The best varieties of pumpkin to store for the winter

The Orange Queen of Autumn is the so-called pumpkin, this large, red and beautiful fruit that is important for human nutrition. And although harvesting times vary, in Siberia it is not the same as in Moscow, but in general it is customary to collect pumpkins in the fall before frost.

In itself, it does not require special care, it grows easily and there is no need to make large movements on the part of a person (basic weeding, watering, eliminating pests), but it is important not to miss the moment of harvesting, so that the fruit is fully ripe, saturated and contains all the useful elements.

Autumn frosts and pumpkin

You should not wait for frost to begin - a frozen pumpkin will begin to rot at the site of damage. If a storage space is not prepared, and light frosts are expected, you can cover the vegetables directly in the garden bed. To do this, use ordinary polyethylene film. Covering should be done over the entire area where the pumpkin grows.

The main difficulty is that this vegetable usually spreads its lashes very widely, and the specimens are located at a great distance from each other.

Moneybox of knowledge

From the experience of neighboring gardeners, I have long noticed that many of them ignore pumpkin, and of those who try to grow it, only a few achieve success. And the point is not only that they make the wrong choice in favor of foreign late-ripening varieties that have flooded our market, usually with a long growing season, intended, rather, for southern countries.

THREE MISCONCEPTS Misconception No. 1. As most gardeners are sure, this is the largest vegetable plant on the site: its huge vines reach ten meters! Such plant giants, of course, will not fit in every garden, at least without damaging other crops. And most likely, only those who want to surprise their households and neighbors will want to grow them...

Misconception No. 2. It is also associated with “gigantomania.” They say that a real pumpkin is always huge: if not 400 kg (such “record holders” are achieved in the USA), then 100 kg, which is convenient for feeding animals, but not for your own table, where taste and health benefits are still important.

Misconception No. 3. Many people think that fully ripening, high yield and nutritional value, and most importantly, good taste, differ only in the southern regions, and in the middle zone, in the Urals and Siberia - only when grown in advance with seedlings like tomatoes...

Regarding the first misconception, I will answer this way. Along with long-stemmed, truly huge plants, many short-stemmed (up to 2 meters long) and even bush plants have now appeared. The latter are especially convenient for growing in personal plots, since they take up no more space than zucchini and weigh one to two kilograms. Second: regarding the size of this vegetable and taste. All pumpkins - regardless of weight - are quite tasty if they are not forage (there are plenty of those too), but vegetable. There's a big difference here. And only the latter are for food purposes, with a high sugar content. By the way, in addition to large-fruited vegetables, there are now plenty of small-fruited ones—up to a kilogram in weight—that rival melon in taste. As for the health benefits, Avicenna also considered it extremely healing, recommending it to cure chest pain. And modern doctors have proven the indisputable benefits of these fruits for improving digestion, as well as inflammation of the intestines, liver, kidneys, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular and other diseases. Many nutritious and very tasty dishes are prepared from pumpkin: boiled with sour cream, fried in butter, casseroles with rice or millet, sweet soup, salads and dozens of other delicacies. In addition to old pumpkin varieties with a long growing period, many early ripening ones have now been bred, fully ripening in the middle zone during the summer months. It is not at all necessary to grow such varieties as seedlings in advance, in the spring - it is enough to sow them directly into the ground in the first ten days of June without any extra hassle! Finally, about whether pumpkin ripens in the northern regions. Personally, my experience, and that of other amateur vegetable growers living in the middle zone, the Ural and Siberian regions of our country, convincingly proves that early-ripening pumpkin varieties have time to ripen during our short northern summer, even without first growing seedlings. However, let me clarify: planting it with three-week-old seedlings allows you to get a larger harvest, but in any case, it is enough.

