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5 Ways to Keep Pumpkins Fresh
The pumpkin patches are already open, but Halloween is still six weeks away. Your kids are begging to go, but you know, you KNOW, if you carve a Jack O’Lantern now, you will have a rotting mess on your front porch well before it’s time to Trick or Treat.
My strategy at this time of year is two-fold. First, we go get the pumpkin a few weeks before Halloween and then leave it on the porch uncarved as a decoration. When it’s time to carve (usually the weekend before Halloween), I employ some of the following methods for keeping a pumpkin fresh.
1. Dunk Your Pumpkin.
After carving your pumpkin, mix up a solution of 1 teaspoon bleach per gallon of water and submerge your pumpkin overnight.
2. Spray Your Pumpkin.
Mix up the same 1 teaspoon bleach per gallon of water in a spray bottle and give your pumpkin a good spritz inside and out, concentrating on the cut portions.
3. Spray Your Pumpkin, 2.0.
Give your pumpkin a good coating with WD-40.
4. Smear Your Pumpkin.
Coat your jack o’lantern on the inside and cut edges with a thin coat of Vaseline or other petroleum jelly.
5. Chill Your Pumpkin.
Bring your jack o’lantern inside, or better yet, refrigerate it, during the day and set it out at night. If the weather where you live has already cooled down to lower than room (or refrigerator) temperature, this one is kind of pointless. But hey, your pumpkin is going to last longer than those in warmer climates anyway.
It’s important to note that there’s no way to preserve a carved pumpkin for very long. A week or so is about as much as you can extend the lifespan with any of these methods. But in leaving my pumpkin au naturel, I have had some mold in as little as 48 hours, so it’s worth it to me to try to keep “Jack” looking spiffy a little longer.