Harvesting Hokkaido Squash - When's the Best Harvest Time for Pumpkins?

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Harvesting Hokkaido Squash - When's the Best Harvest Time for Pumpkins?: harvesting

Decorative, easy-care and with a very own taste - the Hokkaido squash is one of the most popular plants of its kind in this country. The slightly nutty nuance of the delicate pulp is reminiscent of chestnuts and convinces even made pumpkin gourmets. At the same time, this pumpkin is a rather small variety, which is therefore also suitable for households with limited garden area. But who wants to enjoy the delicious plant, should know exactly when the pumpkin is best harvested.

Meaning of harvest time

The right harvest time is particularly important for the Hokkaido squash, because it is a variety that can be stored for several months. Many hobby gardeners take advantage of this and grow considerable amounts of the healthy plant to nibble on the pumpkin during the cold season and into spring. However, the long shelf life is only guaranteed if the pumpkin is harvested at the right time and, in addition, a suitable storage location has been selected.

Harvesting month of Hokkaido pumpkin

The following months can be considered for the harvest of the pumpkin:
  • first harvest from late July to early August
  • Main harvest between September and October
  • Post-harvest in November
  • No harvest in frost
Due to the wide time spectrum, the hobby gardener should illuminate the environmental criteria in order to determine the correct harvest time for his individual plant. In addition to the time of sowing, the weather and color changes also play a role here.

Harvest time depends on sowing and weather

Hokkaido pumpkin harvest

The timing of sowing and the weather condition each other when the optimal time window is selected to harvest the pumpkin. For example, early sowing promotes an early harvest - but only if the following summer offers favorable conditions for the growth of pumpkin plants; so the weather should be both very sunny and consistently warm. Then the first fruits can already be harvested in August or even from the end of July.
However, the chance to start harvesting in early summer drops dramatically if several late frosts have occurred in the planting year. Then even impatient gardeners should not be carried away to the premature harvest, because a ripening is only conditionally possible. This applies to all winter squashes.

Harvest in immature condition

However, in certain cases, the pumpkin can also be harvested in the immature state; For example, an early bad weather event ensures that the pumpkins easily spoil. The fruits tolerate neither persistent wetness nor cold, so that a combination of both factors has a particularly unfavorable effect on the growth of the fruits. As a result, the pumpkins begin to rot gradually. With appropriate weather conditions, it is better to start the harvest, even if the fruits are not completely ripe.
The ripening of the pumpkins then takes place at a location that has the following characteristics:
  • enough heat
  • Dryness is important
  • do not store together with other vegetables

Recognition of the optimal degree of ripeness

The optimal harvest time can not only be determined on the basis of the sowing season and taking into account the weather conditions; Those who are still beginners in the pumpkin industry and have little experience should also pay attention to external factors; Thus, the degree of ripeness of the pumpkins can also be recognized by external characteristics.
Of particular importance here is the color of the pumpkin. Especially with orange varieties is the right time to see the bright colors; the fruit is then covered with a strong orange shade. Therefore, anyone who is not sure whether the optimal degree of ripeness has already been reached is best viewed from all sides.
If the peel still has green spots, the pumpkin should mature for some time. The degree of ripeness of green varieties is naturally less recognizable on the basis of the color.
In addition, the assessment of the plant stem provides information about the ripening of the fruit. When the time of harvest has come, it has the following characteristics:
  • dry state
  • woody consistency
  • brownish discoloration
  • altogether slightly dried condition
Tip: In addition, the so-called knock sample also provides valuable information about the degree of ripeness of the pumpkins. For this purpose, the knuckle of the index finger is strongly knocked against the pumpkin; If the sound that emerges sounds hollow and dull, then the pumpkin is ripe.

The harvest of Hokkaido

Hokkaido pumpkin harvest

After the optimal time has been chosen, the pumpkin can be harvested. It has been proven to cut off a considerable piece of the stem with; the length of the stem should be about one centimeter.It is important to ensure that this piece is as undamaged as possible. This is especially important if the pumpkin is to be stored afterwards; A damaged stem can quickly cause the whole fruit to rot. To prevent this, a particularly sharp knife is used during cutting; Alternatively, the use of a sharp secateurs is conceivable.
After the cut, the pumpkin is stored, which is done in different ways depending on the degree of ripeness. If the fruit had to be harvested in immature condition due to bad weather conditions, the storage takes place in a warm and dry place where the pumpkin matures. A cool and airy area, however, has proven to be successful when the pumpkins are already harvested ripe.
Note: With ripe pumpkins, the maximum storage time is four months; after that, the quality of the fruit decreases drastically.
Whether immature or ripe, whether in summer or in late autumn - the right harvest of the Hokaido pumpkin requires a little tact. However, if you pay attention to the most important aspects of the optimal harvest time, then you will enjoy the delicious pumpkins.

Video Board: When To Harvest Your Pumpkin - Quick Tip.

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