Pumpkin Pointers: Tips for Picking, Carving and Preserving the Perfect Halloween Pumpkin

The crisp fall air evokes visions of colorful foliage, road trips, trick-or-treaters and pumpkins. Ripe pumpkins can be found everywhere in the fall, from road side stands to big box retailers. Pumpkins are a sure sign fall has arrived and the trick-or-treaters are just around the corner waiting to be scared or awed by your pumpkin carving ability. Use these tips for picking, carving and preserving the perfect Halloween pumpkin.

Pumpkin Picking

Look at the pumpkin farm and going out into the patch to pick your own pumpkin is a fun experience for the whole family plus you’ll be sure to get a fresh pumpkin. Pick a pumpkin from the vine based on desired size, shape and deep orange color. No other test for ripeness is needed.

Carving Saw

There are several types of fancy pumpkin carving kits on the market that allow for intricate designs that only go skin deep, but if you want a traditional carved pumpkin, grab a saw. Drywall or keyhole saws have easy grip handles that provide more carving control and will help prevent cuts to your hand. Either saw choice costs about $4 at your local home supply store.

Preserve your Jack-O-Lantern

Now that the perfect pumpkin has been perfectly carved you will want to preserve it as long as possible for your (and others) viewing pleasure. Not a problem, this tip will preserve a fresh, carved pumpkin for about one month.

After carving, mix one tablespoon of bleach into one quart of water. Dip a cloth into the bleach water and wipe the pumpkin, inside and outside, with the water. Re-wet cloth if needed to be sure every surface gets a good wetting with the bleach water, which will kill any decay-causing bacteria lurking on or in the pumpkin.

Follow the bleach water wash with a layer of petroleum jelly. PumpkinMasters

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