How to keep your pumpkins fresh
It’s the fall season and Halloween time. Pumpkins make decorating your fall porch both fun and easy.
Before following any of the tips we are going to give you, it’s important to understand the lifespan of pumpkins. Uncarved pumpkins can last up to three months when kept in a place away from the hot sun. Once carved, pumpkins may need some extra care to last longer than a few days.
Here are some of the most important ways to keep uncarved pumpkins looking fresh for longer:
- Keep pumpkin eaters away. Use a natural hot wax pepper spray to keep nibblers, such as squirrels, away.
- Broken Stems. If your pumpkin’s stem is broken, remove stem completely and place pumpkin with wounded side up to allow the wound to dry. After a couple of days, you can use hair spray to spray the wound and ensure its sealed correctly. You can spray it around the rest of the pumpkins too. The hair spray provides a nice and shiny coat.
- Keep pumpkins out of the elements. Freezing temperatures and direct sunlight may speed the rotting process so make sure to place your pumpkin in a sheltered place.
- Don’t let any standing water collect on top of the pumpkin.
Here are some tips for extending the life of your carved pumpkin:
- Clean the pumpkin’s surface and interior with bleach. Mix a teaspoon of bleach with a quart of water and spray the pumpkin’s exterior and interior surfaces. You can almost make a DIY pumpkin spray with peppermint oil and liquid Castile soap.
- Once carved give your pumpkin a bleach bath. Submerge it in a bucket filled with water and 2/3 cup bleach.
- Apply a layer of protection around the edges. Use WD40, petroleum jelly or vegetable oil. Remember these are flammable so please use only flameless candles/lights to illuminate your carved pumpkin!
- Rehydrate the pumpkin daily. Spray the pumpkin with a mild bleach and water solution or the DIY pumpkin spray.
- Avoid using real candles to light it. The heat from the candle essentially cooks the pumpkin. Try using flameless candles or glow sticks.
Once your pumpkin’s lifespan is over, make sure to properly dispose of it. You can throw it in your compost bin or leave behind your shed to allow for squirrels and other animals to finish the job!