Do These 3 Things to Extend the Life of Your Pumpkin Lantern

Pumpkin carving is a typical Halloween act, but anyone who has ever tried it knows that after carving a pumpkin, its lifespan rapidly increases. Squirrels can chase them ( although there are ways to prevent this ), and if you hurry up, your pumpkin lantern could rot before the big day . Clearly, the key to pumpkin decorating is preparation, so you need a strategy. From when to harvest pumpkins to how to store them , it all takes calculation.

Here is another way to extend the life of your pumpkin lantern.

Thread placement matters

Most of the conservation advice is about what you do after you carve the pumpkin, but according to Wirecutter , there’s one thing you can do before you dig up those pumpkin guts: Don’t cut an entry hole around the stem from the top.

Think about it: the stem is a big part of the pumpkin’s structure. This is where it once got its nutrients before you scooped it up and carried it home to be gutted. Plus, the stem that remains on top is heavy, causing the cap you created to collapse.

Instead of cutting a hole there, try carving it at the bottom of the pumpkin or at the back. This will help maintain the structural integrity of the gourd lantern.

Get the freshest pumpkin

Wirecutter also recommends buying very fresh pumpkin. If you can avoid buying a pumpkin that is already a little old before you cut it, you should. This means that you should buy your pumpkin from a pumpkin patch or farm, not from the grocery store.

You should look for a firmly attached green stem, as this indicates that the pumpkin is young and fresh. A brittle stem is a sign that this plant has not grown for some time. Do not pick up a suction cup with visible bruises or holes, and finally, do not hasten the weakening process by lifting this suction cup by the stem. Instead, pick up all your pumpkins by the bottom and place them in a cart instead of swinging them around by their vital, nutrient-rich stems.

When you get home, store the pumpkin outside or even in the refrigerator until you’re ready to carve it. This will prevent premature aging. Just do not freeze the pumpkin – cool it a little in the refrigerator.

Time is of the essence

According to the Farmer’s Almanac , you should refrain from carving for as long as possible. The sooner you gut your pumpkin, damage its structural integrity, and expose it to light, the sooner it will fall apart. This is especially true for rooms with high humidity.

Make a thread chart. If you insist on hanging pumpkin lanterns all season, take a few smaller pumpkins and cut them into simple patterns, knowing they’ll rot before Halloween week. Save your big and complex cases for the big day.

Finally, apply some Vaseline to any cut surfaces when you’ve finished carving. This will slow down the dehydration process that degrades the edges of your design.

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