October Veggie Gardening Tips Sacramento

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October Veggie Gardening Tips Sacramento

October Veggie Gardening Tips Sacramento

(Zone 9b Sacramento, CA – Harvest pumpkins and winter squash)

October is time to harvest your pumpkins and winter squash that you planted in May. If you waited till late May or into June to plant your pumpkins, they probably won’t be ready till sometime in November. Just watch the weather and be sure to harvest before the first frost. It is better to let them finish ripening off the vine than to let them be damaged by frost.

Pumpkins and squash are ready to harvest when the vine turns yellow and dries out

The skin should be its final color, whether that is yellow, red, or white, depending on what variety of pumpkin or squash you planted. You should not be able to indent the skin with your fingernail. For long storage, cut them with about an inch of stem still on the fruit.

Wash your pumpkins and squash with a solution of 9 parts water and 1 part bleach. Put them in a dark, dry, well ventilated place to cure for a couple of weeks. After this, their rinds should be hard enough to store without rotting. Throughout the winter, check them periodically and throw out any that are starting to decay.

Pumpkins and winter squash are great decorations during October and November, as well as an amazing food throughout the winter that does not need to be refrigerated. If you are going to use pumpkins and squash as decorations, just keep them out of direct sunlight. They can cure in the shade without being in a perfectly dark place, so just keep them indoors or in a shady spot on your porch where they will not get direct sunlight.

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