As the cooler fall months approach, those eager to start celebrating Halloween are asking when should you prepare pumpkins for the festive celebrations.
Although when to start decorating for fall is subjective, fresh pumpkins are fleeting, so knowing when to take them out so they last until Halloween is important to save waste and ensure your fall porch ideas look good when October 31st rolls around.
Here we’ve looked at the best times to start putting out pumpkins for the fall and Halloween seasons so you can start decorating for fall.
Rachel has written for lifestyle magazines for many years, with a particular focus on gardening.
Now focusing on gardening content on Houses and gardens and its sister brands, she finds every day a journey of discovery, whether learning new plants or gardening techniques, or sharing advice from passionate horticultural experts and garden designers. , including garden decorating tips.
When should the pumpkins be taken out?
That you are grow pumpkins yourself or pick pumpkins on the vine, or just buying them from a store, it’s best to select your pumpkins within a week of when you want to carve them. It’s worth remembering, though, that pumpkins last longer uncarved than carved.
When to Take Out Whole Pumpkins
“Whole pumpkins usually last about two to three months in cooler temperatures, like on your covered porch,” says Rachel Crow, garden editor at Homes & Gardens. “Leaving your pumpkins in a covered space with circulating air will keep the fruit looking good until the end of the season.”
If you don’t plan to carve your pumpkin and opt instead for easy to carve pumpkin ideas like painting your pumpkins, then you can get your pumpkins out early to mid-September for an easy fall decoration idea.
If you take out unpruned pumpkins later in the season, consider using the pumpkin afterward rather than disposing of it. If the pumpkin is still fresh, use it in meals or cooking or, alternatively, chop the pumpkin and give it to wildlife as food during colder months.
When to take out the carved pumpkins
However, if you plan to carve pumpkins, you’ll have to leave your pumpkins out much later. Although a municipality Halloween trend, carved pumpkins usually last up to a week, sometimes longer if in a colder climate. “Carved pumpkins brown and rot faster than whole pumpkins because they lose moisture and oxidize faster. It’s best to leave carved pumpkins off your porch until a few days before Halloween,” says Rachel.
If you add a candle to your pumpkin, it’s worth remembering that the hot flame will speed up the rotting process, drying out your pumpkin and causing it to shrivel at a rapid rate. If you want to light your pumpkin, consider a battery-powered lamp or turn off your pumpkins the night before Halloween.
Consider using faux pumpkins for decoration
If you want to make fresh pumpkins last through the fall and Halloween season, consider using faux pumpkins for a carefree, waste-free fall feel.
Faux pumpkins can pop out anytime and offer more shape and color options for a varied and layered look on your porch or in your garden. For this reason, you can also mix real and fake pumpkins to strengthen your pumpkin pile without the added cost of buying many fresh pumpkins per year.
Plus, faux pumpkins won’t attract pests and wildlife to your front door, so they can stay outside your home all season without risk.
How long will an uncarved pumpkin last on the porch?
You can leave an uncarved pumpkin on a porch for two to three months before it begins to rot, provided it is protected from extreme heat or cold. If you leave a pumpkin on a porch, make sure it’s covered and protected from rain and placed in a well-ventilated area.
How to extend the life of a pumpkin?
There are several ways to extend the life of a pumpkin, such as being careful not to prune it too early, choosing a healthy, ripe pumpkin that hasn’t started to rot on the vine, and keeping pests away, especially if kept outside.
For carved pumpkins, consider rubbing the exposed flesh with vegetable oil to slow the oxidation process and help delay rotting.