If you take your pumpkin carving seriously, there is a good chance that you want to make sure your masterpiece is in it. Pumpkin lasts as long as possible. That's how it's done.
When you work with a pumpkin as a canvas, you have neither inert material nor time on your side. From the moment you pick the old pumpkin from the vine in the pumpkin patch, your orange friend is on his way to the big compost heap. But with a little creativity (and mostly additional work) you can keep your Halloween masterpiece as long as possible.
Let's take a look at all the ways you can extend your smile.
Carving Close to Halloween
Hey, we got it ̵
If you want to skip all the other steps, just wait until you've carved your pumpkin the night before, and just let the nature take over course. Finally, no storage tricks are required if the usage window is only 24 to 48 hours.
If you're reading this article, there's a good chance that you're the type who may not be able to wait until the night before to carve your pumpkins. They want to enjoy Halloween all month long.
Disinfect Your Pumpkin with Bleach
Think back to the past of Halloween, and the horror of discovering your intricately carved pumpkin hardly fades. What is striking? Most likely, the white horse graces the grin of your pumpkin lantern.
A pumpkin is organic and must be protected from the constant attacks of microscopic intruders. You can fight bleach in several stages of the process.
After opening the pumpkin and scooping out all the cores (set them aside if you want to make them a treat), thoroughly clean the inside of the pumpkin with a spoon or a rounded tool. Scrape out all the seeds, threads and other pumpkin seeds until you have a smooth, inner surface. The less surface mold affects, the better.
Then mix 1 tsp. bleach with 1 qt. Water – we recommend that you put it in a spray bottle as this will be useful in a later step. Wipe the pumpkin on the outside and inside with the bleach water. Be sure to thoroughly wet and dry all surfaces. This disinfects the surface of the pumpkin.
After carving the pumpkin, locate a container large enough to hold it (or use a sink or bath), fill it with cold water and 1 cup of bleach, and then immerse it Jack-o-lantern in bleach water. This will ensure that the race starts against mold and decay.
If you can, have your pumpkin lantern work 24 hours a day. The bleach kills all microorganisms and the water hydrates your pumpkin and extends its lifespan.
Skip the candles and seal the edges.
If you are a purist and can not stand not using real candles in your lanterns, we respect that. There are two good reasons to skip them and follow the flameless votive path.
First, candles dry out pumpkins. Sure, the flame could be tiny and it's not like you're frying the thing in an oven at 350 degrees. But slowly and surely, the candle dries out the inside of the pumpkin, which is exactly what you do not want. Second, if you use an actual flame, do not seal the edges of your pumpkin as sealing material is flammable. It is worthwhile, however, to omit the candle, since sealing the surfaces is an excellent way to make your pumpkin look fresh.
To seal your pumpkin lantern, paint some Vaseline on the edges that you have uncovered while carving. This method is particularly suitable for detailed carvings where you need to dig into the skin, but do not have to pierce the pumpkin completely, as it stays well moistened and evenly colored.
Daily Squirting of Pumpkins
Even if you use Vaseline trick, your pumpkins still dehydrate every day a bit. And in most regions, the autumn weather is rather dry, which speeds up the process.
To combat both dehydration and mold, you can use a double stroke in the form of blended water bleached earlier step.
You may see commercial solutions at your local Halloween or big-box store, but they are not required – bleach water is working properly.
If you skipped the above disinfection step, just mix 1 teaspoon. bleach with 1 qt. Put water into a spray bottle and spray the pumpkins well inside and out every day.
The ideal microclimate for your pumpkin masterpiece is cool and shady. If it had something to say, your pumpkin would spend every day in the shade at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But if a sudden approach of hot weather is predicted, you can take some steps to make sure the sun does not turn your pumpkin lantern into jerky squash.
Often you can keep your pumpkin cool and happy when it is in the shady part of your porch. Or you can put it in the cool basement while you work.
Even for Jack the Pumpkin King, icy weather is not a picnic. Every pumpkin carving veteran will tell you that most pumpkins look a lot worse after one or two nights of heavy frost. They quickly start to rot and collapse.
If the weather changes to burn properly or freeze completely, wrap your pumpkins in garbage bags and refrigerate them to keep them fresh for Halloween.