How To Pick The Perfect Pumpkin

Choose the best pumpkin for carving or eating this Halloween.

Fall brings with it so many fun traditions, drinking apple cider, making caramel apples and, most importantly, visiting the pumpkin patch! You need to pick out a just-right pumpkin to be carved or decorated for Halloween night. But before you go, educate yourself.

Here are seven expert tips for making sure your pumpkin is jack-o’-lantern-worthy:

How to Pick Perfect Pumpkins:

  • Look for a pumpkin that is completely orange. Partially green pumpkins might not ripen any further.
  • Size is an important factor. Medium pumpkins are best for pumpkin carving. Small pumpkins are better for cooking.
  • The stem gives character to a pumpkin. Do not lift or carry a pumpkins by the stem. The stem will likely break.
  • A ripe pumpkin has a hard shell that does not dent or scratch easily, when pressing on it with a thumbnail. Do this test on the back or bottom of the fruit…….never on the face.
  • Examine the entire pumpkin carefully for soft spots. If you find even one soft spot, go on to the next pumpkin.
  • Check for cracks and splits. If you find one, examine it to be sure it is not turning into a soft spot or has mold inside of the crack.
  • Look for bugs and insects. Specifically, look for holes in the pumpkin, which are indicative of insect problems.

A pumpkin bought now can easily last until Halloween. Try to keep them from freezing to enhance its storage life. If you plan to make a Jack-o’-lantern, wait to cut it until a few days before Halloween. Once cut, the pumpkin will only last several days.


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