Queensland Blue

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Queensland Blue

Post by Dave Steven » Thu, 05 Mar 1998 04:00:00



I have never had much success with growing pumpkins before, however this
year my queensland blues have gone berzerk. how do I know when they are
ready to pick (eating now and storage). There are pumpkins of different
ages on the vines, do they all have to be picked at once or can I leave the
immature ones to ripen further.
--
Dave Stevens

 
 
 

Queensland Blue

Post by Pat Kiewi » Thu, 05 Mar 1998 04:00:00




Quote:

>I have never had much success with growing pumpkins before, however this
>year my queensland blues have gone berzerk. how do I know when they are
>ready to pick (eating now and storage). There are pumpkins of different
>ages on the vines, do they all have to be picked at once or can I leave the
>immature ones to ripen further.

I'm guessing that these are a 'hubbard' or 'buttercup' type of squash
(C. maxima) because of the 'blue' color.  This type of squash needs to
ripen completely on the vine for best taste and longest storage life,
but can be harvested after the rinds become hard (you can't pierce
the rind with your thumb-nail).  The stems will also become hard
(for some buttercup types, more sort of corky) and many maxima-type
squashes will also take on a sort of silver bloom.  Normally I pick
them all at once, and use any of the less mature ones first as they
won't keep as well, because I have a definite end to the growing season.

Here in Michigan, I leave my squash on the vine until it dies back under
the first light frost.  I harvest them by cutting the stems (never snap
the stems off of the squash).  Ideally they should be put in a warm,
sunny place to 'cure' for a few days.  This will improve their future
shelf-life.  Once the squash have been 'cured' they should be washed
with a dilute bleach solution, dried, and lightly oiled, then put
in a cool place for storage (around 50 deg F/12 deg C is ideal, but
I store them warmer than that). These squash might actually improve in
flavor after the first month in storage, and will have good quality for
4 or more months but you must give them good air circulation.  (Check
them at regular intervals.)

--
Pat in Plymouth MI
SORRY!   My return address is munged.  Drop the BOMB
to get through.

 
 
 

Queensland Blue

Post by Helen Ka » Fri, 06 Mar 1998 04:00:00



Quote:
> I have never had much success with growing pumpkins before, however this
> year my queensland blues have gone berzerk. how do I know when they are
> ready to pick (eating now and storage). There are pumpkins of different
> ages on the vines, do they all have to be picked at once or can I leave the
> immature ones to ripen further.

Wait until the vines die down, then gather up the pumpkins and set them
out so that they aren't touching in a dry place with good air circulation.
The skins should be hard and--well, the colour that Queensland Blues go--a
sort of slaty blue/green.

I've usually had a range of sizes even when the pumkins are all obviously
ripe.

Helen.