Whether it’s Halloween season or a spooky-themed show-and-tell event, pumpkins are perhaps one of the most social fruits there are. The big, round, orange fruit allows you to showcase your carving creativity and create things from the good ol’ Jack o’ Lantern to artistic images and objects.
However, it is essential to pick out the right pumpkin for whatever you want to do. Pumpkins are organic and are readily perishable. Rotten pumpkin fruits are just too soft to cut through and would make a mess. Below are the top signs you should note as you pick out your pumpkin for the perfect spooky Halloween.
You might be visiting a pumpkin patch for your pumpkins or the produce section of your local grocery store. Whichever of the two sources you decide to use, relying on visual cues is one of the first ways to tell if your pumpkin is perfect for Halloween. The pumpkin has to have the perfect orange.
It helps if the farmers use the right kind of water to water their pumpkin patch. Hard water might hamper the right results as nutrients are harder to get absorbed. The standard solution is to use water softeners to ensure optimal nutrient absorption. But what is the perfect setup for a pumpkin patch? It depends on your water source and the installation scale your budget can handle.
The perfect orange for a ripe, strong pumpkin is a deep shade with an even consistency. Since pumpkins are organic fruits, it won’t be difficult to tell: a pale orange or a patchy color is a dead giveaway to an under-ripe or diseased pumpkin.
Say your selected pumpkin passes the color test. It still has to pass the knock test. Typically, the perfect pumpkin gets slightly hollowed as it gets ripe. Its innards dry up, leaving cavities inside. It means that you should get hollow feedback when you knock on the fruit. Try spinning the pumpkin around and hitting on several random spots to ensure it sounds ripe all through.
One other way you can check if the pumpkin is the one to pick is by checking its bottom. Due to the nature of the fruit’s growth, pumpkins grow on the ground – same as other fruits in the Melon family. It makes their bottoms prone to decomposition and rot. But the decay doesn’t always show on the outside.
The insides at the bottom area start decaying slowly, so everyone is none the wiser up until the point you pick up the pumpkin. Ensure to touch the base and that it doesn’t feel soft or mushy. Also, the pumpkin shouldn’t roll if you placed it on a flat surface.
The perfect pumpkin for Halloween is the one into which you can conveniently carve faces. As a result, pumpkins without bruises are the most suitable option. It isn’t as much of a defect as it is an inconvenience. You can expect a wholly healthy fruit with a bit of bruise on it. However, it’s still not the best idea to pick a bruised-up pumpkin. Knife strokes might be harder to make due to uneven surfaces, and the result might be a gnarly mess.
It is essential to check the pumpkin’s stem (your preferred pumpkin must have a branch). You should check, especially when you’re buying from the grocery store’s produce section. If you are on the pumpkin patch, you can expect the farmer to cut above the stem by default.
More importantly, you’d need to handle the stems carefully. While pumpkin stems should be firm, you shouldn’t yank at them. Never try to pick the pumpkin up by the stem as it could snap. When the pumpkin breaks, decay sets in faster than you’d like and ultimately ruin your Jack o’ Lantern moment.
Pumpkins are trendy fruits and herald a specific (Halloween) theme wherever you find them. They make for good decoration, as you can carve shapes and faces, and your creativity can allow. However, since it’s an organic item, it is perishable and prone to impacts and defects. The above signs should enable you to avoid picking a rotten pumpkin, which would suck on Halloween night.