THE CHOICE IS GREAT Until recently, the greatest interest among pumpkin connoisseurs was aroused by only one well-known old variety, intended for cultivation in not the most favorable weather and climatic conditions: Gribovskaya bush, weighing up to 2.5-5 kg, and, as the name says, developing in the form of a bush. In addition to its size acceptable for lovers, it has two advantages - good taste of the fruit and early ripeness: it ripens within 2.5-3 months after germination. In recent years, Gribovskaya’s taste has been surpassed by a new product - the Russian woman of about the same weight. The variety is no less early ripening, but more tasty, keeping well until winter (in December-January its fruits become even more sugary and aromatic). True, the plant itself is a medium-climbing plant with a length of up to 2-3 meters. Two other pumpkin innovations, created by scientists at the All-Russian Research Institute for Vegetable Seed Breeding near Moscow, which have already become popular, are a complete miracle. Their names are Freckle and Smile. The first is the earliest ripening and cold-resistant variety, ripens in 80 days. The plant is bushy, non-branching. On each plant, four or even ten medium-sized fruits with sweet crispy pulp and a delicate aroma quickly and unanimously ripen, which makes them look like a small melon. Even in room conditions it is well stored, without losing its qualities until January! I cannot help but mention a special group of varieties that have recently attracted special interest - the so-called “gymnosperms”, that is, those whose seeds are formed without a hard shell - the husk. These really don't require any cleaning. Very convenient for seed lovers! For gymnosperms, for example, one of the best varieties is Danae. I just want to warn you right away: growing them requires additional care - isolation from other varieties, otherwise a shell will appear on the seeds. Moreover, there should not be any other varieties not just nearby, but within a kilometer! How then to grow it? One of two ways: either agree with all neighbors to sow exclusively gymnospermous pumpkins (or none at all), or isolate the flowers using gauze bags. True, then instead of the bee you will have to cross-pollinate everything with a soft brush. By the way, male flowers are noticeably different from female ones in having long stalks.

SOW IMMEDIATELY! Although almost all of the listed varieties have time to ripen even in a short summer, you still have to hurry with sowing to get a high yield. Moreover, in June the most favorable time for this finally comes, since the threat of frost in all regions of Russia is already behind us. To speed up the emergence of seedlings, the seeds are soaked for several days - preferably not in ordinary tap water, but in clean rain, pond or river water with the addition of any natural growth stimulant: a drop of juice squeezed from a home aloe or Kalanchoe plant, or a crystal of sodium humate (the solution should turn out to be no darker in color than beer). Good predecessors of this crop are cabbage, onions, potatoes, root vegetables, and it itself, by the way, is a wonderful predecessor of many crops. The main thing is to choose the sunniest and brightest place for it on a site with fertile, loose soil, well-filled with organic matter. Pumpkin does not tolerate shading, thickening, heavy clay and waterlogged soils, although it prefers moist ones. Therefore, it also needs watering, especially in early August during the fruiting period. Seeds of bush varieties are sown 80-100 cm from each other, and seeds of climbing varieties are sown even more spaciously - one and a half meters. This plant will feel most comfortable on soil whose surface is covered with black non-woven mulch material or film (then the seeds are sown in slots). In such conditions it is always warm, humid and weeds do not develop. Some fans prefer to sow pumpkins not in the garden, but on a compost heap, where they receive the maximum amount of nutrition, so they are always productive and tasty.

FEEDING If the soil is not too fertile, then you have to remove the ovaries, which appear after the formation of 4-5 fruits, and in climbing ones, also at the tip of the stem. Every 10 days, nutritional fertilizing with mineral and organic fertilizers is required. Better complete complex, highly soluble in water. In the end, an ordinary weekly infusion of weeds in water, diluted tenfold before use, is also suitable. Pumpkin also reacts positively to fertilizing with microfertilizers, and they are absorbed better when they are generously sprayed with a solution of leaves (preferably on both sides) in the evenings.

HARVESTING Pumpkins are harvested mainly at the end of August, before the first frost. A sign of its maturity is the drying and suberization of the stalk, as well as the hardening of the crust. By the way, in order for the fruits to be stored well and have time to fully ripen, cut only with the stalk! And besides, at the end of July, carefully pinch the young tips of the shoots and be sure to remove all small ovaries and flowers in the first stages of development. Then the remaining fruits will ripen in a matter of weeks - until mid-August. See for yourself!

