Pumpkins make for beautiful décor. Many people pick pumpkins in the fall and display them in or outside their homes until they go rotten. Yet drying pumpkins is simple and can allow you to keep a pumpkin on display longer.
There are several different methods you can use to dry a pumpkin so that it does not rot while on display. Pumpkins, like all other gourds, need lots of air to dry properly. They can therefore dry out naturally when left unpicked and on the vine. Some believe that this is the best method to dry pumpkins, and many have found that rain or freezing temperatures do not prevent pumpkins from drying out. However, insects and animals may tarnish the appearance of the pumpkin that you are trying to preserve.
Some prefer to pick a pumpkin and allow it to dry off the ground and vine. Since pumpkins need a lot of air to dry, it is recommended that you place a pumpkin in an area where there is good air circulation. Placing a gourd in a basement or small room where the air is stagnant will prevent it from drying out.
Some people like to cut holes in the gourds to allow the water to dry out quicker. While this method of drying is the most expedient, it could result in your pumpkin rotting quicker as well. To hasten the dry without inducing rot, you could place your pumpkin near a lit fireplace as it dries out, or in a relatively warmer room.
After ten to twenty days, your pumpkin should be dry. It should now have a lighter weight, and you should be able to hear the seeds rattle around the pumpkin when it is shaken.