How long can you preserve a real pumpkin for?

Post Questions or Tips on Carving REAL Pumpkins
Post Reply
User avatar
mondola
A Happy Carver
A Happy Carver
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:35 pm

Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:01 pm

Hi there,

I've seen a few threads so far, offering advice.

This was the first year I have soaked my pumpkins. I soaked them in the sink for at least 2 hours with a squirt of bleach. They seemed to last a little longer.

Now I've read posts from Looney saying that they'd wrap and then soak them after display.

My question therefore is, how long can you get a pumpkin to last? What's the maximum?

Just wondering whether I can star a little earlier next time or not.
User avatar
Gretchy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1136
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:54 am
Gender: Female
Location: kankakee, il

Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:08 pm

This is the first year I have wrapped mine... and I have to say, it made all the difference in the world. I started carving for my display on the 22nd.. and I just decided that first pumpkin is done for today. So... that's 2 weeks... Now, I have to admit, I haven't wrapped them since Halloween night. Just been spraying/soaking here and there. The first few have mold on them, but not horrible, yet.
'Pumpkin Carvers Of The World, Unite And Take Over'
User avatar
mondola
A Happy Carver
A Happy Carver
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:35 pm

Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:05 am

Thanks for the response. To be honest, I have found that I am getting at least a week out of mine and all I did was soak them, albeit overnight in a sink full of water with a good squirt of bleach in there.

I started the Moshi Monsters ones on Monday of last week, and they are still not showing any hint of mould. The others I did I started Tuesday, and finished Friday, and even after display they are still in good condition.

I think based on this evidence, I should be able to start a lot earlier next year.

I burnt myself starting too early one year. Stoney had advised to use Lysol. I figured dettol spray would be exactly the same. I sprayed with that and shortly after smeared vaseline all over it, but something in the dettol spray really killed the pumpkin, much quicker than the ones I had not sprayed.

I had only started it a week before Hallowe'en, but it was already furry with 2 days to go.

As I could not get any other pumpkins to do a recarve (and I went round all the supermarkets in the early morning of 30th October), I had to display the furry carve. It was well rotten, but the fur was only inside.

Literally as soon as the last trick or treater had come, I had to throw the thing in the bin before it walked out of it's own accord !

LOL !

So I'm a it wary of starting too soon nowadays.
waleed345
Apprentice Carver
Apprentice Carver
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:34 am

Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:44 am

Hi all,

can anyone recommend a way to colour your shading on a real kin? I use a lightbulb to illuminate my kins and I want my shaded design to come out pink. Would a special type of paint work? or perhaps fruit juice? Has anyone tried this? Would appreciate any input. Thanks!
Last edited by waleed345 on Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
cspeich
Supreme Carver
Supreme Carver
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:12 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Maryland
Contact:

Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:12 am

I've gotten pumpkins to last about 10 days just by soaking in plain water in a big plastic bin during the day and displaying at night. I'm not sure if the pumpkin just deteriorated on its own or if my daughter poured some of her bubbles into the bin the pumpkin was soaking in and that killed it.

I didn't do any bleach or wrapping or vaseline or anything. No mold. Pumpkin held its shape well.

Next year I plan to see how long I can keep a pumpkin going...but I may need to put a lock on bin to be sure my daughter doesn't "help". :!con_p_wink: That was my plan this year (I carved the pumpkin on Oct 2 and wondered if it would make it to Halloween) but....
Christie
GUS
Elite Carver
Elite Carver
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:16 am
Gender: Male
Location: CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND (NOT MASS)

Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:04 pm

Old Post, however..

We tend to buy 5 litres of THICK bleach at a time.
We use the butler sink for soaking or a large dedicated black rubbish bin (new)
We have a squirt dispenser which is 25 ml per full pump drawn.

The butler sink without a big kin in is probably 45 litres of water, therefore 225 ml of bleach as an estimate (obviously displaced effect with a kin immersed slowly to fill without damaging the design, & drained very slowly & carefully too).

