We are growing pumpkins this year and some of the vines are beginning to dry out, causing the pumpkins to come off. How can we preserve them until October when we want to use them for decorating?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Deborah: It has been a challenging year for growing pumpkins here in Kentucky. Considering all the rainfall we have had this season and the potential wilt and borer problems that exist every year, it may be hard to find nice pumpkins this Halloween. The good news is first, that you have pumpkins, and secondly, that you can store them and keep them for decoration. Ideally they should be cured in a space that has good air circulation and air temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees F. Avoid placing them in a damp location such as a root cellar where moisture can rot the crop. Store them on a piece of wood or cardboard instead of the floor. It can certainly still get hot here in September but the current temperatures we are having will help keep your pumpkins as well. When growing pumpkins for Halloween it is best to put off planting them before the middle of June so they do not ripen before you are ready to use them. Fall is fast approaching and it will soon be time to decorate.