5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Pumpkin

Choose the best pumpkin for carving this Halloween!

Pumpkin Patch

One of many traditions is to pick pumpkins for Halloween! Here are 5 tips on how to pick the perfect pumpkin for carving.

Picking a Pumpkin for Carving

Whether you’re visiting the pumpkin patch, it’s always fun to find that “perfect” pumpkin. Here are 5 easy tips! 



  1. Look for a pumpkin that has a deep orange color.
  2. Knock to check that the pumpkin is hollow.
  3. Make sure the bottom of the pumpkin isn’t soft and mushy! Also, the bottom should be flat so it doesn’t roll.
  4. Check that the stem is firm and secure. Never pick a pumpkin up from the stem! It may break, which leads to faster decay.
  5. Avoid bruised pumpkins and look for a smooth surface if you’re carving. It will be much easier!

Harvesting Your Own Pumpkin

  • Your best bet is to harvest pumpkins when they are mature. They will keep best this way. Do not pick pumpkins off the vine because they have reached your desired size. If you want small pumpkins, buy a small variety.
  • If you are harvesting your own pumpkin, harvest on a dry day after the plants have died back and the skins are hard.
  • To slow decay, leave an inch or two of stem on pumpkins and winter squash when harvesting them
  • Here’s how to properly cure and store your pumpkins so it lasts longer!
  • See our free Pumpkin Growing Guide with tips on when to harvest;

The big yellow pumpkins will soon come handy to give the cows.
They help out the fall feed, and if there is anything better for cows in milk we should like to know it.

–The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Pumpkin Carving

Carving the Pumpkin

We like to pick a large pumpkin for easy carving, but also pick some small pumpkins for decorating your outside door or bringing inside the home!

For those smaller pumpkins, look for some character–bumps, wart, and funny shapes!

Ready to carve that pumpkin? See simple  pumpkin-carving tips and tricks and also some more complex pumpkin-carving tips.

More Pumpkin Fun

Here are more related articles that you might find interesting!

How to cook pumpkin plus great pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin spice mix to add to recipes or sprinkle inside your carved pumpkin.

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