Either way, make sure to choose a pumpkin with no bruises, smooshy spots, nicks, or cuts, which will reduce their lifespan (especially if you want to display them, not eat them)."Pumpkins like slightly more irrigation at the flowering stage for proper fruit development," says Patty Buskirk, lead plant breeder and horticulturist at Seeds by Design.Pumpkins set lots of flowers then drop the fruit the plant can't sustain to maturity.If you have loads of problems with rotting fruit, try planting in raised bed planters or hills about 3 to 4 feet wide next year.When the pumpkins are set, place the fruits up on the tops of the planters or beds, which allows the extra water to run off.In smaller gardens, you can grow pumpkins vertically on a trellis or fence, providing additional support for heavy fruit by making little hammocks from bean or pea netting.Remove every bit of pulp so you won't attract any bugs, then wipe down all surfaces, inside and out, after you finish your masterpiece.Keep your carved pumpkin out of direct sunlight and refrigerate it for up to ten days when not on display, especially if you live in a warmer climate.It's not proven, but many people say applying petroleum jelly to the carved edges of your pumpkin helps retain moisture and prevent shriveling.Weather that's too cold can lead to decay, so avoid sticking pumpkins in the freezer or exposing them to frost.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. .

Smashing pumpkins: how to store your harvest

Remember to check them every few days, and if any start to develop soft spots, use the pumpkin immediately, cutting away any bad bits of flesh.If you'd rather pile your pumpkins in a photogenic heap, as per the picture above, regular spot checks are even more vital: the places where the skin will give way first are any scratches or surface damage, and where one squash touches another.If you don't have a suitable unheated room, but do have plenty of freezer space, it may suit you to cut your pumpkins into small dice, cook them either in boiling water on the stove or in the microwave until just tender, then store them in freezer bags. .

How To Store Pumpkins And Squash Over Winter

When harvesting pumpkins and winter squash from your polytunnel, be sure to remove the fruits from the plants keeping a section of the stem attached.The good news is that while you can consider making some more elaborate preserves, you do not have to in order to enjoy pumpkins and squash over a long time period.Curing is simply a matter of keeping the fruits at a warm temperature with good ventilation and air flow for ten days to two weeks.This process allows excess water to leave the fruit, concentrating the natural sugars and making them taste sweeter.Getting rid of this excess water also slows the fruit’s rate of respiration, reducing chances of rot and helping them last longer in store. .

Harvest pumpkins and squash

Ideally, you’ll be able to leave them on the plants until they reach that point, and their skins will be their ripe colour.Frost will kill the foliage so leaving them out beyond this point won’t make any difference, and you don’t want to risk the cold temperatures damaging the fruit.Once gathered, wash off any soil and place the fruit somewhere warm and dry – outdoors in a dry, sunny spot (as long as they won’t be frosted), or in a conservatory, porch, or the greenhouse – to cure or harden the skin.Store in a cool, dry, airy place,but make sure the temperature doesn’t go below 10°C. .

Storing Pumpkins

You will need to harvest your pumpkins when they have reached there optimum colour.Pick the pumpkin when the skin will not scratch, it needs to be tough, and not shine.You need to make sure that you harvest the pumpkin before the first frost of the year so keep an eye on the weather at night and the temperature.When you need to move the pumpkins make sure that you lift them properly bending correctly and not damaging your back.Before storing pumpkins you need to prepare them and get them ready for hibernation.You need a gallon of water and 2 teaspoons of bleach – Do not make it any stronger.The best place to store pumpkin are in a dry dark location where the temperature is about 15 degrees.Do not store you pumpkins on the ground or on concrete as this can cause them to start rotting and you would not want to lose all your harvest.Make sure that you do keep checking you pumpkins on a regular basis though for soft spots on them – this can be done by just pressing your finger on them. .

How long do Halloween pumpkins keep before and after carving?

1 Rub vaseline or diluted lemon juice on exposed parts to stop them turning brown Credit: Flickr - Getty.Once carved, pumpkins will generally last for three to five days — or up to two weeks if you live in a colder climate or keep it in the fridge between uses. .

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