Read about this topic on the website:
How to grow zucchini in the north using a warm bed How to develop sandy soils Shelter-greenhouse “Shalashik” Compatibility and successful placement of plants Feeding a nursery with seedlings Soil and mulch for containers with seedlings Caring for seedlings in summer and in autumn

We remove

The main signs of vegetable ripeness are drying of the leaves, bright, rich color and increased peel density. Early-ripening pumpkins are usually ready for use at the end of August, while mid- and late-ripening ones can last in the garden until the first frost. You can collect decorative pumpkins that are used to decorate rooms later, but it is important that frost does not damage their appearance.

Harvesting begins in dry weather, carefully cutting off the vegetables along with the stalk. Vegetables collected in such weather will be stored longer without loss of consumer qualities. If the weather is rainy and frost is expected, you should still start harvesting the pumpkin.

After collection, they are sorted by size and quality, and damaged fruits are immediately used for food. The largest pumpkins are collected separately and processed within 1–1.5 months after being picked from the garden.

Vegetables that are harvested for long-term storage must be placed in the sun immediately after harvesting and dried for about 10 days. Thanks to this drying, excess moisture evaporates from them, and the peel becomes thicker and less susceptible to damage. If the pumpkin was harvested ahead of schedule due to rainy weather, it can be taken to the veranda or barn and left to ripen.

Butternut squash varieties can be stored for no more than 2 months, unlike large-fruited and hard-barked pumpkins, which can be stored until the next harvest.

Basic conditions for storing pumpkin

It is important to harvest correctly so that the fruits can be stored for a long time. The vegetable cannot normally withstand temperature changes, and it is also not able to remain edible for a long time if damaged.

The fruit will need to be collected when its color becomes saturated. The skin must remain firm, otherwise the pumpkin will quickly rot. It is best to collect everything before the first frost, because the fruits will not withstand temperatures below -5 degrees.

It is recommended to cut off the fruits with sharp pruning shears, leaving a small tail. It will gradually become woody, and thanks to it the crop will not spoil longer.

You should handle the fruits carefully, because mechanical damage will lead to rotting. When transporting, it is advisable to cover the fruits with a soft cloth so that none of them spoil.

As for the storage itself, the crop can be placed in a room with a humidity of up to 90%. The temperature can be no more than +28 degrees. In this case, the most optimal option would be from +3 to +15. It is worth making sure that the fruits are not exposed to direct sunlight. Under their influence, the product can deteriorate much faster.

Timing or when

You can determine the readiness of the pumpkin for harvesting using a visual method. Wherein:

  • The bark hardens and makes a dull sound when tapped;
  • Suberization and drying of the stalk ;
  • There should be no traces left on the crust from scratching it with a fingernail . The cover hardens and does not spring back when pressed with fingers. A ripe pumpkin responds to cotton with a ringing sound. A ripe pumpkin becomes covered with a matte coating, the stalk is easily separated.
  • The leaves of the bush withered, changed their color to yellow, and dried out . If before this there were no signs of anthracosis disease, then the natural death of healthy foliage serves as a sure sign of the end of the growing season.
  • The color of the pumpkin, whatever it is, from gray to yellow, becomes brighter, the pattern is more noticeable .

To harvest pumpkin, you need to use special equipment. This can be a sharp knife or pruning shears, which will ensure a good, even cut of the stalk without loosening it. The remaining stalk should be no shorter than 5-6 cm.

When harvesting a pumpkin, you need to treat it with care, trying not to scratch it. If trouble occurs, seal the damaged area with a bactericidal plaster or do not leave the damaged vegetable in storage; coat these areas on the pumpkin bark with brilliant green.

The size of the remaining stalk should be approximately 3-4 cm - in this case, the pumpkin will be stored longer. Fruits with a short stalk rot quickly, so keeping them in the basement for a long time is almost impossible.

Some gardeners make the mistake of carrying the pumpkin by the stem, which causes it to break off. Such pumpkins will have a short shelf life - after all, breaking off the stalk opens the way for microorganisms that will cause the vegetables to rot.

Picked pumpkin can ripen for about a month in a dark, cool, dry place. You can store the fruit in such conditions for a long time, allowing you to use a fresh, healthy product during the winter.

It is very important in different regions to use zoned varieties with different periods of reaching biological ripeness. But even the earliest ripening varieties ripen in about 4 months. Therefore, in regions with a temperate climate, the seedling method of cultivation is used. A new method in the northern regions is to use mini-greenhouses with biological heating, leaving the root system constantly warm, and releasing the vines into fresh air during the short summer.

