green pumpkins

james-in-lapineSeptember 7, 2008

Okay, this must have been asked before. I can't find the answer though. Can I take my green pumpkins inside to turn orange? They are still on the vines and doing well. I have been able to protect them from the nightly freezes up until now, but I am not sure how much longer I will be able to do so. I know I can eat green butternut and acorn squash, but can I also eat green pumpkins?

Though I have tried several years now, I have never gotten pumpkins to grow this far along into the year. They have never gotten this close to maturity. As of now there are 2 that are as close to their max size as I think they will get. I also have 8 that are the size of baseballs (hard ball) that are getting bigger by the day. I think the variety is 'early sweet' (?).

I want to take one to the local green house & garden supply store along with some of my corn. The owner has told me for years that "You can't grow that here outside". Well I have done it during one of the coolest summers we have had in the 13 years I have been back in La Pine.

Please let me know,


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A picture showing what color green they are would be helpful. Could the variety be 'Early Sweet Sugar Pie'. In general once a C. pepo (like your variety of pumpkin) starts to change from dark green to orange, it can be harvested and it will continue to ripen off the vine. It would be best if the pumpkin could ripen on the vine, but that doesn't appear to be an option for you. When the pumpkin is growing it will be a pale green then it will turn a very dark green once it reaches its mature size. It will not get any larger once it reaches this point. Then it will begin to turn orange. A deep green pumpkin might be able to turn orange but it is best to wait until you start seeing some yellow/orange color on the pumpkin.

The baseball size ones that are still getting larger will not ripen off the vine. You can eat a green pumpkin, just treat it like a summer squash. A immature pumpkin will not store long (much like a summer squash).

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 1:37PM
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Thank you. I would have thought to treat them like winter, not summer squash. I like fried squash!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 10:13PM
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bagardens (Ohio, Zone 5b)

Is your vine completely dead? If so I would definitely pick them. I have had mine ripen from green to orange off the vine. Last year I even had some smaller green ones ripen for me after I picked them. Once you pick them I believe they ripen pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 9:00PM
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