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5 Tips on Picking a Good Pumpkin

Sunday, September 29, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lauren Middleton
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The air is cooler, the leaves are turning, this how you know October has come. With October comes lawn and landscape turn down, harvesting autumn veggies, and decorating for Halloween. Pumpkins are often the chosen decoration for many families in October. Whether you decide to go to your local orchard to pick your pumpkin or your local grocery store, we’ve got 5 tips on picking a good pumpkin.

1. Pick a pumpkin that is fully mature. Mature pumpkins are hardier and will last longer in storage. You can tell if a pumpkin is ripe by knocking on it. If you hear a hollow sound, it means it is mature. Another way to tell is to try to puncture the rind with your nail. If it resists, it ripe and mature.

2. Examine the outside of the pumpkin thoroughly. Make sure it doesn’t have any scratches, bruises, or dark spots. You’ll also want apply pressure with your thumbs to the bottom of it. If it is not sturdy, the pumpkin is likely to rot quickly.

3. Try to pick a round or oval pumpkin. Oddly shaped pumpkins are harder to carve and will not have a cavity full of seeds. This spells disappointment for anyone that wants to roast delicious pumpkin seeds.

4. Check the stem for signs of rot and damage. If the stem is the base of the stem is a dull color, that means it has sustained frost damage. The stem should also be hard and have a dark green or black color. Test it before you bring it to the car and make sure it doesn’t break. 

5. Check the area around the pumpkin you want to select. If there is an excessive amount of insect damage on the surrounding pumpkins, select another one because yours might have insects inside as well. 


Once you have the pumpkin home, store it in a cool, dry and dark place. Try to place it on cardboard because pumpkins that rest on cement and concrete have a higher tendency to rot. To store your pumpkin longer, wash it in a mild chlorine solution. This will destroy the bacteria that causes the pumpkin to rot. After that, dry the pumpkin completely. 


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