Fall | Holidays & Seasons | Thanksgiving Ideas

Preserve Pumpkins & Gourds | An Easy & Quick Method

How to preserve pumpkins, and how to preserve gourds using just three ingredients. Keeps pumpkins and gourds from rotting and is so easy!

I wanted to share this method to preserve pumpkins & gourds when I shared my farmhouse fall home tour…but I forgot! I’ve included this little trick for how to preserve gourds in a couple of emails to my subscribers, but wanted to make sure that everyone sees how easy this is. It really works, so your real pumpkins & gourds will last for weeks. 

An easy and quick method, using just three ingredients, to preserve pumpkins & gourds for your fall decor. This takes just a few minutes! How to make pumpkins last longer.

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The thing that makes pumpkins & gourds rot in the first place is the dirt and mold that they pick up from the fields where they are grown. In order to preserve them and prevent the rotting, that dirt and mold must be removed. So if you’ve always wondered how to preserve pumpkins easily, here you go!

How to Preserve Pumpkins & Gourds

  • Prepare a mixture of bleach, water and dish soap. 
    (One gallon water, 2 T. bleach and a squirt of dish soap.)
  • Soak real gourds for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Use a tub or even your kitchen sink.
  • Rinse and dry well.
  • Before adding to your decor, it’s optional to give your pumpkins a quick coat of spray matte sealer. It helps preserve them even longer. 

An easy and quick method, using just three ingredients, to preserve pumpkins & gourds for your fall decor. This takes just a few minutes!

I filled my sink once and did a batch of white pumpkins first, followed by the big heirloom pumpkin. I rolled them around a little to make sure they got a complete bath, including the stem. You don’t need deep water, because the smaller pumpkins actually float. The larger pumpkins can be rolled or placed on their sides in order to soak the entire pumpkin properly.

An easy and quick method, using just three ingredients, to preserve pumpkins & gourds for your fall decor. This takes just a few minutes!

How to Preserve Pumpkins: An Extra Step

After their bath, rinse the pumpkins well and let them dry on a towel. Make sure they are completely dry before they are displayed. There’s an extra step you can take that will make your pumpkins last even longer. If you have time, spray them with a thin coat of matte sealer. Sometimes I do this and sometimes I don’t…but I do believe it helps preserve them longer. 

thanksgiving tablescape ideas white pumpkins in dough bowl

See this Autumn Table Setting

How to Preserve Gourds: how long will they last?

So how long will pumpkins and gourds last after their bath? My best answer is at least a few weeks, but probably much longer. It depends on the heat and humidity in your house, plus the condition the gourds were in when you bought them.

  • Try to choose pumpkins and gourds that are somewhat clean and free from bruises.
  • The sooner you buy your gourds, the better. By getting them early in the season, you will get the best choice, and your gourds will be fresh. Waiting until the week before Halloween will guarantee you’ll go home with a pumpkin that’s been sitting around for a while. 
  • For the past few years, I have purchased my real pumpkins & gourds as soon as they are available at the farm stand, which is usually in early September. Without fail, they have all stayed fresh and firm throughout the fall season. 

fall gift tag on mini orange pumpkin

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Fall is, quite possibly, my favorite time of year. It’s really hard to choose a favorite season, but if I had to, it would be fall. My love for fall is reflected in the content on this website. I enjoy making fall printables, there are fall tablescapes, easy autumn decor ideas, and so much more. Fall decor is timeless, and there are so many ideas here for you to use. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, I would love for you to join my email subscriber list. Just click {HERE} for more information. My email subscribers are the first to see everything!

Thanks for stopping by…see you soon!

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to welcome your favorite season? Look at this!

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