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Tips for Preserving Your Pumpkins

Fall is here and pumpkins are out! Are you as excited as I am? It is my favorite time of year and I cannot wait to decorate. A key element to decorate for fall is to include pumpkins in your design, of course! They make the perfect addition to any front porch and are so much fun to carve with your children. Today, I am going to share with you some key tips in preserving those beauties for as long as possible!

My first tip is to make the right selection. Be sure to pick out the best pumpkin possible! To do this, chose a pumpkin that is firm and avoid those with bruising and other blemishes. 

Next you want to decide if you are going to throw a pumpkin carving party or just keep them uncarved for a fabulous fall decor accent piece. If you choose to carve your pumpkin, be sure to remove all of the insides and clean it throughout, getting every strand out. Whether you carve your pumpkin or leave it whole, you will want to soak your pumpkin in a bleach water mixture (1-2 TSP per gallon of water) leave overnight then rinse.

Another great mixture to try is Bleach, Water, Dish Soap, and Petroleum Jelly (or matte sealer)
1. Prepare 10 parts water, 1 part bleach, and one squirt of dish soap in a bathtub/large bucket/kitchen sink.
2. Roll the pumpkins around to coat all sides. Then, situate the pumpkins with their stem facing down into the mixture. Make sure to wear gloves!
3. Let the pumpkins sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Remove the pumpkins and dry them with a cloth.
5. Take a cloth and dip into petroleum jelly. Wipe the petroleum jelly on all areas of the pumpkin. An alternative to use instead of petroleum jelly is spraying the pumpkins with a coat of matte sealer!

* Prepare a spray bottle with 10 parts water and 1 part bleach. Spray on all areas of the pumpkin every 2-3 days.

Hydration is key. Make sure your pumpkins do not dry out by keeping them moisturized. You can use vegetable oil, petroleum jelly or even WD-40. If you choose WD-40, do not have an open flame by using a real candle to light your pumpkin, only a faux light. Be sure to coat carved pumpkins throughout and very thoroughly. Do not display them on concrete, this pulls extra moisture out of your pumpkins. If your pumpkin beings to look dry, give it a dunk overnight in cool water!

Keep your pumpkins cool. Do not display them in a spot that will get full intense sunlight all day long. You want your pumpkins to stay cool and shaded in a covered spot for the longest life span!

My last tip is to use Wet and Forget: Moss, Mold, Mildew, and Algae Stain Remover.
1. Prepare 5 parts water with 1 part wet and forget in a bathtub/large bucket/kitchen sink.
2. Roll the pumpkins around to coat all sides. Then, situate the pumpkins with their stem facing down into the mixture. Make sure to wear gloves!
3. Let the pumpkins sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Remove the pumpkins and dry them with a cloth.

* Spray the wet and forget every 2-3 days on all areas of the pumpkin.

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I hope you enjoyed all of my tips for preserving your pumpkins to keep them looking fabulous all season long! Keep me posted and let me know which tips work best for you.

Happy Fall and Happy Decorating!