7 Quick Ways You Can Stop Your Pumpkin From Turning to Mush
Hudson Valley pumpkin growers have been having a tough time this year. The wet, soggy weather has been turning those orange gourds into a mushy mess.
You may have noticed that your pumpkin is already starting to show signs of rot, even though Halloween is still a week away. Well, there are a few things you can do right now to help keep your jack-o-lantern smiling for all of those trick-or-treaters. The editors at Women's Day shared some helpful tips to keeping those carved pumpkins fresh.
Clean out the inside as much as you can
The guts of your pumpkin are what attracts mold and decay. Be sure to scoop as much of the gunk out that you can. Before you start carving, you can also clean the inside with a bleach and water mixture to kill any germs that could start the decaying process.
Soak the pumpkin in a bleach bath after carving
After cutting up your pumpkin, you can soak the entire pumpkin in a bleach/water solution to kill any more bacteria that may have been introduced while carving. You can leave the pumpkin in the bath overnight and then dry it out completely before displaying.
Seal the edges with Vasoline
The cut edges of the pumpkin can dry out quickly, so you can keep them moisturized with Vasoline, cooking oil or even WD-40. Woman's Day warns that all three of those lubricants are flammable, so it's best to use a battery operated candle if smearing your pumpkin with any substance.
Keep your pumpkin moist
While having a wet pumpkin can lead to mold, a too-dry pumpkin will also cause that jack-o-lantern to droop and turn to mush. That's why it's important to watch your pumpkin and add some extra moisture if it gets too dry. A light misting with a water bottle should do the trick on especially sunny and dry days.
Consider refrigerating your pumpkin
If you're expecting warmer weather, it may be a good idea to keep your pumpkin in a plastic bag in the fridge. Alternately, you can place the jack-o-lantern in a cool basement or garage during the warmer hours of the day.
Avoid freezing temperatures
Just like warm weather can melt your pumpkin, freezing temperatures can turn the pumpkin to mush. Ice crystals can form within the pumpkin, turning it to a gooey mess when it eventually thaws back out. If you're expecting a frost, it's best to bring the pumpkin inside overnight.
An emergency ice bath may revive a dying pumpkin
If you notice your pumpkin starting to sag, you can quickly submerge it in a bath of water and ice. It may perk the pumpkin back up and give it a little more life.
For more tips and tricks to keeping your pumpkin alive through Halloween, you can check out the full list of suggestions from Woman's Day on their website.