Pumpkins are a hot commodity this time of year. According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center the value of the pumpkins harvested from the top six pumpkin producing states was $113 million. You may only pay $5-$10 for yours, but after you invest all of that time carving it into a masterpiece you want it to last as long as possible. Here are five tips for making your pumpkin last longer.
Sterilize Cut Surfaces The reason your pumpkin spoils is because fungi, mold and bacteria attacks the cut surfaces. Sterilize it with some Clorox to help slow these attackers. Be sure to wipe down the pumpkin’s interior after you’ve cleaned out the seeds and pulp. Some experts suggest soaking carved pumpkins in a solution of bleach and water for an hour.
Slather On Petroleum Jelly
According to PumpkinPatchesandMore.org petroleum jelly can significantly extend the life of your jack-o-lantern. That’s because as soon as it’s carved, your pumpkin starts drying out. But the petroleum jelly will help lock in moisture while keeping out bacteria.
Keep It Out of Sunlight
Your pumpkin will definitely last longer if it’s kept in a cool setting. While you can’t control the temperature outdoors you can at least place your pumpkin in a shady spot. Direct sunlight will hasten its demise.
Try Pumpkin Fresh
Pumpkin Fresh claims that it fights mold and helps your pumpkins last longer. A four-ounce spray bottle sells for $4.99, or if you buy three bottles you can get one free. The company recommends spraying your pumpkin daily for maximum results.
Don’t Use Candles
Jack-o-lanterns look great when they’re lit up from the inside at night. But use something other than a candle, which may encourage bacteria growth. Instead try an LED light like this one that changes colors. It’s about $10 at and flickers like a real candle.
By Alison Storm
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