Many of us keep on preparing for Halloween for almost a year or maybe some less or more. But what happens when the day comes and your pumpkin gets decayed! Probably, you’ll hate it, as for achieving that moment you have spent a lot of time whether in carving it or growing it. Furthermore, according to a report of 2019, it has been denoted that the average cost for a gourd is $2.60. Thus, wasting your time and money on such things that come up with zero outcomes is irrelevant. You must be wondering now, why does it decay?
Most probably the major factor for the decaying is climate, but not only climate, as many times it does happen that it gets decayed because of the lack of concentration regarding it. If you carve it earlier than the upcoming event, or else you store it in a place where the temperature is high, it will not even remain fresh for 2-3 days. Somehow the climate surrounding you is cool and calm; the duration may extend up to a week not more than that. Looking for saving your money and time, then do follow the ways mentioned below to make your ‘jack-o-lantern’ long-lasting and fresh.
As we discussed that climate is one of the major factors affecting your Halloween pumpkin. Moisture is something which lets any of the natural product stay fresh, it happens the same over here. The excessive hot temperature starts soaking up the moisture from your products, and then they start rotting. Though, storing place does matter a lot in such cases.
Keeping it in an excessively cold place would also affect rotting, one can say that your storing place must have the optimum temperature and moisture according to your products. While talking about your pepo, a refrigerator is the best place where you can store it even after carving it out. But here I would like to give advice that carved vine whether kept in the refrigerator will not sustain more than a week, besides this, an uncarved gourd would stay fresh for a couple of weeks or maybe a month or more than that.
The only thing about the climate you have to keep in mind is don’t keep your product in front of the direct sunlight or the extreme cold weather, otherwise unfortunately you and your mates will not be able to enjoy the party for which you all waited for a long time too by spending your money.
No matter how your taste is about shape and color, but at first, be concise about the freshness of the jack-o-lantern while you are selecting make sure that it must be very fresh and firm. Try to have an average dense one. As the heavier the pepo, the thicker the wall, and the harder would be the carving process. Now the question arises, how often can we choose heavier one but have thin walls? So at this point, we have the way out for that.
All you need to do is tap it gently, and hold on till you get a slightly hollow sound, as if the wall will be thicker then you won’t be able to listen to any of the sounds. At such instances directly avoid picking that one, and start inspecting the others. After this also somehow you pick the thicker one, do not worry just shave the walls from inside during the carving process.
The selection of shape is up to you, do not opt one having an oblong shape as they are stringier from the inside, which ultimately stands up to difficulties for you to make precise and proper cuts. Further, often opting for the freshest one, do rely on the color of the vine. The one which appears as the deepest orange one would contain a lot of firmness and moisture in it. Grab such pepo’s at first otherwise, anyone else can lead on.
Hold on till Halloween 2020
As we discussed the second major factor for the decaying is lack of concentrations. Several times it does happen that we bring up our Halloween pumpkin and start carving it on the same day itself. But that is brutally a wrong choice made by the owner. We shall not start proceeding further on the same day, because it starts rotting at the very moment its flesh gets exposed in the atmosphere. Also, it starts changing its color that is due to the vanishing of the moisture present inside it. Moreover, as per our discussion, a carved jack-o-lantern cannot remain fresh for more than a week though kept in the refrigerator. Whereas uncarved pumpkin sustains about a couple of weeks or till a month also.
Thus, for preparing yourself for Halloween ‘jack – o – lantern’ this I the best way on which one can rely. All you need to do is just hold on yourself from craving it out. But not always; not carving is the solution; some of us like to have a white pumpkin. Though, if you are thinking of having such in this event, then you can easily rely on the carving system, and expose your flesh in the air. The better it rots the better color you get.
Avoid cutting the top
Usually, we have been taught to cut the pepo from its top where the stem lies. Actually what happens is a person cuts around the part of the stem to make it as a lid opening so that one can access the interior part through that lid. According to a fact, if we remove the stem of any of the fruit or vegetable, it directly cuts down and shortens its span life. Now the question arises, from where we must cut?
