If you're a Halloween fan like I am, the thought of putting out ghoulish decorations and pumpkins starts sometime in late September. Right around that time the pumpkin lots (if you have them in your area) start setting up to start offering pumpkins in early October. If you're like me, you want to buy the pumpkins early - just to have something out on the front patio. But...is that the right time?
When to buy a pumpkin depends on how you'll use it. There are, in my view, three kinds of pumpkin buyers; ones who like to carve, ones who don't like to carve, and ones who decorate with add-ons. If you just like to keep a pumpkin whole, sitting on the porch for seasonal color, by all means go ahead and get it as soon as you want. It'll last 3-4 weeks as long as it's in the shade. Make sure the skin isn't broken! If you like to carve, you'll want to get it no more than 2 weeks before Halloween and carving depends on preservation.
Carving 2-3 Days Before Halloween: Carving or breaking the skin means the clock starts ticking on when the pumpkin will grow mold. So, here are some tips. For me, I wait until 2-3 days before Halloween to carve. It's a family fun thing we do with the kids sometime around October 28th. They stay on the porch, in the shade, and by Halloween they've started to get a little fuzzy, shriveled, and kind of gross (perfect for the holiday!). No reservatives required for this.
Carving 10-14 days Before Halloween: The are numerous ways to preserve pumpkins including chemicals you can buy at the store. If you're looking for something a little less expensive, here are a couple of tips on keeping your pumpkins fresh:
- Mix 1 tbs bleach per quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray every cut surface, including the inside, with a healthy dose of the mixture. This will keep the pumpkin from shrinking or growing mold for a week or so.
- Put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on every cut surface (not the skin) inside and out. This will also keep the mold away for 7-10 days.
Have fun this Halloween season and I hope these tips were helpful.
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Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022