Pumpkin decor is probably the most popular decor item during the fall. They add the perfect earthy tones to a porch or indoor space, as well as the fall texture. We do a lot of styling with pumpkins here, and like most we love fall so much we want it to last as long as possible, so that means we want our pumpkins to last too. Being serious about pumpkin styling here, I need our pumpkins last, and I put together my 10 steps to make your pumpkins last longer from early September to Thanksgiving & beyond if you wanted. You don’t have to use all these tips, but implementing a few works wonders!
- Select the Right Pumpkins
If you’re planning on using real pumpkins, make sure you are selective with your choices. 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.
- 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, and no matter the efforts moving forward. 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, giving them a good cleaning to get any dirt and debris off will really go along way. We noticed that those pumpkins with heavy dirt, the coloring was faded and leads to the areas of rot. I bring my pumpkins into the sink, and give them a nice sink bath, dawn dish soap, brush off the debris with a vegetable brush and rinse it all off.
- Bleach Bath
With the pumpkin all cleaned up, a quick bleach and water bath removes those unseen little bacteria that could still be sitting on the surface of the pumpkin. 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 do 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 pro to using sealer to help the pumpkin last long, change the scent of the pumpkin keeping the critters away. We have used on our porch display a mix of sealed and unsealed pumpkins… we rarely do get nabbed, but those that were not sealed were the ones that were the victims.
- 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, Vaseline, or other things.
- Homemade Anti-Fungal
Make your own anti-fungal spray with peppermint castle soap & water. We always love organic approaches; it allows for 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. Being Early September, following these steps, the pumpkins will last from now to Thanksgiving. 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. I hope these tips help you this fall season. THANK YOU for stopping by the blog today & every single day to see what we are up to. xx