Keeping an Uncarved Pumpkin from Rotting?

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Sinead007
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Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:40 pm

Hi everyone! This is my first post but I have been lurking around here for several years :)

So, as the title suggests, my question is about keeping uncarved pumpkins from rotting. I tend to pick out my pumpkins the first week of October and I don't usually start carving until around the 23rd or 24th. But it seems like every year I find a few of my uncarved pumpkins have melted. I keep them in the garage (I live in Canada - Southwestern Ontario, so night time fall temperatures are pretty cool). I tried to keep them outside one year but that was an absolute disaster - I lost 5 or 6 to rot. I like to get them early because I usually need fairly large pumpkins which are not very abundant here.

One other question - this year I only need one bigger one and I have space in our extra fridge, would it be too cold in there?

Thanks so much for any advice! :)
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St0ney
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Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:29 am

This Actually Makes a Lot of Sense !

We all use Bleach on Carved pumpkins to Stop Mold and Bacteria
So that should also work for the outside of an un-carved Kin.

If the Kin has Bacteria - the Bleach will kill it.

I would Skip the "Sealant" Part - if your going to carve it Later..
The Pumpkin Needs to breath !

Keep the pumpkins in a Cool Dark Place. - NOT ICE COLD that would Kill it!


http://www.ehow.com/how_8131064_keep-un ... tting.html
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Sinead007
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Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:32 am

Thanks! I will try that out :)
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Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:35 am

Also...keep them dry. Mold and bacteria cannot survive in a dry enviroment.

Once in a while you will get some that rot from the inside out and I don't think that there is much you can do about that.

The big key is to find kins that have no nicks and scratches, treat them with chlorine, and keep them dry.

If you have them on the ground put cardboard under them.
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Sinead007
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Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:37 pm

Thanks so much for the extra suggestions!! I'm definitely going to try them out. I've had a few close calls with stems that have begun to rot but the pumpkin survived long enough to make it through Halloween.

I also read somewhere recently to put some cardboard underneath them so will do that this year too. Thanks again!
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jonwh25
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Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:57 pm

I feel you. Since I moved from Indiana to Seattle I've found that my pumpkins (once carved) last only about 5-7 days. This year I tried soaking my kins in a Clorox / water bath overnight after I carved them. I still got mold/rot on them. I'm not sure where I went wrong. I think it has to do with climate more than anything.

I know I'd love to hear more tips on this. Should you use the bleach / water thing before you carve or after?

I have read a few things this evening about keeping your kin fresh...

One suggestion is to use a product called "Pumpkin Fresh" - anyone heard of it? http://www.pumpkinfresh.com/ is it legit?

Another article I found said to use those silica packets that are in things. It also says that glue, petroleum jelly, and acrylic spray / sealant wont work. http://www.wikihow.com/Keep-Halloween-P ... om-Molding

thoughts?
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Gretchy
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Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:10 pm

This is what I have done the past couple years and I managed to get about 3 weeks out of my pumpkins.... after I carve them, I spray with water/bleach mix or water/listerine mix... (listerine sounds weird, but Doh actually is the one that came up with this and it seems to work as well as bleach/water}... Then, I cover them with saran wrap or press and seal until I am ready to display them. Once a day or every other day, I spray them again, inside and out with the mix. Then, about 3-4 days after carving, I give them a bath to re-hydrate them. I could probably have made them last even longer, if I had covered them back up with saran wrap every night. But, I have to admit, that after Halloween, I am not as vigilant about making them last. I think the covering is a key factor in making them last longer!
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Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:38 am

...................................................
Buy 2 x more flexi trugs than you think you need, this way you can likely get a deal via the wholesaler, a typical "lightweight" carver might therefore buy 10 tubs (35litre capacity overall, which allows for water displacement at around 23 litres used per tub) to use for 20 pumpkins (12 hrs ish each then remove drain - days if I'm busy) from the bleach & water mix, anywhere where this facilitates easy removal & drainage , such as shed or garage in the cool.

Hydration with bleach loaded water is the key in my eyes (listerine & generics are not cheap over here, but in essence it's a pickling in alcohol I guess)!?

Bleach breaks down to harmless state in 7 days when mixed in water so for maximum effect you need to keep topping it up with fresh bleach every day or two to maintain max power against bugs.

Why do I go for so many trugs? Well we have polished granite floors & it gets very slippery, so I prefer to leave em in with minimal removal & re-siting for drainage perching.

There will always be a "fuzzy / fizzy" element to the surface where bacteria is trying to attack or from natural age decay nothing is perfect, you can only stall the inevitable.
This year I also put my pumpkins on top of a thick wedge of pir (foam foil foam) insulation offcuts which elevates them off the ground slightly making their bases less prone to cold, I think it worked ok, look out for this in builders skips!

If going down the flexi tub route, there are often lids sold that fit wth them if you are concerned with light penetration due to location (for carved preservation)

I also ensure a good throughflow of air, dark, cool & dry for my uncarved kins, which I do bleach clean before hand & keep a sprayer & paper towels to attend to an suspect points over the pre-carve days & weeks.

