8 TIPS FOR KEEPING PUMPKINS FRESH
Do you love pumpkins? Me too! Keeping pumpkins looking their best and lasting longer is all about keeping them fresh! Today I’m sharing 8 tips for keeping pumpkins fresh. And with the right conditions, you can keep uncut pumpkins till Thanksgiving and carved pumpkins till Halloween!
CHOOSE LOCAL PUMPKINS IF POSSIBLE
Lancaster County is pumpkin land in September and October. The fields are full of them and big container size boxes line the roads filled with these fall decor veggies to be picked up and shipped out all over the country! If you live in an area that has access to local or regional pumpkins buy them locally! They are usually fresher!
I get my pumpkins from many local roadside stands and Amish markets. But my favorite place to get pumpkins is right from our neighborhood Amish farm! They are so fresh and I take them home dirt and all!
INSPECT EACH PUMPKIN
Pumpkins are susceptible to all kinds of bacteria. Their skin is a protective barrier so examine a pumpkin for scratches, holes, or gouges that compromise their skin and let in bad germs!
Also, check the stem. Make sure the area around them is firm and not soggy. A soggy stem base spells bad news. Mold will quickly grow around it and your pumpkin will not last long.
If you see fuzzy strands of blue/green or black spots leave the pumpkin and choose another!
KEEP PUMPKINS OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT
Pumpkin, like many picked fruits or veggies, will go bad more quickly in direct sunlight once they are off the vine! This is especially important for carved pumpkins!
KEEP PUMPKINS COOL
Fall days can still be quite warm and heat is the enemy of a pumpkin, especially a carved one! If the temperature soars, put pumpkins in a cool place, even in the refrigerator!
The same goes for below freezing temps. Bring them in!
GIVE PUMPKINS A BATH
If you do one thing to keep your pumpkins fresh, do this!!! Give them a bath! Use 1 TBS Clorox bleach for every 1 quart!
I took all my mini pumpkins outside and dunked them into a Clorox bath for about 30 minutes.
Don’t forget to turn them upside down halfway through and get the stems washed too.
Wash off any dirt but don’t scrub your pumpkins, you don’t want to break their skin!
I’m getting out a big bucket to wash my bigger pumpkins in tomorrow!
DUNK A PUMPKIN
Carved pumpkins tend to get dehydrated, filled with bacteria or mold, and start rotting! To keep a cared pumpkin looking perky longer, dunk it in a bucket of 1 TBS Clorox for every gallon of water.
Totally submerge it for 1 to 3 hours. Drain all the excess water from the insides and it will look great! If it starts looking tired again, repeat the process!
SPRITZ A PUMPKIN
This is especially important for outdoor pumpkins!
Spritz your pumpkins every once-in-awhile inside and out with a mixture of 1 TBS Clorox bleach to 1-quart water. It will keep bacteria at bay.
Don’t spray your pumpkins if there is anything around them that the spray will damage!
PAINT A PUMPKIN
If your white pumpkins start turning yellow and they are still nice looking and feel hard to the touch give them a quick coat of white chalk paint. This will brighten them up and the coating protects them as well!
Or if you can’t find the color pumpkin you want you can paint them!
First put them in a bath of Cholox bleach like suggested above, totally dry them and paint!
See HOW TO PAINT PUMPKINS WHITE. The pumpkins in this oldie but goodie post are faux but you can paint real ones too!
SAVE THE STEM
Here’s a bonus tip…
Eventually, your pumpkins will fade and get pretty yucky!!!! Before you throw them out save the stems.
Pop them off by pressing your thumb very firmly at the base of the stem and pushing.
If they won’t pop off them carve them out very near the base of the pumpkin.
Dry them completely and put them in a marked paper bag.
You can then and glue them to faux pumpkins next year so they look more real! Brilliant, right!
Let’ have the perkiest, prettiest pumpkins ever!!!!
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I’ve heard that a white vinegar water wash will provide the same benefit but is non-toxic. Bleach can kill bugs and bacteria but can also make any critters that decide to have a pumpkin snack very sick.
Have you ever tried a vinegar wash?
Loved your tissue decal on the pumpkin last week.
No, I know vinegar is good for all kinds of things, though. Thanks for the tip.
Hi Yvonne Thanks for your idea of saving pumpkin stems. I can not wait for our pumpkins to dry so I can save the stems for next year.. Happy Fall
You are welcome.