Pumpkins are finding new homes on porches and near entryways as fall continues and Halloween draws closer. According to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists, pumpkins can be harvested when they have a deep, uniform orange color and the rind is hard. Also, mature pumpkins may be left in gardens or fields until the vines are killed by a light frost or freeze.
When harvesting pumpkins, leave several inches of the stem attached as they are less likely to rot.
To cure a pumpkin after harvesting, store them at a temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 percent relative humidity for 10 days. This helps harden their skins. After curing, they may be stored in a cool, dry location without touching one another.