How to Preserve Your Pumpkin

Nine pro tips to make it last for months

From the LifeMinute.TV Team

October 10, 2021

Once you find the perfect pumpkin, here are a few tips for making it last longer. If you take good care of it, it can last for months.

  1. Hold a pumpkin from the bottom to keep its stem from breaking. A pumpkin with a broken stem will rot more quickly.
  2. Wash your pumpkin. 1 part bleach to 10 parts water will do the trick. The combo kills bacteria and keeps the skin moist, which prevents rotting. Soak the pumpkin for about 10 minutes. Then weekly, mist the pumpkin with the solution. If you’re carving your pumpkin, you can soak and spray the inside too.
  3. Let the pumpkin dry completely.
  4. Moisten the skin with Vaseline and olive, vegetable, or coconut oil. You can also try peppermint essential oil spray. The peppermint does double duty to keep squirrels and other critters at bay. 
  5. Another method you can try is using WD-40. If you don't mind the shine from floor cleaners or lacquer, they work well too.
  6. Avoid carving the pumpkin, but if you do, gut it. Allow it to dry completely before setting it out. While the outside of a pumpkin should stay moist, the inside should remain dry.
  7. Avoid using real candles. Opt for battery-operated tea lights instead.
  8. Store the pumpkin in a cool, dry place. If outdoors, opt for a cool shaded area if possible, and avoid concrete. Try the lawn, or on top of a hay bale, or even inside a flower pot.
  9. Don't let bugs and squirrels spoil your gourd décor. To trap flies, add wine to a mason jar or a mixture of 2 parts apple cider vinegar to 1 part dish soap. Cover the top of the mason jar with plastic wrap, poke holes with a toothpick, and set it next to your pumpkin. For pesky squirrels? Heck! We have tried everything: Vaseline, bleach, lacquer, hairspray. Nothing worked. Then we tried red pepper flakes, garlic, even red hot sauce, and peppermint oil--all winners. Squirrels don't like those smells or tastes. 

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