  • Early ripening varieties are harvested at the end of August and grown as seedlings. These varieties include the common Gribovskaya bush, Vesnushka, Golosemyannaya. They have a thin crust and can be stored for up to a month.
  • Medium-ripening pumpkin varieties - Ulybka, Lechebnaya, Rossiyanka - will ripen in 4 months . Harvest in September, but before the first frost. Frozen fruits are not suitable for storage. Varieties of these pumpkins last up to two months after ripeness.
  • The most valuable fruits are late-ripening varieties grown under the southern sun . These include Vitamin, Muscat, Pearl. These pumpkins have a thick, hard rind and sweet flesh that is added raw to salads. Late varieties can be stored in a cool room for up to six months. They are harvested late, but even in the south ripeness occurs in a month or two.

What varieties of pumpkin are most suitable for storage?

Experienced gardeners know which varieties to choose for winter. There are some varieties that can not spoil for a long time.

Popular varieties:

  • Zhdana. An early ripening variety with a sweet taste and firm flesh. It tolerates transportation well and is also immune to various diseases.
  • Ioannina. The variety is well suited for dietary dishes. The pulp is quite dense and sweet, and the vegetable can be added to porridge.
  • Slavuta. A late variety that ripens towards the end of the season. It is resistant to diseases, so it can not spoil for a long time.
  • Arbatskaya. Sweet, tasty and also late pumpkin.
  • Polyanin. The pulp is dense and sweet, and the vegetable itself has a cylindrical shape.

In addition, you can take a closer look at other options: gilea, Kherson, Mozolievskaya 15. All of them can last well until spring, which is why many gardeners often choose them.

In central Russia

There is no need to rush into harvesting pumpkin in central Russia: the better it ripens, the longer it will be stored in the bins.
The harvest is usually harvested in mid-September, and in the southern regions - after the leaves have completely dried. If you grow mid-season varieties (Kroshka, Ulybka, Lechebnaya, Zimnyaya Sladkaya, Rossiyanka), then you need to harvest the vegetables before the first frost. Late-ripening nutmeg pumpkins are also picked before frost, but after picking they are left to ripen, due to which their aroma is enhanced and the sugar content increases significantly.

How to tell if a pumpkin is ripe

In central Russia, pumpkins are planted using seedlings to speed up growth. To get an early harvest, pumpkin is planted in the garden in May or early June. The vegetative period in this case lasts 90–110 days. Mid-season varieties are popular among gardeners; they fully ripen in 110–130 days. And you can also eat them.

The pumpkin may not be ripe at the time of harvest. But still, there are several signs that help to understand whether a vegetable is ripe or not. To accurately determine the right time, experienced gardeners pay attention to the following signs:

  • The stalk connecting the stem and the pumpkin dries out and hardens. If it is still juicy and green, then the vegetable is not yet ripe;
  • The lashes and leaves turn yellow and die;
  • The fruits of most varieties change color from green to orange or yellow;
  • The pumpkin bark hardens and is resistant to external damage.

All signs must be present; you cannot focus on just one from the entire list. If at least one sign is missing, then it is too early to remove the pumpkin from the garden. With prolonged ripening, useful substances and minerals are formed in the fruits. But do not leave the plant on the ground during frost - the crop will die. In addition, frozen fruits lose their beneficial properties. There is another way to determine whether the pumpkin is ripe or not: lightly press the fruit with your fingernail. If you can’t push through the peel, then the pumpkin is ripe.

You can prepare various dishes from pumpkin pulp: casserole, porridge, pie and jam.

Harvesting should be done very carefully and in dry weather. Cracks, wounds, scratches, dents and other damage will cause the fruit to become infected with bacteria. If you see them, immediately treat them with green paint. Cut the fruit itself with a sharp knife or pruning shears. But leave a small shoot, literally 5–10 cm. Without a support, the pumpkin will quickly rot.

In outskirts of Moscow

As in other regions of central Russia, pumpkins are harvested in the Moscow region in September. Most often, Moscow summer residents grow varieties Muskatnaya, Perehvatka, Testi Delipe, which ripen well if vegetables are planted through seedlings.

