temperature can be managed with ventilation on sunny days. Unless it is quite cool, heat is not likely to be needed if the house is closed up at night.
Often it is not feasible to harvest pumpkins early and store them until they can be marketed, and so they must be stored in the field. If vines and fruit are healthy, storage in the field can be successful for a few weeks. If the vines die back, damage to the fruit from sun, disease and insects is more likely. In any case, it is important to scout for insects feeding on the fruit and handles, which may include squash bug nymphs or adults, or striped cucumber beetle. Control them if damage is evident. In fields that have a history of Phytophthora blight, Fusarium fruit rot, or black rot, field storage may increase the incidence of these problems, particularly if we have a period of wet weather or a major storm while fruit is sitting in the field. This has been one of the causes of significant losses in recent years, and one reason that we recommend bringing fruit in as soon as it is mature.
NYS Processing Vegetable Industry Roundtable Meeting
March 18, 2024
Processing vegetable industry members who grow, manage, or support crop production for Farm Fresh First/Nortera Foods, Seneca Foods and/or Love Beets, are encouraged to sign-up for the 2024 NYS Processing Vegetable Industry Roundtable! You will:
- Network at this in-person meeting.
- Learn the results of industry-funded research.
- Have a voice in Cornell research and Extension.
- Earn 3.25 DEC pesticide applicator recertification credits
- Earn Certified Crop Advisor Credits
Oswego Muck Onion Growers Pre-Season Meeting: Stop the Rot, Nematodes and SLB Fungicide Resistance
March 20, 2024
Christy Hoepting and Frank Hay will get growers ready for the season with updates on managing Stemphylium Leaf Blight fungicide resistance, progress made towards understanding and managing bacterial bulb rot of onion, and results of the 2023 nematode survey and research project. 2.5 DEC recertification credits will be offered in categories 1A, 10 and 23.
2024 NYS Dry Bean Meeting and Cutting Event
March 22, 2024
The NYS Dry Bean Meeting will be paired with the annual Dry Bean Cutting Event again this year! The morning meeting will include presentations on the latest dry bean research in New York, with topics including market updates, white mold management, western bean cutworm management, dry bean variety testing, and incorporating NY dry beans into schools. 1.5 DEC credits will be available in categories 10, 1a, 21, 23. CCA credits will be available too.
The Dry Bean Cutting will follow the meeting and showcase the canned dry beans from the 2023 Dry Bean Variety Trial.