WFMW-How to Pick & Preserve Pumpkins

I dare you to say that three times fast.

Fall has blown in and left a trail of colorful leaves and bulging pumpkins to share. This, without a doubt, is my favorite time of the year.

The pumpkin and I go way back. I'm usually the first on my street to garnish my front porch with bright orange in September.

My kids and hubby love to carve pumpkins the week of Halloween, but I like keep a few out through Thanksgiving. I've learned it's nearly impossible without some careful pumpkin picking. 

How to Pick a Pumpkin that will last:
  • Choose a pumpkin free of blemishes, nicks or discolored marks, mold or mildew.
  • Make sure it has a stem attached. If the stem is brittle or breaks with a tug, this pumpkin won't last long.
  • Pick a pumpkin that feels firm to the touch. Don't choose pumpkins with soft spots.
  • If it's available, buy your pumpkins right off the vine! It's a really fun family outing an if you buy them in October, these pumpkins will last throughout November.

How to Preserve Your Carved Pumpkin:
  • Before you carve, soak the pumpkin in water with a little bleach added in. (This will kill any mold or rot. Make sure you dry it thoroughly).
  • Spray your pumpkin with a clear coat of gloss shellac. This not only makes it shiny, it seals the pumpkin and it lasts longer (tip from my real life friend, Karen).
  • Once you create your masterpiece, rub vegetable oil or petroleum jelly over the entire area, especially the cut part.

And this is just a bonus tip: paint on your pumpkins-words, names, patterns, etc!

That works for me!

NEXT WEEK, Don't forget our THEMED Edition of WFMW: Share your best cleaning tip (any area of your life-car, home, purse, etc.) If you've already shared a great tip, link up an old post. If you don't have a cleaning tip, you can still link up a tip. There will be a great giveaway for linkers!

Thank you for joining me for WFMW! {You can read the guidelines here.}

Have a Works-For-Me Wednesday tip you'd like to share? I'd love for you to join us! Please note that the links will close at 9 pm CST tonight, in order to keep away the spammers!

Was your link deleted? Click here.

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Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

Great tips! I've never heard of soaking them in a bit of bleacch water, or the petroleum jelly..I'm going to have to try those!

Hoosier Homemade said...

Those are some great pumpkin tips! Thanks for sharing and for hosting!

The Happy Housewife said...

Great tips! I am hoping to pick up a few pumpkins next week.

Sharon said...

I'm like that too! I was sorely tempted to put out mums over Labor Day, but I waited until school started. Now there are pumpkins galore!

Great tips about the pumpkins -- I'll add one more. If you are going to carve, cut the hole in the bottom. That way you can just place it over the candle without burning your fingers. AND you can keep the stem intact!

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

Great tips. I never thought of doing anything to preserve them.

Julie said...

GREAT TIPS!!! Thanks, so much =)

Melissa Stover said...

i washed ours but didn't know about the bleach. good tip. ours are already starting to rot.

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Oh, you always are in the know. :) We just smash them...that sure preserves the memory. :)

Raise Them Up said...

I'm always lucky to have them last through Halloween. Thanks for the tips!

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Great tips...I had no idea about he bleach or the shellac! Makes me want to go pumpkin shopping!

e-Mom said...

Aha, so that's how you make a pumpkin shiney... w/ vegetable oil. Smart!

Thanks for hosting. :~D

Kristin @ Prudent and Practical said...

We haven't gotten pumpkins yet. Thanks for the great tips. We'll definitely be trying them out this year :-)

Becca said...

Why was this poll closed so early? It is 2am on Wednesday and this poll is closed? Did it close at 9pm on Tuesday? It's WFMWednesday!

se7en said...

Not linking today, but you can meet our new arrival here...

Nici said...

Oh no! Why is it closed? 3:06AM Wednesday morning and it says it's closed. I'm bummed. :(

Jean Stockdale said...

I am also posting my link at 3:13 am and the link is closed. I am not sure if this is an error or a change in WFMW. I will check back later. Blessings.


Tracey said...

Here's my tip - it's on organizing all my girls' hair accessories!

Tara @ Feels like home said...

I'm headed off to work, so I won't be able to link up later. I wanted to share my link here; I hope that's okay.

I wrote about how Twitter worked for me. :)

steadymom said...

Still saying it's closed at 7 am - I'll come back to check in later!


melaniet42 said...

Fantastic ideas! I love pumpkins for decorating, but hate how quickly they deteriorate after carving.... Thanks for sharing!!!

Mel said...

You have a blog award over at my blog.:)

Short Stop said...

I didn't know any of that about pumpkins! Thanks for the tips, Kristen!

shopannies said...

great tips I will try to remember these when we travel to the pumpkin patch

Sharon said...

I love this time of year as well, although it's just not as spectacular in TX as it was in WY. I also LOVE pumpkins and anything that has pumpkins in it. Thanks for the great tips. Maybe this year we'll actually carve pumpkins.

And thanks for fixing the links again. I wonder if I'm the only one who has or notices the difference. :-/

The Not So Perfect Housewife said...

Joining in for the first time today! Thanks for hosting.

Lisa Anne said...

I can't wait to get my pumpkins. I kept an uncarved pumpkin on my porch for almost and entire year. I lived in a cold place though. Then someone stole it. It just disappeared. I was so mad. grrr.

Come see my halloween spooktacular on my blog!!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Great tips! This is my first time joining in although I've seen this around for the longest time.

Donna said...


ilovemy5kids said...

My Works for Me post has turned into NOT WORKING for ME today...go figure!!! :)

I'd love some pumpkins right about now...Pumkin PIE (that I don't have to fix and the non-calorie kind.)