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Picking the Perfect Pumpkin

Updated on October 16, 2014
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Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!


It is that time of year again when many of us are searching for the perfect pumpkins. Many different places are now fully stocked with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Grocery stores, discount stores, and farmer's markets all have pumpkins for sale. You may also opt to have fun going to an actual farm and picking a pumpkin from a patch. Before making your decision, you need to consider why you are buying the pumpkin.

Are you going to carve the pumpkin? Are you going to use it as a centerpiece for an event? Perhaps you are going to put the pumpkin out on your door step, but never carve it. Maybe you just want something small for you desk at work. Or better yet, you might be buying a pumpkin so you can bake something with it. There are actually more pumpkin options than one might imagine.

To Carve or Not to Carve? That is the Question!

When you are buying a pumpkin, you need to ask yourself if you are going to carve it? If the answer is yes, then you need to seriously consider the size. A pumpkin that is too small is going to be difficult to carve. Yes, some folks are up for a good challenge, but if you aren't, I would not recommend a small pumpkin. Of course, a huge pumpkin can be just as problematic as a small pumpkin. You need a nice medium size for your carving adventure. Be realistic about your abilities, too. If you really do not enjoy carving a pumpkin, that is all the more reason not to get carried away with a giant pumpkin.

Perhaps you are more of a "pumpkin artist" instead. If you decide you'd rather just paint the face on the pumpkin, you can pick any size you like. Once again, remember to be realistic. Are you picking this up on a farm and toting this halfway across a field to a car? You don't need to bother showing everyone just how strong you are when carrying a pumpkin. Leave the enormous pumpkin for someone else. A medium pumpkin looks quite fine painted.

Make sure to check your pumpkin for spots when picking it out. This is especially the case if you are hoping your pumpkin will live a long, happy life at your home. One spot can turn into a nasty, giant spot in a short period of time. A pumpkin that has even the slightest split or gash in it will attract bugs and rot quickly. So make sure you really give your pumpkin a nice inspection before bringing it home.

Also, if you are planning on carving your pumpkin, make sure the pumpkin has a nice long stem. This is perfect for cutting a lid on the top of the jack o' lattern. If the stem is too short, it is difficult to take the lid on and off to light the candles. Just remember, if you are planning on carving a pumpkin, your pumpkin is going to rot much faster. Make sure to take that into consideration when buying the pumpkin and determining the day you want to carve it.

Non-Traditional Pumpkins

You may be the type that wants a really cute pumpkin, yet you don't want to do the work. Have no fear! There are pumpkins on sale that are already painted. Available at most grocery stores are pumpkins that are painted with plenty of different options. Of course, they are going to be more expensive, but if you really aren't the creative type, this might be the best option for you. The only problem with these pumpkins is that you will not be able to see if they've covered any of the "bad spots" with paint.

The invasion of the white pumpkin is upon us! Recently, I've been seeing more white pumpkins in stores this year for Halloween. If you'd like to have something a little different for Halloween, the white pumpkin is perfect. I assume you could carve a pretty awesome ghost face into a white pumpkin. For that matter, vampires are very pale and in style this year, so perhaps you can buy a white pumpkin and carve a vampire face into it. It should be lots of fun!

What is most important when picking out a pumpkin is having fun! Don't stress too much over the minor details. Just pick the best looking pumpkin available and don't get too bummed out if it doesn't last too long. Also, remember when you go to carve the pumpkin, you can save whatever you take out and use it for baking later on. It is the perfect way to make sure your pumpkin doesn't go to waste and you got the most out of it. Happy Halloween!


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