How and When to Harvest Sugar Pumpkins

If you like pumpkin pie, you should grow sugar pumpkins in your garden. Sugar pumpkin is rich in vitamins A, B, E, and beta-carotene. In this article, I will explain how and when to harvest sugar pumpkins to prepare delicious pumpkin pies.

Sugar pumpkins are widely used to prepare pies and other foods that require a sweet taste. One sugar pumpkin vine can produce up to 5 pumpkins. Sugar pumpkins take 90 to 110 days to reach maturity. Continue reading to learn how and when to harvest sugar pumpkins.

When to Harvest Sugar Pumpkins

When to Harvest Sugar Pumpkins? Sugar pumpkins take 90 to 110 days to mature, this will depend somewhat on the quality of the soil, irrigation, and weather where the sugar pumpkins are grown. So, the fruits of small sugar pumpkins need up to 110 days to reach maturity. But it is not only important to count the days of ripening to know when to harvest sugar pumpkins.

Also, the color of sugar pumpkins should be observed to know when is the right time to harvest sugar pumpkins. A sugar pumpkin will have a solid orange color. If the sugar pumpkin has a deep orange color, it is a good sign that it is ripe.

Observe the skin of the sugar pumpkin, if pressing with your fingernail on the skin of the sugar pumpkin leaves a mark that the pumpkin is not ripe. A ripe sugar pumpkin will have hard skin to the touch and should not leave any fingernail marks when pressed.

As the sugar pumpkins mature, you will notice that the vine leaves begin to dry out. So, to know when to harvest sugar pumpkins you should observe the color of the pumpkin, and the hardness of the pumpkin skin and count the days of ripening of the sugar pumpkin. Fall will be the normal harvest time for sugar pumpkins.

Finally, I recommend harvesting all sugar pumpkins before frost begins. You can let sugar pumpkins ripen until the first frost, but then harvest them, or you could lose the entire crop. The vine will begin to die with the first frost of the season.

when to harvest sugar pumpkins
When to Pick Sugar Pumpkins? Pick sugar pumpkins when you notice that their skin is hard to the touch and orange.

How to Harvest Sugar Pumpkins

How to Harvest Sugar Pumpkins? Harvesting sugar pumpkins is very easy, you will only need pruning shears or a sharp knife to be able to cut the pumpkin stem properly. Not all sugar pumpkins will be ripe at the same time, just harvest the ripe sugar pumpkins and leave the rest to continue ripening on the vine.

Cut the stem of the pumpkin vine, leaving 2” to 3” (5 to 8 cm) of stem on the sugar pumpkin. Always leave a stem in the sugar pumpkin, this will allow better storage and longer preservation time for the pumpkin. Never pull sugar pumpkins off the vine to avoid damaging the vine and stem.

Remember to harvest all sugar pumpkins before frost. Gretchen Voyle of the University of Michigan explains in an article the problem of pumpkins being affected by frost.

How to Store Sugar Pumpkins

How to Store Sugar Pumpkins? To store sugar pumpkins, curing must first be performed. Curing will allow the shell of the pumpkin to harden further to allow longer storage. Place the sugar pumpkins in a well-ventilated place and do not stack the pumpkins to avoid damage. The curing process of the pumpkins usually takes between 10 and 14 days. The ideal curing temperature for sugar pumpkins is between 80 and 85 °F (27 to 29 °C).

Once the curing process is complete, you can store your sugar pumpkins in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months, although I did manage to keep some pumpkins in my garage for 6 months. You can store sugar pumpkins in a garage with a temperature of 50 and 55 °F (10 to 13 °C). Prepare delicious pumpkin pies with your sugar pumpkins.

how to store sugar pumpkins
How to Store Sugar Pumpkins? Once the curing process is complete, you can store your sugar pumpkins in a garage for up to 3 months.

Final Conclusions

Sugar pumpkins are my favorite for making pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. Delicious soups, purees, and mashed pumpkins can also be prepared with the sugar pumpkin.

I hope this article on how and when to harvest sugar pumpkins will be useful and that you will have an excellent harvest. I recommend our article about how often to water pumpkins.

About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.