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How Long Do Pumpkins Last? Everything You Need to Know for Storing Pumpkins

We are slowly but surely approaching pumpkin season as the summer winds down and we can feel the temperatures getting cooler. For those of you who are growing yourself, you’re likely already seeing those beautiful bright orange flowers blooming and the fruits forming along the vines.

If done properly, pumpkins can be stored for a few months up to one year! So, read on to see how you can maximize your pumpkin’s shelf life to enjoy this yummy squash all year long.

How Long Will Carved Pumpkins Last For

Generally, carved pumpkins can stay on display for around 10 days before they start rotting. Although, this depends on the climate where you live- pumpkins can last longer in colder regions and will rot faster where it’s warmer.

It’s recommended that you carve the pumpkin just before when you want to display it, exactly because it won’t last for very long afterwards. Especially if you place candles inside the pumpkin, the heat from the flame will speed up the decomposition process.

There are some ways to prolong the rotting process and preserve the look of your pumpkin a bit longer. Some people use sealer, like you use to treat wood, on the cuts of the pumpkin and you can also use olive oil to protect the insides.

Although, you can also work with nature and use the rotting process to your advantage to create a spooky Jack-o-lantern that’s rotting and decaying! For a look like this, carve the pumpkin about two weeks prior to when you want to display it.

Storing Pumpkins

Of course, where and how you store your pumpkins will have a huge effect on how long they last- if done improperly, you might only get a few weeks out of them. But, if you follow these guidelines, your healthy pumpkins can be stored for up to 3 months (for most varieties).

With pumpkins you can store the entire pumpkin in a cool and dry place, you can refrigerate cut up pieces, or freeze various parts. In this part of this article, I’ll explain how to do each of these and their benefits!

Storing Whole Pumpkins

Many people prefer to keep the pumpkin whole and store it as is- this is the easiest and more direct method. This also allows you to grab the pumpkin when you’re ready and immediately use it.

For storing whole pumpkins, it’s best to keep them in a cool room that’s at 50-55 F, with good air circulation. Stale air can cause rotting, so it’s best to keep them somewhere with a little draft.

Basements or cellars are often good places to store, as long as there’s enough air circulation. You can also store pumpkins in your garage or outdoor shed, just until overnight temperatures drop below 40 F. You should never put a whole pumpkin in your fridge.

If pumpkins are exposed to frost, this can cause discoloration but, it’s not too bad and they can still store for a while. However, if they’re left out in freezing temperatures, this will really shorten their storage time because the rind softens after being frozen.

Wherever you decide to keep your pumpkins, don’t place them directly on concrete. It’s better to place them on a dry piece of wood or cardboard, or even on top of a thick layer of straw.

It’s also important not to store pumpkins near other fruits that you’ve recently harvested, like apples or pears. The ripening of these fruits will cause the pumpkins to ripen and soften.

If you cut one up but don’t use all of it, do not put it back with the others- any cut up parts need to be stored in your fridge.

Use up your leftovers

Don't throw away the seeds from your pumpkin this Halloween – turn them into a tasty snack with this easy recipe for leftover pumpkin seeds. Click here for the recipe.


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