“How long do pumpkins last?” is a surprisingly common but reasonable question this time of year.No matter your pumpkin preference, you always end up getting attached to the adorable little (or big) decorative gourd that comes home with you.Once you’ve gone through the whole ordeal and have a beautiful carved pumpkin you’re ready to show off, the last thing you want is for your hard work to be destroyed.From hungry bugs and squirrels to bothersome rot and (worst of all) teenagers, there are a lot of threats you need to protect your pumpkin from.Naturally, pumpkin rot happens when the squash is exposed to air (aka oxidation) or loses moisture (aka dehydration), so rotting essentially begins the second the pumpkin is cut from the plant.In fact, a healthy, uncut pumpkin can last for three to six months if it’s stored somewhere dry at about 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the University of Illinois.And that’s thanks to the pumpkin’s thick skin, which protects the gourd’s very soft inside from everything outside: extreme weather, fungi, bacteria, mold, and insects.Pro tip: Don’t lift pumpkins by the stem — it can cause damage and make them age faster!It’s common sense: Produce purchased locally is fresher because it takes less time and distance to get to you.Once you’ve picked out a perfect, unblemished, local pumpkin, there are more steps you can take to preserve it.This reduces the likelihood of bugs and fungi coming to try to eat the pumpkin pulp and speed up the rotting.There are about as many theories on how to go about protecting your pumpkin’s interior from fungi and mold (which speed up the rotting process) as there are types of jack-o’-lanterns.Most expert pumpkin carvers will tell you they bathe their jack-o’-lanterns in a very small amount of bleach mixed with cold water.Most expert pumpkin carvers will tell you they bathe their jack-o’-lanterns in a very small amount of bleach mixed with cold water.To clean your pumpkin, put a small amount of peppermint soap — we recommend Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Pure Castile Liquid Soap ($18.48, Amazon) — into a clean spray bottle and lightly spray the inside of your carved pumpkin.To clean your pumpkin, put a small amount of peppermint soap — we recommend Dr.

Bronner’s Peppermint Pure Castile Liquid Soap ($18.48, Amazon) — into a clean spray bottle and lightly spray the inside of your carved pumpkin.If you’re wanting to know how to keep squirrels from eating pumpkins too, the vinegar method is a great option for deterring the pesky critters.If you’re wanting to know how to keep squirrels from eating pumpkins too, the vinegar method is a great option for deterring the pesky critters.No matter what method you use to kill germs, make sure you dry your pumpkin thoroughly when you’re finished so you don’t undo your hard work trying to fend off mold.Apply a thin layer of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly ($7.50, Amazon) to all of the cut edges of your pumpkin (you might want to use a cotton swab or paper towel in tighter areas) to prevent losing extra moisture.If you live in a warmer area, rather than leaving it out on the porch at night, you could try to extend the life of your jack-o’-lantern by putting it in the fridge or a large bucket of cold water.Before putting it in the fridge each night, spray the inside of the pumpkin with the peppermint soap mixture again and then wrap it in a trash bag so that it gets the chance to rehydrate.Note: You don’t need to do this for carved pumpkins that have been out for less than a week (and even longer if you live in a cooler area).But when it comes to a jack-o’-lantern, your biggest bug problem will be fruit flies, which is why you’ll want to set a trap somewhere near your pumpkin to keep the pests away from your masterpiece.You can also skip the issue altogether by planting only varieties of pumpkins that are powdery mildew resistant, known as PMR.You can ward away pests with DIY solutions or only display your carved pumpkin inside for special occasions, leaving it in the fridge or on the porch the rest of the time.Many people have done tests to see when is the earliest they could carve a pumpkin before Halloween, and the general consensus appears to be about five days before October 31.If you live in a cooler area and plan to care for your precious pumpkin as if it were your own child, you might be able to schedule your carving sesh a little sooner, but we wouldn’t recommend any earlier than a week before Halloween.Instead, the Devil sent Jack to wander around in the dark with only a piece of burning coal as his source of light.They carved scary faces into turnips, potatoes, and beets, and then placed them in windows or doorways to keep Stingy Jack and other evil spirits from coming into their homes. .

How to Keep Pumpkins from Rotting

Unfortunately for homeowners, though, carved pumpkins will often last between just one to two weeks before starting to rot.There are a few tricks, however, to keep pumpkins from rotting.Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to keep your festive pumpkins looking fresh for longer.Clean the inside after carving When carving the pumpkin, make sure you remove all pumpkin seeds and guts from the vegetable, and thoroughly rinse and dry it before placing it outside.Invest in pumpkin spray If you plan to be doing a lot of pumpkin carving this fall, consider buying a natural pumpkin spray.If this is the ingredient you choose to use, stick an electric candle inside your pumpkin instead.The heat cooks the pumpkin from the inside and causes it to wilt faster than it would if lit by an electric candle. .

How to Keep Pumpkins From Rotting

You planted your pumpkin seeds, and Mother Nature was kind: Now your vines are loaded up with pumpkins.Here's what else you can do to prevent pumpkins from rotting on the vine if you're growing them— as well as tips for how to keep a carved pumpkin from turning mushy long before Halloween.This content is imported from {embed-name}.Carved pumpkins may last only a few days, so time your carving accordingly if you want to display them on Halloween."Keep a steady irrigation schedule until the fruit are set, then cut the water off completely when the fruit begin to turn color to reduce rotting risk.".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.How to Prevent Carved Pumpkins From Rotting.This will remove microbes that cause decay.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.To prevent microbes from turning your pumpkin to mush, use the bleach and water wash or dunk, cleaning all sides of your pumpkin. .

