Creating the jack-o’-lantern of your kids’ dreams takes a lot of time, energy and money, so you want to make sure it lasts as long as possible after you work your magic. Nothing’s worse than watching your perfectly carved pumpkin start to rot before the end of the spooky season. Luckily, you can save yours from an early grave if you do it right.
These tips can make sure your jack-o’-lantern will last until Halloween:
- Choose your pumpkin carefully - When you’re at the pumpkin patch or grocery store, you’ll want to check a couple of things before buying. Does the pumpkin have bruises? Is it discolored? Are there any dents or deep cuts already exposing its innards? If so, put the pumpkin down and look for one that’s evenly-colored and rounded.
- Be mindful of how you carve - If you don’t scrape all the guts out of the gourd, they can create moisture that will cause it to rot in a few days. And even worse? The innards may encourage pests and rodents. So get that thing as clean as possible on the inside to extend the life of your jack-o’-lantern.
- Spray your pumpkin with water and apple cider vinegar - Fill a spray bottle with water and add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, then spritz your carved pumpkin with the mix. It helps preserve it and deters pests from making themselves at home there.
- Use fake candles - Candlelight is an important feature of a jack-o’lantern, but real candles can dry it out too fast. So use glow sticks or battery-powered tea lights instead.
- Put your pumpkin somewhere dry - Your carved pumpkin needs to maintain a little moisture so it won’t dry up, but if you place it somewhere extremely humid, it’ll get moldy and rot. Give it all the longevity you can by keeping it in a dry place off the ground, to discourage unwanted pests and rodents. If you’re displaying it outside, a bench or table is your best bet.