When sown at the end of April and transferred to open ground in early June, pumpkins have time to ripen just before frost. Some hard-barked varieties are harvested at the end of August or early September, and large-fruited varieties are kept in the garden until the last days of September. Regardless of the variety, it is best to collect vegetables unripe before frost and let them ripen at home, placing them outside on sunny days.

Ripening time

The timing of pumpkin ripening depends on its variety. Today in our country (Moscow region, Siberia, the Urals and other regions) the following varieties of this crop are grown:

  • early ripening. The most popular of them are Mozoleevskaya 49, Golosemyannaya, Almondnaya 35, Biryuchekutskaya 27, Vesnushka, etc. For them, the ripening period is approximately 3.5 months (92-104 days). Harvesting of these varieties begins in mid to late August. This is due to the fact that the fruits have a thin shell and are quite tender. Therefore, they can be stored for no longer than a month;
  • mid-season. This group includes the varieties Ulybka, Zimnyaya Sladkaya, Kroshka, Volzhskaya Gray, Stofuntovaya, Lechebnaya, Rossiyanka, etc. The ripening time in this case is 4 months (110-120 days). Pumpkins of these varieties need to be harvested in mid-September, but you need to do it before the first frost. In the Moscow region, such varieties begin to be harvested in mid-September. If the pumpkin is frozen, it will not be possible to store it for a long time.
  • late-ripening (hard-barked). Of these, the most popular varieties are Muscatnaya, Zhemchuzhina, Vita, Testi Delipe, Intercept, Vitaminnaya and Butternut Ponka. Having a thick shell, such pumpkins can be stored for up to six months. Harvesting of these varieties usually begins in mid-late September. The ripening period here is approximately 200 days. Therefore, still ripe fruits are collected, which ripen during storage.

In addition, the climatic conditions of the place of growth can also influence the time of pumpkin ripening and harvesting. In the south of the country, fruits can remain in the garden for a long time. This is due to late frosts. At the same time, in the Moscow region, Siberia and the Urals, it is imperative to have time to remove the fruits from the garden before frost arrives.

Storing Picked Pumpkins

When storing in a cellar or basement:

  1. the room should be warm enough - from +5 to +10 degrees;
  2. the room must be dry - the pumpkin is stored at a humidity of 75-80%;
  3. placement of pumpkins is organized on wooden racks;
  4. the racks must be covered with straw 10 to 15 cm thick, on top of which vegetables are placed;
  5. Avoid contact of vegetables with each other;
  6. pumpkins are placed with the stem facing up;
  7. the storage place should be dark;
  8. in the basement, pumpkins are additionally covered with hay or straw for insulation.
  9. If the cold gets worse and the temperature in the basement where the pumpkins are stored decreases, the best solution would be to additionally cover the pumpkin with straw or hay.

Placing vegetables in living quarters is no different from placing them in the basement - it should be sufficiently warm, dry, and dark. It is necessary to orient the pumpkins with the preserved stalk facing up. Pumpkins should be constantly inspected - as soon as rotting of the upper part of the stalk appears or signs of spoilage appear on the side of the pumpkin due to mechanical damage, such vegetables should be mercilessly processed immediately.*

Storing cut pumpkins

The pumpkin is washed and cut for cooking, the seeds are removed and then dried. The part of the pumpkin that must be preserved should not be peeled; this is the only way it will retain its juiciness. To preserve the product for another 15 days, place it in cling film. With foil this figure increases to 30 days. In this case, it is necessary to place the product in the refrigerator, no matter which shelf. To prevent the pumpkin pieces from drying out, they are coated with oil. If food supplies have run out, there is another possible way to provide yourself with pumpkin all year round - you should think about growing it.

READ MORE: Growing greenery on the balcony

Is it possible to get poisoned by unripe pumpkin? Is it possible and how to make an unripe pumpkin ripen?