Start cutting from the opposite side of the stem, or any bottom or back part will do. What is the advantage of cutting it from the bottom? As an advantage, it removes down the moisture which slightly increases its life. Not only this one can easily access any part of the vine from the bottom, also at the time of fixing light or candle in your ‘jack-o-lantern’, you just simply need to place your jack-o-lantern over it, rather than fixing it in. As of now, the stem remains intact and moisture does not gather on the bottom along with them. If you keep it in the refrigerator it will stay fresh for too long.
Carving and Hollowing
Before proceeding further make sure that you are done with your carving and hollowing processes. If not then do it now, as soon as you start carving your pumpkin makes sure that you achieve the cuts and patterns for which you were looking for. But before you start patterning it out, you have to hollow out the pumpkin. For hollowing, go through the keyhole you made in the bottom, and then take a spoon or ice-cream scoop and start digging out the pulp, seeds, guts, and all the other things present in the interior. Be concise at this stage, as a small piece of the gut can even become a soft bed for mold and mildew intensification. Moreover, try digging out the thickness of the wall too, if somehow you have opted for a thick wall gourd. As this is the only way one can get rid of thick walls.
Once you are done with the digging and thinning of the interior, now you can have your tools in hand, and then start making the face of your ‘jack-o-lantern’, for making the face. You can use tools like a knife, awl, stencil, and much more. Nowadays drilling the holes is in the trend.
After gutting, the next step you must take into consideration is bleaching. This process is must be done while you are about to do Halloween pumpkin decoration, it is said that bleaching helps you to get rid of uncertain dirt and bacteria present in the interior of your gourd.
Do not apply direct bleach as it can disintegrate your gourd, thus, do prefer on making a dilute bleach solution by adding 1 tbsp in per quart of water. This solution is included in the most traditional way of bleaching for decades. Apply the solution at every part of your gourd whether the interior or exterior. Especially apply the solution at the curved parts because there is always a high risk of the germination of molds and bacteria. Supply the bleach solution in the most precise manner, the most precisely you do this process, you’ll observe a drastic increase in the life span.
This process is way much riskier, thus keep your kids and pet animals away from there. Also, apply the necessary safety measurements whenever working on the same.
We all are fond of it, that carving the gourd exposes it in the air which creates several mold and bacteria, and that leads to the decaying of your gourd. Though, you are done with the process of bleaching; if some solution of it still gets left in the interior then it can severely destruct your material.
Furthermore, it is said that drying it perfectly is the moment from where the preservation starts. In case you are thinking to put your pepo under sun rays for the drying process then abort it, as direct sun rays will decay your whole plan. The best way for drying is to keep it under your house fan and keep wiping its interior, exterior, and cut edges with the help of a paper towel. Make sure that you have completely dried out a pumpkin in your hand.
Apply petroleum jelly or Vaseline
Once you have your bleached out and completely dried out gourd in your hand, it is the time for applying some preservative elements on it. So that it remains fresh and firm till the day you want. All you need is Vaseline / Petroleum jelly; these materials are easily available at your home. Apply the material everywhere on your ‘jack-o-lantern’ in the interior, on the exterior, and along the cut edges too. As an outcome you’ll observe that petroleum jelly has nourished your vine in a manner that it holds on the moisture loss; and as usual, reducing the moisture loss directly results in the fresher look.
Do you think that applying petroleum jelly will keep your gourd maintained? Most possibly it will keep it maintained for almost a week, are you worried about what next? You don’t have to worry; all you need to do is create a DIY spray and keep on spraying on your ‘jack-o-lantern’ to keep it refreshing every day. To create all you need is:
- A spray bottle
- Peppermint soap
- Few drops of peppermint oil
Mix peppermint, water, and a few drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle shake them properly. As peppermint comprises anti-fungal properties. Along with the refreshing touch, it’ll keep on preventing fungus and mold away.
Whenever you run out of all the following ideas or you do not have any way left out. Here is where water/ice rinse steps in. many of the times it happens that your gourd would get shriveled. At such instances simply drop it into the water for several hours, after then when you will take it out you’ll notice that now you have the fresh one in your hands.
Nevertheless, still, you did not get the outcome for which you were looking for. Just submerge your Halloween pumpkin into cold water consisting of ice cubes. Leave it in the cold water for a couple of hours or you can even leave it overnight. Those ice cubes will breathe in a new life in your shriveled gourd. After taking it out do not forget to dry it out properly to avoid mold.