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I have bought a number of pumpkins from a gardener. I'm storing them in the basement at about 12°C (54°F).

A couple of days ago, most of them started showing small, rotting black dots that grow rapidly.

Early stage:

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Advanced stage:

enter image description here

  • Out of interest - where do these come from? Were the pumpkins stored at too cold a temperature by the previous owner? (We've had really cold nights the past few weeks.) Or was 12°C too much after all? I was told that was the temperature to store them at, but I didn't check.

  • Is there anything I can do except cut out the rot, cut the good parts down to pieces, and store them in the fridge until it's time to eat them? (I guess the answer to this one is "no".)

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I hope this is on-topic here, seeing as it's not exactly gardening related any more! –  Pekka 웃 Dec 26 '11 at 17:26
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This is on-topic, and would fall under post harvest care/diseases/storage of plants/fruits. As for the second point, you're right – the answer is no. The first will be easier to answer if you could add a picture. Is it just one spot or are they fully spread around? What is the rough size of these spots? –  Lorem Ipsum Dec 26 '11 at 18:20
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Regarding the second bullet: if you have space, they store well when cut into 1-2" cubes and packed into gallon freezer bags in the freezer. We recently processed a couple dozen pumpkins that we had in cool storage and noticed that some were starting to rot. –  bstpierre Dec 27 '11 at 20:26
    
Adding images - they might be useful for others. –  Pekka 웃 Jan 3 '12 at 21:38
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You didn't say when they were harvested (if you know).

The fungus is probably either black rot, also known as gummy stem blight, or pumpkin anthracnose. There are numerous references, but Cornell University's page on squash and pumpkin rots seems to have the most information. If I had to guess, I'd say that it's anthracnose.

It most probably was from spores splashed up from the ground onto the growing pumpkin by rain. Rainy weather increases spore deposition; hot, humid weather spurs growth. High humidity (more than 70% or so) in storage also might speed growth.

Most references say you should only expect to be able to store a pumpkin for 2-3 months anyway. However, a few say much longer.

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Thanks, this looks exactly like what this is. –  Pekka 웃 Dec 27 '11 at 17:29
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