"Hello! Help “save” the pumpkin. Frightened by weather forecasters about upcoming frosts on the ground, she harvested the crop ahead of time. Now I don’t know what to do with him. Will unripe pumpkin ripen at home? What can be prepared from it? (Yana)"

First of all, you need to make sure that the pumpkin is really not ripe. Green or dark gray skin is not a sign of immaturity. Thus, the varieties Acorn, Vesnushka, Zimnyaya Sladkaya, Lechebnaya, Khersonskaya, Altair, Bylinka, and Vitaminnaya have peels of various shades of gray or green, but inside they are fully ripe. Cut such a pumpkin and you will see that inside it has juicy flesh of a rich yellow-orange color.

We suggest you read: How to properly plant onions before winter? Suitable varieties for planting – AGRARY

How can you tell if your pumpkin is fully ripe? Do not cut the peel under any circumstances, as you risk spoiling the fruit. Take a close look at the stem and skin. An unripe pumpkin will have a greenish stalk, while a ripe one will be slightly dried out and corky. The peel becomes denser, more prominent and, in places, roughened.

If you are still sure that you have harvested an unripe pumpkin, carefully inspect each fruit for damage. The peel should not have dents, damage, cuts, or signs of rotting. Unfortunately, such fruits will not ripen; it is better to immediately put them into processing. We'll talk about this a little later.

If the correct storage conditions are met, some varieties of pumpkin can last until the beginning of spring. Let us share with you the secrets of how to properly store unripe pumpkin:

  • the optimal air temperature in the room should be between 12–18 degrees above zero;
  • in order not to provoke rotting of the fruits, monitor the humidity level (too high humidity has a negative effect on pumpkin);
  • Avoid too much light, otherwise seeds may begin to sprout inside the pumpkins.

These are all the rules, following which, you can easily preserve the harvest until winter or even early spring. Our grandmothers also kept unripe pumpkin fruits under their beds. Lay newspaper or paper on the floor, arrange the fruits so that they do not touch each other. Remember to periodically check for signs of rotting.

If you notice the first signs of rotting or wilting on the fruits, put such pumpkins into processing. Unripe pumpkin can be used in salads or baked with apples in the oven. Also, unripe pumpkin fruits are processed into jam, adding orange, sugar and cinnamon.

How to determine the ripeness of a vegetable

By the time of harvesting from the garden, the pumpkin should be ripe (with the exception of late-ripening varieties). To determine whether a vegetable is ripe, you must be guided by external signs of ripeness. Knowing these signs will allow you to accurately determine whether the pumpkin is ready to be harvested from the garden. This is especially important for beginning gardeners.

Fruits that are ripe have the following external characteristics:

  • woody stalk. This means that it should look tough and dried out, not green and juicy;
  • the plant should have yellowed or faded leaves. In this case, at least part of the leaf plate must be dried. These same characteristics are preserved not only for the leaves, but also for the fence itself;
  • The pumpkin is bright and rich in color. Moreover, depending on the variety, its color can range from yellow and gray-green to rich or dark orange. It is worth noting that not all varieties change the color of the fruit. This applies to the wax gourd. There are plants whose fruits retain white or gray bark even when fully ripe;
  • the fetal shell has acquired density and become more rigid.

Knowing the above signs of vegetable ripeness, as well as focusing on the ripening time, you can easily determine that the pumpkin is ready for harvesting, no matter where your plot is located (in the Moscow region, Siberia, the Urals or other regions). As a rule, the deadlines are written on the back of the seed packets, which is very convenient for remembering.

Please note that only ripe varieties need to be stored (with the exception of late-ripening ones). For vegetables that are not fully ripe, a ripening procedure should be carried out in order to completely protect them from the effects of the external environment. Such fruits will be stored for a long time, preserving the pleasant taste of the pulp.

Affordable ways to store home-grown pumpkins

Pumpkin, a regular in Russian garden beds, has many advantages. The vegetable is not capricious and easy to grow, even a beginner can master its care, and the fruits collected in the fall are a component of a wide variety of dishes and a storehouse of nutrients for all family members.

The unique vitamin and mineral complex present in pumpkin pulp and seeds helps you gain energy in winter, lose extra pounds and support your immune system. Pumpkin is considered an excellent product for children's and dietary nutrition. For lovers of delicious homemade food, pumpkin provides an opportunity to diversify the menu with aromatic porridges and stews, candied fruits and jam, juice and baked goods.

