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PUMPKINS FOREVER: how to make them last all fall, ya'll.

Who loves shopping for pumpkins to dec their place in the fall? Probably a fair amount of people judging by how many pretty porches I see in the neighborhood. Now, who loves shopping for pumpkins over and over again to replace the ones that are rotten, moldy or ruined by squirrels? If I had to guess, I'd say not a lot of people.

Pumpkins on a porch
Photo: @interior_vert

I am not a pumpkin expert whatsoever and in fact, this is the first time I tried to decorate a large porch. But this is exactly why I've done my homework and researched all the ways to do it right and make them last.

Girl decorating the porch for Halloween
Photo: @interior_vert

Uncarved pumpkins are typically good for about 10-12 weeks, which is perfect because this makes the entire fall. But that's under perfect conditions which means they're in the shade, ideally on a wooden surface, where they are not exposed to animals, like squirrels or chipmunks who would want to take a bite. We live in LA, our porch gets a fair amount of sun every day, the stairs are cement and there's always a squirrel or two or a possum in the bushes.

Perfect conditions means pumpkins are in the shade, ideally on a wooden surface, and not exposed to animals, like squirrels or chipmunks who would want to take a bite. Now, who has all 3?!

We had 0 of these 3 parameters, so I made sure that at least everything else is done well. So here's the list of what one will need to condition their pumpkins and make them sun-proof, mold-proof, animal dinner-proof and so on.

Pumpkin conditioning recipe

Chances are you already have all these things, so let's go straight to pumpkin business.

Step 1. Make vinegar mix.

Fill half the bucket up with water and then add vinegar to it - the ratio should be 1 tsp of vinegar per gallon of water. Fill up the spray bottle with some of this mix (optional).

Step 2. Soak the pumpkins.

Submerge each pumpkin into the vinegar solution and let it soak for about 2 minutes.

Step 3. Dry the pumpkins.

Place all the pumpkins on paper towels and let them dry.

Step 4. Apply the protective coat.

As a final coat you can cover pumpkins with a) Vaseline b) WD-40 or c) spray them with the same vinegar solution daily (or as much as you can remember).

If you want to carve your pumpkins (I didn't do it with mine and opted for a fake Jack-o-lantern which needs to be plugged in to glow), remember two things:

- don't carve them too early (the lifetime of a carved pumpkin is only about 3-5 days)

- spray them with the vinegar solution on the inside as well to slow day oxidizing process.

Porch decorated with pumpkins for Halloween
Photo: @interior_vert

I love decorated stairs so much I can't emphasize this enough, I'm not American and before moving to LA we didn't have a porch, so I was so excited to make it pretty and do it right. If this by any means is your first time/first porch too or you're just done with having to replace some of your ruined pumpkins halfway though the fall, hopefully these tips can help. Happy Halloween and Thanksgiving!


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