How to Pick the Perfect Pumpkin — and Keep It From Rotting

“Finding a local source is the best way to ensure the money spent buys a long-lasting pumpkin.”.Pie pumpkins are smaller, have higher sugar content, and have a thicker rind.“If you have these conditions in your home garden, a solution is to put a 1-inch layer of sand under the pumpkin,” Hodge says.Remember, half the fun of picking a pumpkin from the field is finding the one that speaks to you — the unique, the oddly shaped, or the one that completely fills your little red wagon.You may choose to buy a pumpkin “off the rack” — one already picked and displayed at your local store.“A local producer may cost you a little more, yet the quality that you will get is much better than making a second trip somewhere to buy another pumpkin.”.The hotter it is, the faster the pumpkin will go bad, the cooler it is, as long as it stays above freezing, the longer it will last.Wash the pumpkin to ensure that the skin is clean and free of dirt, oil, or debris.This is also a good time to check for any damage or soft spots that will affect the carving and keep the pumpkin fresh.Submerge the pumpkin in the solution, or fill a spray bottle with a few teaspoons of bleach to a quart of water.“This hole should be large enough to get your hand and whatever source of light you plan to use safely into the pumpkin,” says Hodge.The angle allows you to replace the stem portion back on the pumpkin without having it fall inside.Use a template or DIY your own design, and use proper carving tools with serrated edges for greater control.Hodge doesn’t advise using a carved jack-o’-lantern for pies after it has languished on your front porch.The fun and knowledge gained from visiting a local pumpkin patch not only enriches your life, it has a direct impact on the community around you.”.The North American record was grown by Steves Geddes and weighed 2,528 pounds. .

How Long Do Pumpkins Last?

This is what you need to know about pumpkin picking, care and storage for the block's best fall decor.How Long Do Carved Pumpkins Last?Once that protective barrier is broken, it’s an open invite for bacteria and fungi to start breaking down the pumpkin’s contents.Once off the vine, healthy pumpkins will last for a few months—from three to a whole year—if they’re stored properly.Some farmers move their pumpkins from vine to a storage space kept at room temperature—this allows it to cure.Broken, damaged stems are common, and result in a shorter shelf life.While there are many different colors and hybrid varieties, after being harvested, mini pumpkins will generally last longer than normal-sized ones.The more common orange varieties have a similar shelf life, unless you decide to use them for cooking.Pie pumpkins, also referred to as a Sugar Pumpkin, are smaller, denser and darker in color than the pumpkins we pick to carve for Halloween.Generally, these pumpkins come into season toward the beginning of fall and last for about three months after harvest.You can roast the seeds from large, mini and pie pumpkin varieties.If you get your pumpkins early—a few weeks before you plan to carve them—storing them the right way will help make sure they stay in shape until Halloween.Pumpkins will rot faster on concrete. .

7 ways to make your Halloween pumpkin last longer

Once carved, pumpkins will generally only hold up for three to five days — or up to two weeks if you live in a colder climate — before wilting and showing signs of decay.Don’t you hate it when you spend hours carving the perfect pumpkin, only to have it wilt and decay after a few days?Once carved, pumpkins will generally only hold up for three to five days — or up to two weeks if you live in a colder climate — before wilting and showing signs of decay.Your pumpkin will keep fresh much longer if moisture can’t collect on the bottom and the stem stays intact.Cut a large opening in the bottom of your pumpkin, making sure you have enough room to reach your hands in.“Once the pumpkin is gutted, clean out the insides with bleach and water,” said Amy Chang, lifestyle savings expert at SlickDeals.Bleach helps kill bacteria and get rid of dirt, which will prevent the pumpkin from growing mold too quickly.After the pumpkin is completely gutted and cleaned with a bleach solution, be sure to let it dry fully before carving or setting it outside.Don’t use a blow dryer to dry your pumpkin as the heat will accelerate the rotting process.Use a fan set at low speed to help your pumpkin dry out more completely and quickly.RELATED: These haunted hotels keep tourists coming back to Southern Nevada.You can make a spray at home using soap, peppermint oil and water to help keep mold at bay.Use this homemade spray on the inside, outside and especially around any carved edges of your pumpkin to help keep it moisturized.A quick ice water bath can breathe new life into your pumpkin, especially if it’s already started to wilt a little.You have the option to add a small amount of bleach to the water to help kill any mold starting to form.Instead of carving your pumpkin, you can still decorate it with glitter, googly eyes, yarn, construction paper and more. .

Use These Quick Tricks to Keep a Halloween Pumpkin from Rotting

It's hard to find a porch not decorated with pumpkins and gourds of various shapes, sizes, and colors.Watch this easy tutorial for step-by-step instructions for picking the best pumpkin, using the right tools to carve it, and keeping it fresh.Follow these easy tips for preserving your carved pumpkins this year.The jelly acts as a seal and holds in moisture. .

Science with pumpkins and squash

As kids carve their Halloween pumpkins, use the opportunity to explore science.During the process of picking, carving and disposing of your pumpkin, you can ask good questions that encourage the young people in your life to discover science in everyday life.While working with pumpkins or squash, consider asking youth the following questions and engaging in the following activities.Ask them to notice what areas of the field have different sizes, shapes or colors of pumpkins and explain why that might be.Do certain areas of the field have more green pumpkins, more rotten ones or bigger ones?Have deer or other animals been eating the pumpkins in certain areas of the field?As you cut the top and face of the pumpkin, measure the thickness.Michigan State University Extension recognizes there are many opportunities for science education that occur in the natural world, including this one with Halloween pumpkins.This lesson can be conducted by any group working with children, including families, day cares, schools or 4-H clubs.Have fun this Halloween season and enjoy investigating your pumpkin! .

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