Pumpkin décor is probably the most popular décor item during the fall. They add the perfect earthy tones to a porch or indoor space and tie in the fall texture. But you’re probably wondering how do you prolong the life of a pumpkin?
We do a lot of styling with pumpkins and we want to keep our pumpkins from dying., I put together my 10 tips to make pumpkins last longer. We’re talking, pumpkins lasting from early September to Thanksgiving—and beyond if you wanted. You don’t have to use all these tips but implementing a few works wonders!
- Select the Right Pumpkins
The color, size, and style are completely subjective, but the quality should be scrutinized. Look for well-cut stems, blemish free, and pumpkins that feel solid all the way around. Any soft spot will quickly decay.
2. Keep The Pumpkins Whole and Safe
The most whole you can keep the pumpkin the better. When purchasing and handling pumpkins, ensure you keep the pumpkins scratch and gouge free. Those little blemishes will immediately lead to rot. Leave the stems if you can and ensure the stems were cut cleanly across. If it looks like the stems were torn or cracked, a fresh clean cut below the impacted area will go a long way.
- Clean, Clean, Clean
To really set the pumpkins up for success, wash any dirt and debris. We have noticed that pumpkins with heavy dirt, causes coloring fading and leads to rot. I bring my pumpkins into the sink, and give them a nice sink bath with Dawn dish soap, and brush off the debris with a vegetable brush. Once they’re clean, I rinse and pat dry.
- Bleach Bath
With the pumpkin all cleaned up, a quick bleach and water bath removes unseen bacteria that could still be sitting on the surface. This is great if you’re sealing the pumpkin to ensure there is nothing between sealer and pumpkin.
- Wipe it Dry
Between each bath step, we do a soft wipe down. After the bleach bath, and before sealing, I like taking a lint-free cloth on its own, or after paper towel, to ensure we get the pumpkin as clean as possible.
- Seal it in Time
I spray clear sealer over the entire pumpkin to capsulate the pumpkin. We do need to note that if you live on a farm like we do, these pumpkins are no longer options for animals to eat. We have extracted pumpkin seeds from these pumpkins prior to discarding the pumpkins, but they are separated from the pumpkins we give our sheep and chickens.
- Consider the Placement
If you plan to display your pumpkins outside, make sure they are well protected from rain and snow. You should also consider placing them in an area with good airflow.
- Watch Out for Pumpkin Thieves
Critters like squirrels, deer, even a chicken or sheep that has broken out of the pasture (naughty sheep), love pumpkins. A sealant changes the scent of the pumpkin and keeps critters away.
- Carve with Care
If you are going to carve your pumpkins, you can wait closer to the spooky season to ensure they’ll make it. I think most families make a traditional schedule leading up to the holiday, and carving pumpkins is on those lists. If you want to carve early, we have found success in keeping the rind moisturized with things like WD40 or Vaseline.
- Homemade Anti-Fungal
Make your own anti-fungal spray with peppermint castile soap & water. We always love organic approaches. It allows us to incorporate the pumpkins into the farm compost.
I think a lot of us out there, regardless of style and budget, like adding one (or more) pumpkins around the house during the fall season. Many people absolutely love fall, so enjoy stretching out the fall vibes around your cozy home by sealing your pumpkins to last the entire season.