Pumpkin picking season is here! But before you hit the patch, check out a few of the tips we’ve culled from Jim Murray, owner of Applejacks Orchard in Peru, New York to help you pick your perfect pumpkin.
"Number one," says Murray, "pick an appropriate size." Save the 20 pound pumpkin for the porch display and pick up a couple small ones for the kids. "Kids want a small pumpkin they can carry," says Murray.
Check the pumpkin before you buy it! "Kids seem to think pumpkins are balls and kick them," says Murray. Check for marks and dents that can start to rot.
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It starts with the stem. Check for a thick, solid stem, says Murray, as rot often starts from the stem down.
Decided to get your pumpkin ahead of time? Help it last with a quick trick. Mix a little bleach with water, says Murray, and wash the the outside of the pumpkin. The solution will help kill fungus living on the outside of the pumpkin, which will stave off rot and keep your pumpkin Halloween-worthy longer.
Pick the right pumpkin for your needs. If you’re carving that sucker up, go with a larger pumpkin for its thinner walls. If you’re baking a pie, ask the orchard owner if they have "sugar" or "pie" pumpkins, which have thicker walls, more meat, and are sweeter.
Do you have any pumpkin tricks (or treats) up your sleeve? Share them in the comments!
Photo credit: Pumpkin patch courtesy of Shutterstock