7 Tips for Pumpkin Storage

Sometimes it can be hard to decide between “beating the crowds” and making an early season pumpkin patch trip, and having a pumpkin that is still nice, firm, and ready-to-carve at the end of October, or even serve in a pie come November.

We’ve rounded up several tips for pumpkin storage below, so hopefully you can do both!

  1. Store your pumpkins in a cool, dry place – 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal, but as close to that as possible should be fine.
  2. Display your pumpkin out of direct sun and protected from frost – Keeping your pumpkins out of the sun protects the color and prevents sun damage. If you store them outdoors, be sure to place a towel or blanket over them if temperatures are near freezing.
  3. Consider outdoor storage – If you plan to cook or decorate your pumpkin in just a few weeks, finding a good spot indoors should be fine. If not, consider storing them outdoors, since most home temperatures are a little warm for optimal storage. Of course, with Arizona October temperatures, indoors may be the best bet for the most part!
  4. Store in a single layer on a proper surface – Never place your pumpkins directly on wood, concrete or carpet. Pieces of cardboard work well beneath them or, depending on location, something that “breathes,” like straw, is ideal. If you’re displaying them on tables, consider placing a plastic mat or tablecloth beneath a fabric one, with your pumpkins on the fabric.
  5. Check your pumpkins regularly – Monitor your pumpkins at least every few days and dispose of any pumpkins, or just parts of pumpkins, that show any signs of spoiling.
  6. Do not store pumpkins near apples – The gas apples produce as they ripen can speed the ripening of your pumpkins.
  7. Use a weak bleach solution on decorating pumpkins – If you only plan to decorate your pumpkin, wash it, dry it, then wipe it with a weak bleach solution to prevent spoiling.

If your pumpkin storage does happen to fail, and you end up with soft pumpkins on your hands, try some of these options before heading to the trash bin:

  • Cut out only the soft portion
  • Save the seeds and roast them (if they are still firm and not moldy)
  • Compost it or bury it in your garden
  • Feed it to goats or chickens (if it’s not moldy)

Best of luck to you in storing your pumpkins this fall, and Happy Hunting in finding the perfect pumpkin in our patch!