Whether you’re an expert in artistry searching for the perfect canvas or a family simply having some Halloween fun, no one wants their holiday pumpkin creations to be ruined before the big day. Pumpkins, although they can be turned into masterful works of art, are still vegetables. This makes them susceptible to things like rot, moisture, and flies. We’ve compiled a list of a few ways to keep your pumpkins pristine for Halloween.
- Make sure the pumpkin you choose is firm and fresh: This might sound like a no-brainer, but not every pumpkin in the patch is fresh, especially if they are delivered to the site of sale. Make sure that the pumpkin you choose doesn’t give when you push on it in any space of its surface area. Just one weak place can end up ruining your entire pumpkin over time.
- Don’t carve them at the beginning of October: Sure, we understand that you want your creation to be seen the entirety of the month, but sometimes this isn’t realistic. Think about vegetables that you keep in your refrigerator. Even in the best of conditions, they still go bad. A pumpkin sitting on your front porch, exposed to the elements all month isn’t going to fair much better. We suggest one to two weeks before October 31st, and place holding the beginning of the month with store-bought plastic jack-o-lanterns.
- Cut a hole in the top if you are lighting your pumpkin: If you are planning on lighting your pumpkin, either with a candle or artificial lighting, you should cut a small hole in the top to help heat escape. Being exposed to the heat will dry out your pumpkin and cause it to wilt faster.
- After carving, coat with jelly: Yes, it sounds a little gross, but after you carve your pumpkin you should coat the cut places and entire inside in petroleum jelly. This will give your pumpkin a protective coating and keep it fresh longer.
- Store in a cool, dry place: When your pumpkin isn’t being displayed on the front steps, store the gourd in a cool, dry place to prevent rot from setting in.
- Spray bleach and water before setting out: One easy way to keep fruit flies away from your pumpkins while they’re outside is to spray them with a mixture of bleach and water. Mix one tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of water and spray each night before putting your pumpkin outside. Turn upside-down to allow pumpkin to drain of excess water before setting upright.