How to Tell If That Pumpkin Is Going To Rot Before Halloween

urban halloween pumpkin patch
How To Pick The Best Pumpkinphoto by Pam Susemiehl / Moment - Getty Images

It's September, which means we're starting to see pumpkins at the store. But the fall season is long, from now to Halloween and through Thanksgiving. So when, exactly, is the best time to buy one and what should you look out for when pumpkin shopping? We got in touch with Katie Ross, Marketing Communications and Events Manager at Fishkill Farms in New York, who filled us in.

Mid-September through October is the ideal time for picking pumpkins. Depending on the season and weather, a pumpkin could potentially last through Thanksgiving, according to Ross.

But if you really want your pumpkin to last a while, you'll want to make sure you pick a good one to begin with. There are a few things you should keep in mind. "We recommend picking a pumpkin that's firm and solid to the touch," said Ross, who also advises carrying the pumpkin by its base. "Picking the pumpkin up by the stem could cause the stem to snap off, leaving an open wound in the pumpkin or causing it to crack upon impact with the ground."

Additionally, The Old Farmer's Almanac has a few tips on picking the best pumpkin. Give the pumpkin a knock to see if it's hollow. If it is, that means it's ripe. The skin should be hard enough that if you press a fingernail into the pumpkin it leaves a dent, but doesn't puncture it.

Want your pumpkin to make it to your Thanksgiving table? Ross says that keeping it in a cool, dry environment will help your pumpkin last longer. And when you're ready to put it to use, we have plenty of pumpkin recipes for you. Whether you're looking for something sweet like pumpkin pie or a more savory dish like pumpkin risotto, we've got you covered.

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