However, anticipating an acquaintance with gastronomic delights, rejoicing at the end of summer work, the summer resident will have to solve an equally important problem. Pumpkin dishes will be tasty and healthy only when the fruits are provided with proper storage conditions.

How to store pumpkin in winter? Under what conditions will ripe pumpkins not spoil and will their flesh remain as sweet, dense and juicy as in the fall?

How to collect and store pumpkin in winter?

Experienced gardeners, first of all, believe that the key to successful pumpkin storage is the competent collection and preparation of fruits for storage for the winter. Depending on the variety, pumpkins can be stored for 3 to 24 months. But so that during this time the fruit does not lose the nutrients accumulated over the summer, the pulp does not become dry, loose and tasteless, or, on the contrary, does not rot, only ripened healthy fruits without scratches, signs of disease and other defects should be stored.

Today, gardeners can choose from up to a hundred different varieties and hybrids that ripen at different times and bear fruit of all shapes and colors. Therefore, the harvesting period extends from mid-August to November.

The most difficult situation is for gardeners in the middle zone, the Urals, the North-West of the country and Siberia. Here, summer residents are often forced to cut pumpkins from the vine, which require a long ripening period.

But even under these conditions, knowing how to store pumpkin, you can save and use what you grow. A sign that the pumpkin is ready to take up space in storage and spend more than one month there can be considered:

  • a hardened stalk that has turned into something like a cork;
  • withering of the vine on which the fruit grows and the foliage around it;
  • durable fetal bark that is not damaged when exposed to a fingernail;
  • the appearance in the color of pumpkins of colors characteristic of a ripe fruit.

When harvesting, experienced gardeners try not to pick or unscrew the fruits, but to carefully cut them off, so that the pumpkin is stored in winter with a stalk no less than 4–6 cm long. If the pumpkin for some reason remains without a stalk, at the place where it is attached Harmful fungi and bacteria immediately settle in, and the fruit begins to rot. A similar process occurs when fruits are stored:

  • damaged by rodents or garden tools;
  • with cracks and bruises;
  • foci of diseases on the cortex.

The best time to harvest is dry, sunny days, when the fruits can be laid out in a ventilated, illuminated place to dry. If the weather permits, the crop is left in the cool autumn sun for a week.

During this time, the bark hardens further, the pulp becomes sweeter, and even small scratches on the peel are slightly healed. Such pumpkins are stored better in winter, and when they are cut, they delight with both taste and juiciness.

Dry, ventilated basements are rightfully considered the ideal place to store pumpkins in winter. Here, at temperatures from 5 to 10 °C, the fruits enter a state close to hibernation. All processes in them are inhibited, only very slow evaporation of moisture and conversion of starch into sugar occurs.

  • If the air in the place chosen for storing the pumpkin is humid and there is no ventilation, there is a high probability that over time, pockets of mold and rot will appear on the surface of the pilaf, and spoilage will soon affect the pulp.
  • Sub-zero temperatures have an equally negative impact on harvested pumpkins. The damaged bark softens and the pumpkin rots.

When wondering how to wound a pumpkin, a summer resident needs to prepare ventilated, dry and clean racks or trays for the fruit. Pumpkins, sorted by variety and shelf life, are placed on them so that there is no contact with the floor or walls, on which condensation may form.

During storage, fruits should not be allowed to become crowded. If necessary, they are covered with wrapping paper or straw. It will be better if the stalks are on top.

By following simple but effective safety measures, as well as by regularly inspecting the crop, a pumpkin that has begun to rot will be quickly noticed and removed. The remaining fruits will remain dry and healthy.

But even if all storage conditions are met, pumpkins cannot always please the gardener who grew them. The fact is that each variety has its own deadline for storing pumpkin without loss of quality. Early varieties, for example, Gymnosperm pumpkin or fruits such as butternut, which are popular today, are best consumed within 3–5 months after harvest. Otherwise, you may encounter a situation where seeds begin to germinate inside the fruit, and the pulp completely loses all its consumer qualities.

