How long do Halloween pumpkins last and when should you carve them?

How long do pumpkins last? (Picture: Getty)

The frightfully festive holiday of Halloween is near – and people are getting their spooky decorations in order.

Pumpkins are the key ingredient, soon to be arriving in supermarkets and vegetable shops around the UK.

If you’re prepping your Halloween lair, a carved pumpkin is a traditional essential – but they can also make pretty lanterns.

Smell the pumpkin in the air, see the orange dye on the kitchen counter and enjoy attempting to design the perfect scary expression.

So, when is the best time to get your pumpkin, and how long will it last?

When’s the best time to buy a Halloween pumpkin?

Anytime in the month of October in the run-up to Halloween (October 31) is a perfectly appropriate time to purchase your jack-o-lantern – so it’s time to pick up your pumpkin.

Pumpkins should last two to three months (Picture: Getty)

Pumpkins last eight to 12 weeks after they are picked, so it’ll stay fresh once you pick it up.

It’s only after you carve it that the clock starts ticking.

When’s the right time to carve a pumpkin?

Once you decide on your pumpkin pattern and outline it on the skin, it’s time to take the knife to your oversized squash and carefully carve.

When the pumpkin is carved and hollowed out, it will last around five to 10 days.

After this time, it’ll start to wilt and smells like the rotting vegetable that it technically is.

Choose the right time to carve your pumpkin (Picture: Getty)

The more air circulation around your pumpkin the better, as the less air circulation the faster it will grow mould.

So, don’t carve your pumpkin before October 27, just to be on the safe (nice-smelling) side.

How to pick a pumpkin that will last the Halloween season

Firstly, make sure you select a perfectly unblemished pumpkin off the shelf.

If it has gouges or blemishes anywhere on it, this means it is not fresh.

Also look out for the texture. If the pumpkin is soft to touch, it means it will not last as long as you would like.

Once you’ve got it home and you’re ready to carve, be quick to complete the task.

Once you have scooped out the insides of your pumpkin, you should spray the insides with peppermint dish soap, as peppermint is anti-fungal and will slow the pumpkin’s breakdown.

You could refrigerate your pumpkin once it is carved wrapped in a bin bag to re-hydrate the lantern.

Another way to re-hydrate is to soak the pumpkin in a large bucket of cold water overnight.

MORE : No pumpkin? Here are some alternative vegetables to carve this Halloween

MORE : Halloween: Best pumpkin patches in and near London for picking

MORE : Boohoo is selling matching Halloween costumes for you and your dog

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