The smell of hot apple cider and pumpkin spice-flavored everything signifies that autumn is upon us (although, if you’re over PSLs, here’s how to get that pumpkin spice fix). And with the changing season come fall festivities—baking pies, navigating corn mazes and, of course, scouting out the best pumpkins you can get your hands on. But before you hit the pumpkin patches to find that ideal squash for carving, you’ll need to know these dos and don’ts for pumpkin picking.
Avoid Soft Spots and Cutstopseller/Shutterstock
While trekking through farm fields and nurseries, be on the lookout for pumpkins with soft spots or cuts in the skin. These are a tell-tale sign that the flesh has already begun to rot. When you see a pumpkin you like, pick it up and make sure it’s firm all over. By avoiding mushiness, you’ll improve your jack-o’-lantern’s chances of lasting until Halloween.