How to store pumpkin in an apartment

A basement or other suitable room suitable for storing crops always helps out the summer resident. But what if the gardener only has a city apartment at his disposal? In addition to the fact that the pumpkin harvest takes up a lot of space, you also need to create comfortable conditions for vegetables. Is it possible to store pumpkin in an apartment, and how to protect the fruits from drying out inevitably in the heat?

The rules for storing pumpkins both in the basement and in a heated room have much in common. Fruits feel best in a dry, dark place with ventilation.

All this can be achieved by placing pumpkins in the pantry. The main thing is that there are no heating devices nearby, the pumpkins are not exposed to negative temperatures, and, if possible, do not touch.

Even a glazed balcony or loggia can become a temporary refuge for vegetables collected from the garden beds. Here they are placed on racks or in boxes, covered with thick fabric to protect them from the sun and possible frost. When it gets colder, the fruits are moved indoors and the pumpkins are stored until it gets warmer outside.

If there is no suitable place to store whole fruits, all that remains is to dry the pumpkin pulp and seeds, and process the harvest into homemade canned food, juice and puree. Are there other ways to store pumpkins in winter? And what should you do if you can’t eat the fruit grown on your plot at one time?

How to store cut pumpkin?

Large-fruited pumpkin varieties last longer than others, but after cutting such a fruit, even a friendly family sometimes finds it difficult to immediately consume it. Shouldn’t you throw away most of the pumpkin if only a small slice is spent on purees or juice for your child? The question of how to store cut pumpkins is also of interest to those summer residents who, when reviewing the harvest, discover slightly spoiled specimens.

Since the pumpkin pulp contains a lot of sugars, a tasty food for bacteria, it will not be possible to preserve the cut pumpkin for a long time. The maximum shelf life of well-washed, seeded and cut into portioned pumpkin is two weeks. Moreover, such a fruit should be tightly wrapped in cling film and stored in the refrigerator. At a temperature of 2–6 °C, the development of pathogenic flora is inhibited, but does not stop, so it is better to eat the sweetest varieties as early as possible.

Instead of film, you can use foil, but since this material does not protect against dehydration, the slices of cut pumpkin intended for storage are pre-treated with refined vegetable oil.

Freezing the pulp will extend the shelf life of the cut fruit. Moreover, this method is not at all labor-intensive and simple.

Is it possible to freeze pumpkin in the freezer?

Quick freezing of vegetables has recently become one of the most popular ways to preserve crops. This is explained by the fact that the fruits do not lose the lion’s share of their beneficial properties; they retain the aroma and taste characteristic of the crop. This fully applies to pumpkins intended for winter storage.

While a juicy melon cannot be frozen without losing its consistency, the dense flesh of a pumpkin can easily withstand sub-zero temperatures. But it’s better not to put large pieces in the freezer whole. It will take a long time to defrost them, which will inevitably lead to a deterioration in the quality of the product.

It is much easier and more convenient to freeze the pumpkin that goes into the freezer in the form of small cubes. This method saves storage space, but in winter it seriously reduces the time for preparing your favorite pumpkin dishes, because the cubes are completely ready to go into a frying pan or pan.

To prevent the vegetable from losing its consistency when defrosting, when removing the pulp from the freezer, it is important to transfer it to the vegetable compartment. Here, at temperatures close to zero, the pumpkin will defrost, but will not lose moisture.

There is another way you can freeze pumpkin in the freezer. In this case, it is not cubes that are sent into the chamber, but puree made from baked pulp. Before the pumpkin goes into the refrigerator, it is washed, cut into large pieces and the seeds are removed along with the loose fibrous core.

Pieces of pumpkin, flesh side down, are placed on baking sheets, which are placed in the oven for 30–40 minutes, during which the pulp will soften.

Carefully remove the peel from the cooled pumpkin, and grind the resulting pulp in a meat grinder or blender until smooth and homogeneous.

Pumpkin puree, which retains all the properties and taste of the vegetable, is packaged in tightly closed small bags that contain a portion for one use of the product, or in ice cube trays.

Frozen pumpkin can be stored in the freezer for up to one year. It is only important to remember that re-freezing vegetable pulp is unacceptable.

The tasty and healthy product is used for making soups, baby foods, caviar, jam, baked goods and desserts.

Preparing pumpkin compote for the winter - video

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