Excess water and heat seem to be rotting pumpkins faster than usual


HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY — Halloween is this weekend which means very soon a lot of pumpkins will be thrown away. But even before this week, pumpkins have been going bad faster than usual this year.

“We’ve had so much rain, the ones we picked early in September are much healthier, I think they’ll last longer. Anything we picked later, they look beautiful in a bin, you wait a week later and go back, you see them forming mold and getting soft and going bad. It’s because they’re just so full of water,” explained John Lucas, Owner, Lucas Farms.

Lucas says on top of the extra water it’s also been hot and that hasn’t helped the pumpkins after the harvest.

“Once the damage has been done and the mold is in there, deterioration is gonna continue and there’s nothing you can do,” said Lucas.

If you’re figuring out what to do with your pumpkins, one of the more mutually beneficial options is composting at a facility.

“Composting alleviates the waste from landfills, where we can take it and turn it into something beneficial as a soil amendment. Where it’s good to rotate moisture in the soil and it puts nutrients into the soil,” explained Jason Tarnowsky, Operations Manager, Earth Conservancy Project.

But you don’t have to go to a compost center with your old pumpkins as composting can be easy.

“Take an area of your home and there are special bins for this perhaps they could put the material in the compost bins, generate the raw compost and use that in their backyard gardens,” said Tarnowsky.

Gardners can also contact local farms as some will take old pumpkins to place right back in their fields for plant feed.

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