North Coast Gardening: Tend to pumpkins, squash

September 17, 2016 - garden totes

Those who have had a glorious fitness of being means to grow pumpkins and winter squish know how they can be marinated and stored for several months, from winter into spring. It is such a yield to prepare a winter dish with these juicy vegetables that were grown a comfortable summer before.

For newcomers to flourishing winter squish and pumpkins, it is tantalizing to collect early and eat soon. But when these squish are harvested, marinated and stored correctly, they will yield uninformed furnish good into subsequent planting season.

First, it is critical to know when to harvest. Usually a tone of skin is a arguable indicator.

• Pumpkins: abounding orange

• Sweet beef squash: abounding greenish/blue.

• Acorn: dim immature with a small orange or yellow mark where they have complacent on a mud

• Butternut: abounding tan with no immature

• Delicata: white skin and low immature stripes.

When harvesting fruit, use a span of pointy clippers and cut from vine withdrawal 2 to 4 inches of stem. The branch seals a tip of a fruit, gripping out atmosphere and moisture. If it is damaged off, we will have to eat earlier rather than later. Wipe divided all mud and waste before a cure.

Curing is no large deal, though required for honeyed flavors and prolonged shelf life. After harvesting, delicately place fruits in a splendid comfortable room for 4 to 6 weeks. Temps should be between 70 and 90 F. A well-ventilated hothouse is ideal. Every week or so spin a fruits. Once fruit skin has hardened, clean down again and afterwards kindly clean on a really skinny covering of olive oil.

Store winter squish and pumpkins in a cool, dim place for a winter. Best to singular covering in open card box, or on a wooden shelf. Single layering in open, ethereal cosmetic crates that have holes works well, also. Do not gold fruits adult in cosmetic bags or indisputable cosmetic totes. They need to breathe. Check for spoilage each week or so.

Terry Kramer is a site manager for a Humboldt Botanical Garden and a lerned horticulturist and journalist. She has been essay a garden mainstay for a Times-Standard given 1982. Contact her during

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