French carriage pumpkin - when to pick?

tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)August 13, 2008

Hi folks -

I am posting for the DW.

Below are photos of her French (Cinderella's) Carriage Pumpkins. They were planted about June 1. The vines are healthy, and the large pumpkins are approx 18" in diameter. We have about 15, and the vines are still flowering.

1) How do you know when to harvest them?

2) If they are harvested now, how do we store them until October?

Thanks in advance

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Those are some nice looking pumpkins. How many of those pumpkin plants do you have growing in there? When the tendril next to the pumpkin turns dry and brown that is a good time to pick them. Also if the pumpkin has stopped growing for a couple weeks it is ready to pick. Some people 'tape' their pumpkins to estimate growth. Which is essentially measuring the mass of the pumpkin with a tape measurer.

You don't need to do anything special to store them. I normally clean my pumpkins with soap and water and then just put them somewhere out of the way. The important thing is to avoid damaging the fruit. Scapes and dings in the sides of the pumpkin will shorten it's life. I also like to sit my heavy maxima pumpkins (like yours are) on something with a cushion, like a couple thick layers of cardboard. I wouldn't sit them on anything like a wooden crate or a sidewalk. The irregular surfaces would cause all sorts of damage ot the bottom of the fruit. And by the way maxima pumpkins like your can store for a very long time. I have several big ones from last year at various places around the house. Just be sure to always keep an eye on them, a giant rotten pumpkin is no fun to clean.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 12:37PM
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sueloring(zone 4)

We have grown Cinderella's for many years. This year we have 280 hills of them.
Don't you love how they love to grow upside down?! Funny. Love them!
The main thing to watch is the color of the stem and the "redness" of the skin.
Most Cinderella pumpkins mature between 75 and 85 days.
When the skin is a bright orange/red (like a ripe tomato) and stem is true yellow then your pumpkin is ready to be picked.
The pumpkin in your bottom picture looks about ready.
We planted ours May 20 and last night we picked our first it sitting in middle of living room on coffee table along with a Yugoslavian Finger Fruit that I also picked....first year I have grown those...they are crazy looking squash.

Trev....glad to hear I am not the only one who keeps pumkins and squash in the house past Halloween. I have a Marina Di Chiogga that we picked last Sept. that is sitting in middle of dining room table.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 1:45PM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

The carriage pumpkins are 4 rings of 4 plants each, so 16 pumpkin plants.

The DW also believes (first year with these carriage pumpkins) that they are too crowded. 16 plants in an area about 20' X 20' Are they too close?

She says some of the tendrils are starting to turn brown.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 1:47PM
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Your pumpkins are great! Are they really called "Cinderella Pumpkins"? I want to grow them next year.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 9:14PM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

sandy20 -

Oh yes Cinderellas. We are new to these, we are just stumbling along.

It is really amazing how much knowledge is available on this MB. Just ask them.

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 6:47PM
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