How to Avoid a Rotten Carved Pumpkin
Your jack-o’-lantern looks so good, bright and orange next to your front door, harbinger of the season, home to a flickering tea light at night. Or does it? Has it started, maybe, to shrivel and shrink? Is it perhaps a tiny bit stinky? Even if it’s still looking good, what assurance do you have that it will make it to Halloween?
Whether you carved a pumpkin a week ago or are only just getting your knives out now, there’s plenty you can do to prevent them from rotting, according to Apartment Therapy.
First, if you haven’t carved your pumpkin or aren’t going to, give that baby a bleach bath. Find a tub or bucket big enough to hold your pumpkin, and mix one to two tablespoons of bleach for each gallon of water. Dunk that pump’ and soak it for ten minutes. If you’re going to carve, let the pumpkin dry completely first.
To protect an already-carved pumpkin, make a bleach spray (with the same proportions) and use it on the outside and carved surfaces of your pumpkin. (Let it dry upside-down so bleach water doesn’t pool inside.) Re-spray every few days.
Once all that’s done, keep in mind how the weather affects a carved gourd sitting outside. Place your pumpkin where it’s shielded from rain, and if temperatures are dropping toward freezing, bring the guy inside overnight. Freezing water expands and can burst the walls of plant cells. Burst cell walls mean mush, and mush is the last thing you want your jack-o’-lantern to be.