Everyday things you have around your house right now can help your pumpkin carving last longer!We usually skip the carving and let the kids paint the pumpkins because they get so upset when the pumpkin decays and gets nasty and smelly. I think this year we will be trying out this way to help make them stay fresher longer!
What causes the pumpkin to decay?
There are several primary causes heartbreak of “pumpkin rot”
- The intact skin of a pumpkin protects it until you carve it. But then various organisms (fungi, bacteria, molds, fungi, protozoans, insects – scientifically know as “those little buggers!”) can get inside and start to break it down.
- Oxygen in the air can also easily enter and break down the pumpkin (oxidation).
- Simple dehydration (drying out) will will begin the moment the pumpkin is carved.
How to stop pumpkin aging:
- Sterilize the pumpkin’s carved surfaces (to kill fungi, mold, bacteria, bugs)
- Seal the surfaces to prevent drying and to keep out new “little buggers” and reduce drying
Here are the simple steps:
- Remove dirt: Wipe the exterior surfaces of the pumpkin clean using a damp cloth.
- Make a bleach solution of1 tablespoon of bleach per quart of water and put it in a spray bottle.
- Spray the pumpkin inside and all cut areas of the pumpkin with the solution. This will kill much of the surface bacteria and mold that cause rotting.
- Let it penetrate and dry for about 20 minutes
- Next, rub all of the carved or cut surfaces with petroleum jelly. This will keep out new bacteria and molds as well as dramatically reduce the dehydration!
- Wipe away excess with a paper towel!
- Now, keep your pumpkin out of direct sunlight and try to keep it as cool as possible (but above freezing!) and you should get at least a week’s enjoyment out of it!
Will you be carving a pumpkin this year? What do you usually do for your designs? Will you be trying out this “embalming” technique to try to get your pumpkins to last longer?