Nothing seems to stop vine top rot though. all you can do is gently remove the build up as it happens, it' woody, so any moisture will only promote more mould.

However I have thought of making some led uv (right colour frequency paid attention to) "hats" to help prevent bacterial growth, presumably light lights could affect the rest of the pumpkin so it would have to be a bit flexible with a light to try & catch the pumpkin vine stalk all over).

but that is for the future! :!con_p_wink: (I.P. of me)
I need to order a few led bits & pieces plus some new transformers for my carving led lights so may have to play with that one, should be easy enough with some mangles flexible baking silicone to test with.

In theory you could also add a cap to a pumpkin top with a basic seal & float it with no penetration to affect the stalk vine, it's a case of how far you want to go ...& how mad you therefore appear to your family/ friends

However, I realise you said UNCARVED pumpkins in the title, however I still recommend the trugs because if you "have to carve" a rotter to get some worth out of it then the carved item is extended by fact of the regular bleach dunking thereafter..

I had several rotters "sprout" badness at the same time, one I left pattern on, (but regularly dabbed the rot area which increasingly moulded & was a pain thereafter..

The other I carved at an early stage, it lasted in water (mpre often than not) right through to & including halloween night ..fine, no more creeping mould.

The other (left) was carved in desperation on halloween afternoon 2pm & had to have some major work & stencil removal to the degree that its structural integrity had to be shored up by other pumpkin offcuts & leaned into other pumpkins on the night.

Therefore if it is the body of the pumpkin, cut it, gut it, bleach dunk it at the earliest opportunity & proceed to preserve it in the hope it lasts with minimal disruption.

Fiscally cutting saved a pumpkin, gave practise & enjoyment, an extra pumpkin for the night, so any financial outlay was returned, no harm done, ..the other had to be cossetted all the way along & was a train wreck (even though that was not the pattern) :!con_p_Laugh2:

My location UK, store room conditions 10 - 14 degrees C.

You could make a "warm store" for them & try that (though others may doubt you).
Materials, full sheets of that foil faced PIR insulation foam.
Corner of your garage, against an internal wall preferably.
use some aluminium tape so it has the same stuff as the sheets (& is therefore useful thereafter).

A portable indoor / outdoor digital temp display.
Make up the pumpkin nest using ins sheets for top, base, sides & insert a greenhouse frost protector tube rad inside.

Note the difference in temp.
Work on where you need it to be by sampling with heat froma small decorative 25 watt bulb (energy in filament produces more heat than light).

Play around with requirements till you find what works for you on a low energy level.

The seal for the insulation is key, you are making an unheated refrigerator or a very thermally efficient storage room in miniature which only needs a tiny bit of heat to make a massive difference, & enough to stabilise your pumpkins.

THis is basically what i've surrounded my dogs inner pen cage with & it is very snug once an animal pops in, temp starts to rise within 12 seconds of entry (air still circulates) & measures 10 degrees draught free air within, (their own bundling increases overall skin temps nicely).
All made from scrap from left over diy projects & skip plundering #Recycle

IF you have the space & the energy, & inclination buy excess cold store pop fit panels, fit out a space as a cold store, use a matched air con unit & one of these...
(this applies to me due to my meats & cheeses "hobby"
http://storeitcold.com/index.html (AROUND $299 usd)

Base it on the same principle of a well sealed small dims cool room.
If it is viable but space is needed in other months I like the easy connect fit for the walls, a floor retainer can be bolted in which then allows you to slide uprights in.

I've stood on this sort of panels roof (i'm not small) with a very big butcher chap, the thickness of the foam with metal facings adds a lot of strength, essentially its all self supporting.
More confidence in its strength than my own old R&D rooms which were designed to cave in to limit anything getting out (trough floors) to contain spillage etc in the vent of an explosion ..no escape under all that.

What I intend to do to my workshop or garage in the long run.
Costs pennies to run compared to a regular air con chiller unit, & this variant has been working well for small scale useage for years in other places, flower shops, hunters processing kangaroo's etc (yup, Oz heat) & all sorts of "foot in the door" businesses & diy'ers.

chilled veg... corn bought by the bushel longevity of the product.
why our fridge at 1-2c setting is affectionately called the stasis unit (I checked where the cables were in it & when found it was ok, clad it with more of the insulation, low energy, high efficiency.

Whether you want to keep heat out or in, look at creating a decent thermal envelope.
Gentlemen, your beer fridge will be redundant, you will have a walk in BEER chiller the envy of your neighbours). this alone make it worth the price.
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2manyferrets
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Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:43 am

Im a little late to respond to this.... Im in the Buffalo Niagara Falls area so it gets cold here in the winter. I have kept uncarved pumpkins in my basement on cardboard on the floor for up to 1 year. No treatment.... Note that I put them there right away, I did not let them sit outside (sometimes its warm here in October). :!con_1:
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