pumpkin already orange

cjaneh(z6 Mid Atl)August 4, 2008

I only have one pumpkin and it's already turned orange. Will it continue to get any bigger after it's changed color or is it as big as it will get? The vines are still green and going strong. It looks like I may finally have another female flower after about 2 months of growth. Should I cut the orange one off the vine now? Thanks for any help anyone can give me. I didn't start out to grow pumpkins, it was a surprise. :-)

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weirdtrev

Once it turns from green to orange that is as big as it will get. You absolutely should pick it as this will encourage the formation of more pumpkins. As long as it isn't damaged it will easily keep through Thanksgiving. Once one or two fruit form on the vine it is typical for female flower production to stop. However after you remove the pumpkin you will notice the females will come back.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:35PM
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sunshineboy(Z5 MA)

I also have several orange pumpkins...the plants were volunteers in my garden. If I harvest these orange pumpkins now, how should I cure and store them so that they will be around for decorations/ornaments/jack-o-lanterns in the fall.
For fun, I even tried to trelis one of the volunteers...I had to borrow my neighbors pantyhose to tie up the pumpkin :)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 8:00AM
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tcstoehr

Wait! I wouldn't pick that pumpkin just cuz it has turned orange. It still has a long way to go before ripening.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 11:37AM
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laurenlulu

I have a question. I planted cute little sugar pie pumpkins to use for cooking this autumn. Deer apparently cant wait till I cook them, they've eaten almost all of it. But I did salvage about 3, and one of them I just picked, it is bright orange and weighed 22lbs!! A little bigger than I expected. All my pumpkin leaves are dying now of powdery mildew. But okay- on to my question. When is the best time to pick the pumpkins to use for cooking? And should I use it as soon as I pick it, or let it ripen a little more off the vine? If my plants really are dying, as they appear to be, should I just pick the green ones to ripen somewhere else, or let them stay on the vine until they're as orange as they're going to get? They've all at least started to turn orange?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 6:35PM
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organic_mamag(Z5 IN)

laurenlulu, I am having the same problem. Our pumpkin plants have been attacked by squash bugs, squash vine borers, and now powdery mildew. We've been trying to protect them every step of the way, but the vines and leaves aren't looking so good. Meanwhile, the pumpkins are starting to turn orange. I'm trying to hold out and keep from picking them for as long as possible. Here's what they looked like this morning:

I would like to know what other people think about this. These pumpkins sure are a lot of trouble considering how few pumpkins I may get out of this.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 9:46AM
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weirdtrev

Laurenlulu,

You pumpkin aren't being hurt by being left on a dying vine to ripen, you should let them finish turning orange.

Organic_mamag,

Your patch looks very productive. As pumpkin plants get older it is easier for them to succumb to disease and die (just like people). Your patch looks fine to me, you got a bunch of pumpkins for the space that you have in the picture. Pumpkins take up a lot of space and aren't overly productive, that's just their nature. A typical large pumpkin plant will only get one or two pumpkins. When you look at field trials of various large pumpkins you will see results of 0.5 to 1.5 average pumpkins per plant, if you are in this range you should be very happy. If you grow smaller pumpkins you will get more per plant and miniature pumpkins like jack-be-little are very productive with dozens per plant. How long ago did you plant your pumpkins? If you don't want them to turn orange this early you should try planting them later in subsequent years. At the end of the season be sure to throw out all of your infected vines, do not compost them. Although compost is great for pumpkins. Lots of compost will lead to big healthy disease resistant plants in the future.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 10:18AM
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organic_mamag(Z5 IN)

We bought 4" seedlings during the 2nd week in May and planted them almost immediately. Maybe next year we should wait until mid-to-late June. I thought the growing season was much longer for pumpkins.

Thanks for the input!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 11:40AM
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weirdtrev

If you are planting seedlings then you shouldn't wait. Pumpkins don't transplant well, so if you have to use transplants you should buy and plant the seedlings the minute you see them in stores. A seedling that has been in a little pot for weeks is almost guaranteed to have poor growth and disease. I rarely buy squash seedlings, but when I do I only buy transplants that have only their seed leaves. Typically squash transplants lead to stressed plants and stressed plants are like a neon sign for pests and disease. I encourage you to try planting seeds directly in the ground next year, you should be able to notice the difference. It looks like by the time your pumpkins fully ripen you will be at 105 - 110 days from transplanting which is very typical for pumpkins.

I also plant my pumpkins and gourds mid-May (weather permitting), I do it for two reasons the first is a like having pumpkins around all the time not just Halloween so I encourage early pumpkins. The second is that I enter my crops in the State Fair and I need to have orange pumpkins early. They go in tomorrow and Wednesday actually.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:29PM
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fkatnik_comcast_net

Good luck, weirdtrev, on your pumpkins, and thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 11:56AM
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molsak777_gmail_com

My pumkins are horrible white powdery what up i grow v everything never seen anything like it WHAT UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:16AM
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terrybull

its called powdery mildew.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 12:19PM
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bluenightshade13

This Pumpkin that I have has bumps that show green on a solid orange body! It was picked from the vine Oct 13th 2013 it is now Jan. 8, 2014 and is still whole does not show any signs of decomposing and frankly is quite beautiful. I live in Michigan and picked it at a local farm. I am wondering if this is a miracle pumpkin that may hold some healing qualities. Any thoughts would be appreciated .

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:08PM
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alyssaox

My son is growing pumpkins for the first time for a school contest. It is the beginning of August and has already started turning orange. Once it is fully orange I am wondering how to keep it until the contest which is more than 2 months away. Any suggestions or will it not keep.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:05PM
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ccabal(7)

alyssaox,
if the pumpkin is not bruised or damaged, and if cured for a few days before storage, it will keep for a long time. I kept a bunch of sugar pie pumpkins in my pantry for months last year, some for about 4-5 months.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:14PM
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