How to keep your pumpkins from rotting – carved and uncarved
So as part of being a rookie in this whole pumpkin bidniz, I had to experience the grossness that is the mould and slime post-pumpkin-carving, to learn my lesson. Because what I didn’t realize was that pumpkins can go off very quickly, and a carved pumpkin even quicker – as in proper furry black mould in about 3 days! Usually gross is right up halloween decor alley right? But this was not the kind of Halloween décor I was going for!
So, it’s certainly an unpleasant lesson to learn. And as a South African where these pumpkins aren’t exactly a dime a dozen come October, it can also become an expensive lesson to learn. So don’t be like me, and instead just skip this rookie mistake by following just a few simple steps.
I found many different tips just from googling different tips and tricks (what would we do without the interwebs) and from experimenting with which ones worked best and then having to tweak it a bit due to unavailability of certain products. And lastly, seeing what measurements work best too. So whilst I’m still testing to see how long this method actually helps preserve my carved works, its looking good three weeks in, which is already way better than the 4 days it took for our first carved pumpkin to start caving in.
As for uncarved pumpkins, this hack still applies. I usually do uncarved pumpkins in previous years. And my uncarved pumpkins generally last way longer than uncarved, as history has proven – and have also survived being jumped on, bounced around, and involved in pumpkin toss games the kids have randomly done at Halloween parties.( They lasted about 2.5 weeks after Halloween). But when they eventually do go down, they go down in eewy, slimey, oozey flames. So to help preserve them ornamentally, the first four steps can be applied as well.
This is especially helpful if you have some pretty ornamental pumpkins on display and don’t want to damage your furniture with pumpkin juice.
The trick is to get rid of the germs/bacteria in the pumpkin that make the mould sprout, and this solution does just the trick. There are of course special jack o’ lantern spray solutions one can buy, however, being in South Africa means that it’s not easily accessible in stores, or you may incur import duty costs if you order it online. So this solution using an item you probably have in your kitchen already is the bomb diggity to me!
What you will need:
– Bleach (Jik)
1. Mix 1,6 to 2 litres Water with 3 to 5 caps of Bleach in Bucket.
2. Wash pumpkin off lightly
3. Soak/submerge whole pumpkin in solution for 20 minutes.
4. Towel dry pumpkin completely.
5. After carving pumpkin, soak pumpkin once more in the solution for another 20 to 30 minutes. ( be sure to weight it down should it want to float)
6. Let it air dry
And there you go, pumpkins that will last you all season! Just don’t try and eat these bleach-soaked pumpkins guys – duh! For a pumpkin carving guide for rookies, check this out here.
Happy pumpkin’ing! X