The Perfect Time To Put Out Your Pumpkins This Fall

Let's be honest: A lot of us tend to jump the gun when it comes to fall trends. As soon as September 1 hits, most of us are pulling out our autumn attire and expecting our seasonal coffee drinks to be available. Moreover, pumpkin picking and carving is a treasured fall activity most people love, as we can design whatever face we'd like, then plop them onto our front porch for the whole neighborhood to see. Popping a pumpkin to your porch instantly revives the autumn spirit, and not much more has to be added to achieve the desired look you're going for. However, putting out your pumpkins too soon may be more of a hassle than you think.

The saying "there's never a perfect time to start" fits most aspects of life, but not when it comes to pumpkin décor. The lifespan of a pumpkin is drastically different if carved or uncarved, according to Celebrat, so knowing how long it lasts will determine exactly when you pick it off the vine and how you will design it.

The perfect temperature

Celebrat says an uncarved pumpkin typically lasts two to three months when kept in a cool environment, whereas if carved, it can only last a few days — so you probably shouldn't start cutting it until a few days before Halloween. Temperature is also a defining factor, and WQAD says you can put the carved décor out when it's between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures are higher or lower than these margins, it's advised to keep the pumpkins inside.

If you're worried about your carved pumpkins rotting, Kitchn says you should first obtain them at a local farm and ensure they don't have too many dents or soft spots, as these are signs they are already rotting. You'll then carve the fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit!) out and make sure it's clean and dry — the cleaner it is, the slower it will rot. It's advised to then pour 1 tablespoon of peppermint soap into 1 quart of water — peppermint is known to have anti-fungal properties — and then use a spray bottle to coat the pumpkin's interior. If the temperature outside is still too warm during this process, wrap the big orange fruit in a trash bag and keep it in the refrigerator overnight.

Uncarved pumpkins offer a more flexible timeline

Your timeline is a bit more flexible if you're dealing with uncarved pumpkins. You can start putting them out from early to late September; however, the first two weeks of October are best as the temperatures are typically cooler, per Martha Stewart. If you live in a warmer climate, faux pumpkins may be your new best friend, as they won't deteriorate in the heat and will survive throughout fall.

This is also an opportunity to take on a more artsy approach, and Empress of Dirt says you can use paint to create whatever design you'd like on the fruit rather than carve it. They say spray paint and thick acrylic paint will work best on a pumpkin, and using a primer or seal that contains polyurethane will make covering the surface easier. You can also design your uncarved pumpkin with random objects around the house. For example, use its stem as a nose and coins and buttons for the eyes and mouth. Another cute idea is to decorate with watermelons, squashes, and gourds to create an adorable Halloween family. If you have a garden, also consider picking a few flowers and using them to design each pumpkin.