Keeping Your Pumpkins Longer

Courtesy of K-State Research and Extension

By Kelsey Hatesohl

With fall approaching you might be looking to start getting your fall decorations ready. The first decoration that comes to mind for me is pumpkins! They come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors!

If you are wanting to buy your pumpkins early, I have a helpful tip for you. When selecting which pumpkins you are going to purchase you want to make sure the pumpkin wasn’t harvested too early. Pumpkin rinds develop a hard, waxy layer to keep it from drying out and shriveling up. An easy way to test the rind is to use your thumbnail. If it pierces the fruit easily, it was harvested too early and won’t last as long as others with a stronger rind. Pumpkins will also stay longer in cooler weather. If the weather starts to get hot again, you might want to pull your pumpkins into a cooler area to help them last.

If you enjoy carving your pumpkins for Halloween, have you considered saving the seeds and roasting them? When you scoop the seeds out, rinse them well to remove any strands of tissue that might remain and spread them out so they can dry completely. Once dry, roast them on a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes at 350°F. Just remember if you are carving your pumpkins the longevity of your pumpkins will be reduced. Once carved they will last about a week. So don’t carve them to soon before Halloween! If you have any questions feel free to stop by or contact me in the Washington office, at 785-325-2121 or

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