If you plan to store winter squash and pumpkins for later use, go easy on applying nitrogen
where they grow. And don’t heap on an extra shovelful of manure in late summer to increase
fruit size. Too much nitrogen in the soil can reduce storability up to 75 percent. Allow squash
and pumpkins to remain on the vine until leaves brown and stems wither. Cut off the vine, dry
the harvest in the shade for a couple of days and finally wipe the fruits with a solution of
household bleach and water. A half-cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water will kill fungal
spores that cause rot on fruit rinds. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.