Pumpkins are almost synonymous with autumn, appearing on porches everywhere when the leaves start to change and the air gets chilly, heralding the end of summer and the start of a new season.The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
There are many ways to display and decorate pumpkins, from carving to painting, and of course everyone has a favorite. But keeping pumpkins fresh enough to last through the season can be a challenge if the proper steps aren't taken early on.
To keep your pumpkin firm for a long time, try one of the following tried-and-true methods:
A bleach bath
Soak the carved pumpkin in a bucket of water and 2/3 cup of bleach for 24 hours to kill bacteria and fungi that cause the pumpkin to rot.
Keep the pumpkin in a cool, dry place and avoid rain or snow, as excess moisture can promote mold growth.
Petroleum jelly/vegetable oil
After thoroughly cleaning and carving the pumpkin, coat the cut with petroleum jelly or cooking oil to prevent it from drying out too quickly.
If the pumpkin does start to wilt, leave it in a bowl of ice water overnight to rehydrate it.
Use essential oils
Mix a solution of peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle and spray carved pumpkins daily to prevent bugs and bacteria.
An alternative to pumpkin carving
If you plan to use pumpkins as decorations before or after Halloween, consider some alternatives to carving. Drawing a face on a pumpkin is a great way to add some character while maintaining integrity. Get creative and decorate with glitter, ribbons, stencils and decals - there's no limit to what materials can be used to make a pumpkin look festive.
How can I keep the pumpkin from rotting
Pumpkins will definitely last longer than carved pumpkins, but they still need the same care and attention to ensure their beauty lasts as long as possible. Some good ways to keep your pumpkin fresh include:
Grab a rag and rub the surface of your pumpkin with a little floor wax to prevent moisture and mold - this is an easy way to extend the life of your pumpkin by up to four weeks.
Avoid direct sunlight
Keep the pumpkin in a cool place to prevent sunlight from speeding up its drying process.
Keep squash in the refrigerator to extend freshness throughout the season.
Pumpkins have long been a symbol of the arrival of autumn, and when the calendar turns to October, everyone looks forward to seeing a display of this much-loved pumpkin.