Your Jack-O-Lantern Rotten Already?
Turns out Colorado isn't the best place for jack-o-lanterns to hang out.
Ever wonder why your carved pumpkin's life is so short? There are several reasons for that. First, the temperature swings aren't ideal. The widely fluctuating fall temperatures of near freezing temps at night and 70 degree days cause the pumpkins plant cells to break down and rot. Also too, your pumpkin was likely headed for trouble long before you picked it up from the pumpkin patch or the store. If it was removed from the vine and stored outside its already been exposed to those temperature fluctuations and the decaying process had already begun. When you cut it open, pulled out its guts and then cut holes in it you only accelerated the process.
Here are a few tips from the Denver Botanic Gardens to help keep that jack-o-lantern looking better, longer.
1-Keep that dude from the elements as much as possible. You carve a jack-o-lantern to display it but if you'll keep it away from direct sunlight, freezing cold, rain, and snow it will stay fresher, longer. The ideal storage temperature for a pumpkin is 50-50 degrees.
2-Keep it moist. Wrap it in plastic wrap when you're not showing it off. Add a damp paper towel inside to help out.
3-Take some diluted bleach water and spray it down from time to time. This will kill the destructive bacteria and keep bugs out.
4-Wash your hands before carving to remove bacteria. Better yet, put on sanitized gloves while cutting it up. Bacteria from your hands will start the decaying process from the get-go.