Hop in your time machine, baby. We’re taking a little trip back in time to July. Because that was when our first pumpkins were ready to pick in the garden.
In case you aren’t familiar with pumpkins (and in which case, we cannot be friends), pumpkins are FALL things. That means they are really necessary for FALL decorating.
And FALL decorating simply cannot start in July. Some people may start decorating for FALL in August. But even that will probably get a bit of the side-eye.
But I decided that it was worth the risk of excessive side-eye to start picking pumpkins because if they somehow got eaten by bugs or destroyed by zombies (both equally likely, in my assessment), I would NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF. EVER.
That’s because most years, I spend a lot of hard-earned money on pumpkins and I was determined to have all the pumpkins I ever wanted without having to buy them at the pumpkin patch.
Life goals, people. Life goals.
So I risked it all to pick the precious pumpkins and then I conducted a little research (*ahem*Pinterest browsing*ahem*) and learned that cleaning and disinfecting the pumpkins well can help to extend their lives.
Like, extend pumpkins lives indefinitely. My pumpkins could LIVE FOREVER.
(No one actually said that, but I decided it must be possible.)
And since my pumpkins have been successfully displayed for over two months in every blank space around our home, I’m calling this experiment a success.
In full disclosure, two of my pumpkins DID actually rot during the week I was writing this post. They were both the same type of heirloom pumpkin and I’m just chalking it up to that variety of pumpkin and not this method. And I figure that two rotten pumpkins out of over 70 is pretty good odds.
Here’s what you need to know about the steps to preserve your pumpkins forever (or at least through Halloween – maybe even Thanksgiving if you get crazy like me):
- Pick those pumpkins off the vine.
- Wash each pumpkin with a sponge in a mixture of warm water, bleach and Dawn detergent. I’d like to tell you how much to use, but I just dumped a few tablespoons of each into a bucket of warm water and scrubbed away. I believe the key is to get all the grime and dirt and bugs off the pumpkin and the bleach and soap help to disinfect, which I believe should help prevent rot. ****Edited to add: There are some concerns about mixing bleach and Dawn, for the potential of a very serious reaction between bleach and ammonia. Because of the very small, diluted amounts, it’s not something I see as a concern. But I’d recommend you do your own research and make your own decisions. You can always use one or the other to disinfect those pumpkins. And I’d recommend doing it outside for plenty of ventilation.
- Let those pumpkins dry and admire them FOREVER.
Here’s a picture of Henry picking a pumpkin last year. Imagine this same facial expression on yours truly with every pumpkin picked.
I believe everyone deserves pumpkins that live forever. So go forth and clean those pumpkins, friends.