How To Keep Your Pumpkins To Last Longer

October 25, 2019

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Halloween is a fun-scary holiday but there is nothing scarier than a sunken, sad pumpkin. Don't let your festive carved pumpkins go from sweet to scary. Put on a delightful display all season long with these tricks to extend the life of your pumpkins. First, handle your pumpkin with care and try our best to keep your hands off them. The oils from your fingers can speed up the rotting process, so only touch your pumpkins when you absolutely need to. Pick the pumpkin up around the fruit instead of gripping the stem—a broken stem means a shorter pumpkin life. f you plan on keeping your pumpkins outside, be sure to place them in a dry, shaded spot—like a covered porch—for the entire season. Too much hot sun will speed up a pumpkin's decaying process, as will wet rain. Moisture from rain can lead to mold and mush, which no one wants on their festive pumpkins! Give your pumpkin a bath every now and then to keep its rind fresh. Mix one part bleach to ten parts water in a large container and let your pumpkin bathe in the solution for two minutes. Since the pumpkin will float in the solution, you'll need to stir it around to make sure all sides of the pumpkin get covered. Let your pumpkin dry completely before setting it back in its designated home. Also be sure that the base of the stem, where liquid tends to pool, is dry. The bleach-water solution you use in your pumpkin bath can also be used as a daily spray to keep your pumpkins healthy. Pumpkins, especially carved ones, are particularly prone to fruit flies. The main thing that attracts fruit flies? Mold. This means that the first step to fruit fly prevention is to carve your pumpkin properly. Make sure that the inside of the pumpkin is completely gut-free, which will lessen the chance of mold. To trap the flies, place an open dish of wine next to your pumpkins—yes, you heard us right. Since fruit flies are attracted to fermented fruit, the wine will serve as a distraction. If you notice that these pesky insects are still hanging around your pumpkin, place a fruit fly trap nearby. While a flickering candle inside your carved pumpkin is festive at night, it’s best to avoid fire in or near your pumpkin. The flame inside a pumpkin will cause the interior to dry out, causing it to rot faster. Instead, use a flickering battery-operated light.

SOURCE: Better Homes & Gardens

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