How to Naturally Make Your Pumpkins Last This Fall

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Find out how to naturally make your pumpkins last this fall!


1. Choose a fresh pumpkin

Before starting your pumpkin preserving process, make sure when you choose your pumpkin that the stem is thick and strong and that the skin is not punctured. If their is any broken skin, this will allow bacteria to grow at any entrance, which will speed the decay/molding process. Make sure to inspect your pumpkin carefully before buying. If there is already a little soft in the pumpkin, even in a tiny area, it's well on its way to rotting. That small soft spot will be a caved in pumpkin in a matter of days. You want a pumpkin with a nice hard body, no give when you press it gently, and even color.

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2. Clean your pumpkin

Cleaning your pumpkin with soap and water will help prevent bacteria from entering before you've finished carving. Gently wash the outside of the pumpkin with lukewarm soapy water, and ensure that your carving tools are clean.

 
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3.Clean the inside of your pumpkin thoroughly

You will need a tool to scrape the insides of your pumpkin in order to be effective. This will remove all of the pumpkin guts that are prone to mold and decay. Make sure that you use a tool that has very sharp edges. Using a sharp tool will prolong the life of your pumpkin. Ragged edges provide more surface area for decay-causing bacteria to settle in, and too much unnecessary sawing will bruise and soften the pumpkin. The thickness of the pumpkin will not greatly determine how quickly it rots. If you accidentally carve out too much, don't worry

 
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4.Soak pumpkin in water

Soaking your pumpkin will kill microorganisms that speed pumpkin decay. You can do this by adding Lemon Juice to your cold soak water. Use about 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of lemon juice in 1 qt. (946 ml) of water. This will be an important step in making sure your pumpkin will be preserved.

 
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5. Carve Your Pumpkin

Self explanatory, be creative! Check out this list from Southern Living, for great pumpkin carving ideas.

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6. Use Pumpkin Preserve Spray or make your own

 
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In this next step, you will use your Pumpkin Preserve spray on the outside, inside, and anywhere where you are going to carve/have carved. This will naturally keep molding and decay at bay. This is a biodegradable, economy friendly, locally made product. Make sure to visit our store to find out how you can get a FREE bottle with a purchase of a pumpkin. If you would rather make your Pumpkin Preserve from home, you can use Green Valley’s recipe below!

Directions on how to Make the Pumpkin Preserve:

  1. 8 oz spray bottle

  2. 1 capful Peppermint Castile liquid soap

  3. 6 drops Peppermint essential oil where to buy high-quality essential oils


  1. Add Castile soap and Peppermint essential oil in spray bottle. Fill with water.

  2. Spray carved pumpkin thoroughly. Be sure to spray inside, outside, carved areas, etc.

  3. Let pumpkin dry and voila! You’ve got a natural pumpkin preserve spray.

 
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7.Finish off with Petroleum Jelly

We know that this sounds silly, but when you are done carving your masterpiece, you can help seal in moisture by applying this. If the pumpkin starts to become dehydrated and shriveled-looking, soak it in cold water again and repeat the application of petroleum jelly. Pumpkins can be soaked for up to 8 hours. Vegetable oil can be substituted for petroleum jelly. Either way, know that this is a method that has received mixed reviews.