The horror festival is just around the corner! The star of Halloween decorations is undoubtedly the pumpkin. However, this fruit decomposes and rots quickly once its flesh is removed. That’s why you should dig it up as late as possible. The ideal time? About 1 to 2 weeks before Halloween. There are also a few tips to prevent your beautiful sculpture from turning into a real monster!
6 ways you can preserve your pumpkin to last longer
1. The “perfect” pumpkin
Put the odds in your favour from the start by choosing the right pumpkin! What does the “perfect” pumpkin look like?
- It is firm and heavy. If there are soft spots, the fruit has already begun its decay process.
- It is ripe and freshly picked. The stem should be green and firm.
- Its skin is as intact as possible. Small imperfections attract insects and unfortunately promote the decay of the fruit.
- It is local! Pumpkins grown nearby suffer less from motion sickness and are therefore less damaged.
- It lies flat on the ground.
2. Come on, let’s scrub!
Before you dig into your pumpkin, brush and soap it thoroughly, then rinse and dry it. Also make sure the knife blade you use to cut it and the spoon you use to scoop it out are perfectly clean so you don’t introduce bacteria into your fruit.
3. It’s time to dig in!
The thinner the skin, the better it keeps! In fact, it is the decomposition of the flesh that deforms the pumpkin. It is therefore important to dig as much as possible while making sure not to pierce the skin. A thickness of 2cm is ideal for your sculpture!
4. Deep cleaning
Once carved, soak your pumpkin in an antibacterial solution overnight to eliminate microorganisms. Then dry your fruit with a towel or paper towel. You have two options:
- Vinegar water (10% vinegar diluted in fresh water)
- Bleached water (15 ml of bleach for 1 liter of water)
Tip : Protect your pumpkin
1. Pumpkin exterior:
- Vegetable Oil
Brush vegetable oil on your pumpkin with a kitchen brush. The oil will act as a protective film. This trick also works with petroleum jelly (Vaseline type).
- Hair Spray (Spray Net)
This is the most effective method and probably one of the easiest! Simply spray hairspray on the inside and outside of the pumpkin.
2. Inside of the pumpkin:
- Lemon Juice
Sprinkle the inside of your pumpkin with lemon juice every day to extend its shelf life.
- Silica Beads
After removing them from their packaging, press the silica beads into the flesh of the pumpkin. They will absorb the moisture inside the pumpkin!
With the time it takes to empty your pumpkin, it pays to take the necessary precautions to keep your sculpture looking good throughout the Halloween festivities!