Water is refreshed or if not bad re-bleached every 3 days this is because typical bleach composition is designed to have completely broken down by day 7, therefore 3rd day in is catching it before the power wanes completely.

I will use a strong bleach ratio to a sink for the initial soak (not enough to make your skin tingle though) & remove floaty bits with a sieve in-between use.

From just carved state I like to leave em & roll em for 1.5hrs initially, then 30+ minutes every day thereafter on rotation lids get floated to keep the stems in the best state possible, which can be a bit of a balancing act.

Typically they are on display for a week no problem in uk climate, dehydration is more of a problem than rot typically.
GUS
Elite Carver
Elite Carver
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:16 am
Gender: Male
Location: CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND (NOT MASS)

Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:03 pm

I'll just update this for the benefit of all but more so at uk carvers who do larger qty's of carvings & need to not faff about with clogges sinks for hydrating.

ALSO.. please note we live all over so environmental information is a necessity as to guage how long a kin lasts & under what conditions, of use, soak, storage, ..humidity etc.. so please be clear. :!con_p_wink:

Anyhow, just posted elsewhere will duplicate here to catch a few loose fishies :!con_p_Laugh2:

Hydrating pumpkins (UK deal on trugs)
Postby GUS » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:42 pm

Just ordered 10 x 38 Litre capacity trugs from a proper manufacturer / distributor of the "Gorilla tub"

(The flexible recycled plastic trugs you can get of all colours for various use within garden, building . diy renovations ..or carrying wood to your WBS / fireplace etc.

They are great because they are "squishy" & pretty heavy duty, though you can buy generic inferior ones whereby the handles always break & the bottoms split dependent upon workload / abuse.

Came in at A smidgen over £50 for 10 including delivery (i'll have them by thursday at the latest having ordered at 4.45pm today...

Basically it's a steal, not they are not orange (not required, but others DO come in orange via the sae company who do loads depending on need / use).

Here is a link, I spoke via remote chat to head office in the uk, phoned an order through... done! 5 minutes having spent 24 hrs looking for a good price local to me ...as much as 15.99 per tub down to £3,49 but out of stock.

https://www.faulks.co.uk/store/index.ph ... ry&path=68 Gorilla tubs page.

This way I can ...pack em away when not needed, deploy when seasonal requirements demand (leaving a shower & a bath in possible use that week :pale: :o ).

worked out £5 courier charge & £3.77 per unit ...that is cheap ladies & undeserving gentlespoons, so am sharing the knowledge..

Heavy duty, & will take bleach chlorine in their stride for many years.
FILLED WITH WATER YOU'D BE A FOOL TO LIFT EM! ...however a baling jug or if more time available an aquariam cleaning hand pump to get e flow going, or take a bucket to it & bale...

Image
There is also an oversize 78 litre version available for your "couldn't resist" size kins.
Makes life a lot easier, this time of year I will buy in 8-10 litres of thick bleach & pump squirt it into the water for hydration & microbrial resistance (remember it's essentially a rotting veg now, so chage the water every 3-5 days depending on how gunky it becomes, ideally clean your pumpkin in a dedicated trug before placing it in it's hydration trug so there is less floaty gunk over the days..

Cheap, practical, useful around the house... to confirm what DOH says, I carved a sugarskull lady some 11 days ago(ish) ..hydrated everyday, she is nearly as good as the day she was carved, bearing in mind the pumpkin walls were around the 2mm - 2.2mm thickness in 98% of the design, ..you spend time carving show it off for as long as possible in a good state!

I forgot to say, ..they do dedicated lids for their various trugs / tubs too! ...might be worth looking into to prevent evaporation or for use out of pumpkin dunking season.

(Sorry I cannot be responsible for possible freight overload charges to the highlands, but the low price will cover any charges for a decent wedge of these I promise).

Commit & save yourself some woe! uk temps in my location currently 10c during day, dropping at night, humidity / moisture around 65% upward.

Image
Post Reply