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Fall is finally here or at least it is on the calendar! Eventually, things will begin cooling off here in East Texas and in about a month the trees will begin shedding their leaves as they change from green to beautiful hues of yellow, orange, and red before eventually turning brown and falling off. With fall's arrival so are the fall decorations.

Many of us can't wait to decorate for fall, especially our front porches. They will soon be adorned with bales of straw, scarecrows, pumpkins, and other fall decorations. As it gets closer to Halloween, jack-o-lanterns will be carved and placed on the front porch to greet those trick-or-treaters.

Pumpkin patches are already sprouting up across East Texas for you to pick out those perfect pumpkins to fill out your fall decor, but how long will those pumpkins for your display last?

There are a number of factors that will affect the life of your pumpkin.

  • freshness
  • weather
  • rain
  • sunlight
  • humidity
  • pests

Freshness

Look for a pumpkin with firm skin with no visible signs of damage or rot.

Weather

Extreme heat and cold can affect its lifespan. Heat will make them deteriorate quicker while cold will make them mushy.

Rain

Rain will speed up the decay of a pumpkin. Make sure it's sheltered from any precipitation.

Sunlight

Direct sunlight will fade the pumpkin over time and age them faster.

Humidity

Make sure it's well ventilated as humidity will promote growth like mold.

Pest Prevention

Squirrels, rabbits, and insects love to nibble on pumpkins.

You'll want to regularly inspect your pumpkins for any signs of soft spots, mold, rot or animal nibbles. Removing any affected areas will prolong the life of your pumpkins.

Now when it comes to prolonging the life of your uncarved pumpkin, Women's Day offers these suggestions...

  • You can soak your pumpkin in a vinegar bath for 20 to 20 minutes
  • Spay the surface of the pumpkin with WD-40
  • Cover the surface with a layer of petroleum jelly

These tips won't make that pumpkin last forever, but they will help it stay and look fresh longer for up to 10 more days than if left untreated.

When it gets closer to Halloween and you want to carve a pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern, there are even more tips for you to help preserve that carving job of yours!

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