Tips for Your Jack-O-Lantern
It's that time of year to pick out a special pumpkin and turn it into a work of your own personal expression. I suggest not carving the pumpkin until around a week before Halloween. And as you are carving your pumpkin, be sure to save the seeds to roast them in the oven. After you have finished your work of art, here are some ways to keep your jack-o-lantern fresh so it won't rot prematurely before the special day.
There are different things you can use to try to help preserve your Jack-O-Lantern. A few of them are listed below:
Pumpkin Fresh - This is a premixed commercial product you can buy at the store and spray into the jack-o-lantern.
Vaseline - Rub some petroleum jelly all inside the jack-o-lantern walls and cover the insides of the cut places too. I like to use a sandwich bag to put my hand into so I keep my hand vaseline-free.
Bleach - Mix a solution of 1 teaspoon of bleach with a quart of water. Spray the inside of the pumpkin with the mixture. Some people even suggest soaking the jack-o-lantern in the bleach mixture for several hours right after carving. The water supposedly gets soaked into the pumpkin. Then dry the outside and spray the inside of the jack-o-lantern with the mixture. To take it another step further, you can spray the inside with the mixture each day to keep it moist with the water and kill mold with the bleach.
Acrylic spray or vegetable oil - Spray inside the pumpkin to lightly coat the walls and open areas where it is cut.
Check out this great page about which method works best: Jack-O-Lantern Experiment.
To Carve or Not to Carve
Did you carve a pumpkin this year?
Cut a hole for the candle in the bottom of the pumpkin, that way you can just set it on top of the tea light easily.
If you keep the jack-o-lantern out of heat when possible and only burn a candle at night - or even use a battery-operated candle, that will help keep it from drying out as quickly.
Sprinkle some cinnamon inside the jack-o-lantern it will give off a nice scent when you light a tea light in it.