when to pick pumpkin

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I live in Gettysburg Pa and planted giant pumpkins. Last year late in August my pumpkins got big but then some deer ate them. Do the deer get them when they are ripe? The vines seem to be dying now, should I pick the pumpkins now? I planted them in late May. They are not orange yet.

-- Tommy Tippett, Gettysburg, PA (tippettpa@onemain.com), August 14, 2001


Tommy, I am not an expert but the pumpkin shell should be so hard you can not make a dent in it with your fingernail. If you still have the package info it will tell you approx how long it take for them to get ripe and it is a LONG time. This is usually around frost time in the fall. The vines could be dying prematurely due to lack of water, or the heat, or insects like stem borer, cucumber beetle(causes wilt) or the everloving squash bug. So investigate closer and see if you have any of those problems. Your helpful county extension agent can give you lots of good advice too, so check with him/her too.

-- Karen Mauk (kansasgoats@iwon.com), August 19, 2001.

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