Like I said in a recent post… I love October! And one of the reasons I love this perfect fall month is PUMPKINS!!!! They are such a versatile veggie. You can eat them and decorate with them! Pumpkins are sturdy vine growers and are long lasting compared to other veggies, but they do have a shelf life. 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 October. The field 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 local! They are usually more fresh!
I get my pumpkins from many local roadside stands and Amish markets. The pumpkins above are from the PUMPKIN WAGON, a Lancaster County hot spot, for cheap pumpkins. These were picked right out of the field and put on the wagon, 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 or 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!
These pumpkins have had their bath and now are drying before going inside. No direct sunshine here!
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 mimi pumpkins outside and dunked them into a Clorox bath. Don’t forget to turn them upside down and get the stems washed too. Wash off any dirt on them 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 and start imploding! 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 it that the spray will damage!
SAVE THE STEM
Eventually, your pumpkins will fade… and get pretty yucky!!!! Before you throw them out save the stems. Pop them off or carve them out and let them dry out completely. Save them and attach them to faux pumpkins next year so they look more real! Brilliant, right!
Let’ have the perkiest, prettiest pumpkins ever!!!!
If you love pumpkins like I do you might like these pumpkin related posts…
This is amazing and scrumptious and has that company worthy WOW factor!
You can follow me on Pinterest and see all the fun fall things I’m finding to pin HERE.