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How to Pick Your Perfect Pumpkin

Picking the Perfect pumpkin

Happy Fall!

In Northern Michigan this means the leaves have started changing, you pick orchards and pumpkin patches are opening for the season. Having a kids that live for pumpkin decorating we are always looking for a good pumpkin patch for a day of family fun. My son loves the activities that are provided, and he gets to try and find his perfect pumpkin. His idea of a perfect pumpkin is usually the biggest, brightest one he can find.

In a field of hundreds or a store bin full, which pumpkin is the perfect one for you? 

Picking the Perfect pumpkin

What is the Perfect Pumpkin

Knock, Knock!

Knocking on the pumpkin’s shell can help determine if the pumpkin is ripe of not. A ripe pumpkin ready to pick will make a hollow sound when tapped. Tip: If you are planning on turning your pumpkin into a carved masterpiece, consider finding an orange but not yet ripe one. Less ripe pumpkin may hold up a little longer once carved.

Soft Spots

When looking over potential pumpkins be sure to check for soft spots on the out shell. This could mean that the pumpkin has started the rotting process and won’t hold up for a Halloween decoration.

Picking the Perfect Pumpkin | Nothing DUll

Nothing Dull

When choosing a pumpkin avoid the ones that have dull coloration in spots, this could mean that the frost has done damage to it and it won’t last long.

Painting or Carving

How you decide to decorate should also be considered when you are choosing your pumpkin. Pretty much anything goes when your painting your pumpkin. Just a nice ripe not rotten pumpkin to use as your canvas.

Carving pumpkins should have all things considered size, shape, thickness and over all pumpkin condition.

Picking the Perfect Pumpkin | Painting or Carving

Perfect Pumpkin Color

Pumpkins come in a variety of colors, there is the traditional orange that is always safe. You can also get white, yellow, and green. When choosing you color, make sure it is supposed to be that color and that the pumpkin is that color all over. Slight discoloration is okay, but it shouldn’t be multiple colors.


It is always fun to have the biggest carving pumpkin you can find, but remember the bigger it is the more work it will be! Smaller pumpkins are less work and can be placed in multiple areas, the downside is they don’t have much surface area.

Make sure you are picking a size that is right for you when you get home, not one that you are in awe of at that moment. It helps to decide what your pumpkins are going to be used for ahead of time and how much space you have for your pumpkin decoration.

Picking the Perfect pumpkin | Color


If traditional id what you are going for a round or oval pumpkin with a great carving surface is what’s right for you. Unique shaped pumpkins can be fun decorations too! They may be slightly harder to carve but could make nice painting pumpkins.

Pick Your Perfect Pumpkin!

Choosing the perfect pumpkin is about knowing what to look for and avoid, but also about what you want! You decide what pumpkin is right for your home and how you want it decorated. Whether buying at a store or going to a patch, the most important thing is having fun. Use these tips to help you pick your perfect pumpkin.

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