I love decorating with real pumpkins in the Fall… and eating them, too. They can be tricky to preserve, but over the years I’ve learned some helpful tricks on how to make pumpkins last longer using vinegar. Here are all my tips & how I’ve decorated my front porch this autumn.
This blog post is part of a seasonal blog hop. Make sure to check out all of the other Fall outdoor decor ideas from my blogging friends linked at the bottom of this post!
Just like spooky movies, Halloween candy, and hearty casseroles, pumpkins are a Fall staple! I love decorating with them inside and outside. In a similar fashion to last year, I hit up our local pumpkin farm and decorated our front porch with all of my favourite varieties. I love how the look on either side of our stairs with some Mums and lanterns sprinkled in.
This time, I kept the look on the neutral side using only soft green and white pumpkins with white Mums and greenery. It’s definitely a softer feeling without the orange, but I love how elegant and calm it looks.
How to make pumpkins last longer
Whenever I share pumpkins on my porch for Fall, people always ask me how to make them last longer without rotting. I’ve learned a lot from our local pumpkin farm, Somerset Farms, so here are all my favourite pumpkin tips!
How to make pumpkins last longer with vinegar
Washing your pumpkins with something that helps remove any bacteria will help make them last longer. Over the years I’ve used bleach water (1 Tbsp bleach per 4 cups water), but lately I’ve been making my pumpkins last longer with a distilled vinegar solution (about 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water) to wash mine. This is a food-safe version because we’ve realized we LOVE to eat them after we use them as decor! I place my pumpkins in a large tub of water and vinegar, give them a good scrub and a soaking for about 20-30 minutes, and let them air-dry.
What to make with pumpkins
If you’re like me and love to eat pumpkins after using them as decor, here are some recipes I love:
- make delicious pumpkin spice lattes with homemade PSL syrup
- homemade pumpkin pie is an all-time favourite of ours
- these pumpkin muffins from Somerset Farms are absolutely yummy
How to keep pumpkins fresh after picking
After your pumpkins are washed, you can leave them out in the sun to cure. Curing will harden the exterior of the pumpkin to prevent mold and help the insides stay fresh! You’ll know a pumpkin is cured when its stem looks nice and dry and its skin feels hard.
How to keep them from rotting
To prevent pretty pumpkins from turning into a rotten pile of mushy grossness before Halloween, ensure you’re never putting them directly on concrete. It’s too cold! That’s why I like to prop mine up on little wooden rounds or cork trivets. You also need to take pumpkins indoors before it frosts or snows. You can store them in a cool place inside with lots of airflow, and stored this way some varieties will last several months! We store ours in our basement up & off the concrete floor.
How to keep squirrels from eating pumpkins
Luckily, we haven’t had this problem with our pumpkins because or Fall season is so short, but you can try to spray them with hairspray or a peppermint essential oil & water solutions to repel squirrels and other wildlife. For a more food-safe option, try spraying them periodically with vinegar.
Here’s how to keep a carved pumpkin fresh
Carving some pumpkins for your Halloween jack-o-lantern? If you’re not eating them and you want them to stay in tact for longer you can spread some petroleum jelly on the skin and carved portions. (Don’t forget to save the pumpkin seeds when you’re carving – when roasted they make such a tasty snack!)
Make sure to check out these amazing posts!
How to Decorate your home With Outdoor Fall Decor | My 100 Year Old Home
Minimalist Fall Porch | Modern Glam
Simple Outdoor Fall Table Decor Ideas | Twelve on Main
Fall Mum Display Ideas for the Front Porch | Happy Happy Nester
Decorating Steps with Pumpkins | Finding Lovely
Fall Porch Decor in Subtle Autumn Colors | Maison de Cinq
Fall Decorating on the Front Porch | Inspiration for Moms
How to Make Pumpkins Last Longer (for decoration or eating!) | The DIY Mommy
Modern Farmhouse Fall Front Porch Decor | The Happy Housie
Would You Paint Your Door Pink for Fall? | Most Lovely Things
Fall Front Door With Pumpkins and Mums | Life is Better at Home