I don't know how I lucked out with Halloween this year but it's been pretty quiet when it comes to my kids constantly asking about pumpkins. Usually, the begging begins the minute they spot their first pumpkin of the season outside of a grocery store and it doesn't stop until the day we're gathered around the kitchen table with carving tools in hand. I've been waiting to see if they would kick their pumpkin requests into gear as we've moved closer to Halloween but so far it hasn't really happened. The good news with them not getting pumpkins earlier is that we don't have to carve them early and end up with mushy and soggy pumpkin piles on the porch before trick-or-treaters even get to see the finished products.

Photo: Ryan Nelson

Looking for tricks of the trade

Two weeks before Halloween or just the day before, It doesn't matter when you put pumpkins on the porch you want them to last as long as they can. In the name of research, I took to the internet to see what tricks some people use to prolong the life of their pumpkins after they've been carved. I guess I was figuring there would be a couple of widely known hacks that most people used. I didn't realize quite how long the list of suggestions was going to be.

Here are just some of the ideas

- Spray rubbing alcohol on it after carving  **
- Use floor cleaners to help keep it shiny  **
- Spray cut surfaces with hairspray  **
- Spray the inside and cut portions with a bleach/water solution daily
- Apply petroleum jelly to any cut surfaces
- Put a container of baking soda inside the carved pumpkin
- Soak the carved pumpkin in a tub of water overnight to keep it hydrated
- Place carved pumpkins in a dry, shaded spot to avoid overexposure to sun and moisture
- After cleaning out your pumpkin, let it dry entirely before carving your design
- Use a battery-operated light instead of a candle to avoid drying out the inside
- The stem helps keep your pumpkin fresh, cut a hole in the back or bottom instead of the top

** = not advised if using a real candle

Photo: Ryan Nelson
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What did I miss?

Do you have any tried-and-true tricks that you use to help your pumpkins last longer? If so, drop us a message using our free mobile app so we can add them to the list.

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