If you buy your pumpkins early, there are some tricks to make them last.
Make sure the pumpkin wasn't harvested too early; before the rind developed a hard, waxy layer to keep it from drying out and shriveling, according to information from Ward Upham, extension associate. Test the pumpkin with your thumbnail. If it penetrates the fruit easily, it was harvested too early. Pumpkins also keep better in cooler weather. Even mature pumpkins may benefit from a light application of a spray wax such as that used for cars.
If you carve your pumpkins consider that the seeds can be saved and roasted. Scoop out the seeds, rinse them well to remove any strands of tissue that have remained and spread them out so they can dry. Once dry, they can be roasted on a cookie sheet for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Roast larger seeds for the longer amount of time.
If you prefer salted seeds, soak the seeds in a brine. Make the brine by combining 2 tablespoons of salt for every 2 cups of water. Add the seeds to the brine and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Check the seeds during the last 5 minutes and remove when done.
Note that carving reduces the longevity of pumpkins with carved pumpkins doing well to last a week.
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The above information is from K-State's Oct. 13 Horticulture 2020 Newsletter. To subscribe to this newsletter electronically, send an e-mail message to [email protected] or [email protected] listing your e-mail address in the message.