We are just a few days away from Halloween at this point.  But if your pumpkin is already starting to look a little droopy, you might want to try some of these.

How many times has this happened to you?  You get a little too excited for Halloween and go out immediately to get a pumpkin the second you see one at a local stand.  You plan out the most Instagram-worthy design for your jack-o-lantern that you can find.

You cut up the perfect pumpkin.  This thing looks incredible!  It took you hours to carve!  Then by the time Halloween comes around, it looks like it forgot it's teeth at the bathroom sink.

Is there a way to make it last longer?

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Why do pumpkins seem to deteriorate so quickly?

Imagine any piece of produce that you cut up and put on a counter or a front porch.  When they're natural and fresh, they all break down (as they should).  But something that aids in its deterioration is bacteria and fungi that will make them rot.

Is there a way to make pumpkins last longer?

According to Steve Reiners, professor of horticulture at Cornell University, there are some ways to get a pumpkin to last longer.  First, you have to pick a pumpkin that is as fresh as possible from the beginning.  Look to make sure there aren't already any soft spots in the pumpkin when you pick it up from whatever farm you buy it from.  The stem should be hard and connected solidly to the pumpkin.

If you don't cut the pumpkin they can last until after Thanksgiving.  But once you cut into it, you can expect it to last for about 7-10 days from the time it's carved.  So if you carve it today, it should be good until after October 31st.

Is there anything else you can do to make it last longer?

As mentioned above, one of the things that can cause a pumpkin to rot quickly is bacteria and fungi that get inside the pumpkin.  Once you cut into them, you're giving the bacteria a place to sit and start eating away.

Reiners suggests that you can slow the bacteria growth by adding a teaspoon of bleach to a quart of water and spraying the inside of the pumpkin and all cut surfaces daily.

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