October is the time to harvest pumpkins & winter squash

Harvesting your winter squash and pumpkins when they are fully ripe will help them to store for longer, just make sure you get them before the first frosts.

You’ll know they are ripe when:

  1. The stalks have dried out and hardened and the leaves have started dying back as well.
  2. The skin has changed colour and hardened. You shouldn’t be able to pierce the skin or make a dent in the skin with your thumbnail.

If it gets too chilly before they are fully ripe, or of the pumpkin/squash breaks away from its stalk, then don’t worry – you can leave the fruits in a warm, dry room in the house to continue ripening. Once ripe you should be able to store them in a cool, dry place for several months.