The pumpkins are ready to harvest when a fingernail cannot penetrate the skin. They can be cut from the vine. Pumpkins cannot over ripen on the vine and they will continue to ripen after they have been harvested. Make certain to harvest the pumpkins before the first frost. In commercial operations, pumpkins are placed in windrows in the field after the leaves have died, picked up by hand and loaded onto trucks or wagons. Wash the pumpkins with a bleach solution and sponge(1 cup of chlorine bleach mixed with 3 litres of water).
When all the dirt is removed, the bleach solution will help protect against germs that cause the pumpkins to spoil. The pumpkins can be cured by leaving them in a warm, well-ventilated area for ten days This dries and hardens the skin so that they will keep longer.