Keep your uncarved pumpkins from rotting this year!
Every year I buy tons of pumpkins and usually too early in most people's opinion! I get super excited to decorate for fall and can't resist! Yesterday, while shopping @kcfmarket #kcfmarket I found tons of great pumpkins from a vendor in Huntington, IN. They had cinderella pumpkins, dipped bi-color pumpkins, gourds and tons of mini pumpkins! This year, I'm determined to make my pumpkins last through Thanksgiving and untouchable from the squirrels! They always climb onto the porch to eat them, spreading the seeds by our Hydrangea bushes. My landscaper pulled out a 20-ft. pumpkin vine that was starting to grow because the squirrels dropped the seeds causing germination. I would've kept the pumpkin vine but there were no signs on pumpkins growing anywhere, unfortunately!
What you need
Grab a large bucket/tub
Drop cloths for drying
How to bleach
Buy pumpkins that are healthy looking with fully-intact stems and no signs of rots! This may sound obvious until you buy a rotten one. They should feel firm and ripe as well.
Put your gloves on first and wear old clothes in case you spill bleach on you! Dilute a tablespoon of bleach to 1-gallon of water. I eyeballed this putting a small amount of bleach into my bucket then filled the rest with water.
Submerge the pumpkin fully into the water. They will want to float to the top so just push them down. I put lots of mini pumpkins in my bucket at the same time.
Ideally, you'd want to leave them soaking in the bleach solution for up to 20 minutes to cure. I removed them earlier because I had so many to do!
The larger pumpkins are harder so you will need a large outdoor tub or you can cheat this step somewhat and dip one side at a time. Then, you can spray the same bleach solution over the entire pumpkin rubbing it all in.
Turn them upside down allowing them to dry on old drop cloths. The bleach will yield any bacteria or fungi from attacking it.
I didn't bleach my pumpkins last year and only sprayed them with a clear laquer to keep the squirrels away. The lacquer worked but it didn't keep them from rotting. This year, I'm going to do both! Happy fall decorating!!!