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A Guide to the Different Kinds of Pumpkins (& How to Pick the Right One)

Written by Grace & Silas
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I LOVE pumpkins.

And guess what? It’s fall which means that it’s actually appropriate to have pumpkins decorating your home.

But this also means that I have an excuse to actually write about pumpkins and create a mini-guide to some that you might want to have in your yard.

Related: 25 Photos That’ll Make You Even Happier that it’s Fall

But first! A few tips on how to pick the right pumpkin…

General Tips

  • Make sure to check pumpkins for soft spots, bruises, and cuts. Even a small cut can let in disease and once it starts to rot, it happens quickly.
  • When you pick a pumpkin, never pick it up by the stem. It can easily break off and open the pumpkin up to diseases.
  • If picking the pumpkin off the vine yourself, make sure to pick it when the vine has dried up and it’s fully finished turning color. 

For Eating

  • Their names will usually allude to the fact that they’re meant for desserts, such as ‘Small Sugar Pumpkin.’
  • These kinds of pumpkins usually weigh around 4-8 pounds.
  • Other varieties will include, ‘Ghost Rider,’ ‘Baby Pam,’ ‘Autumn Gold,’ & ‘Rouge Vif D’Etampes’ (this last one is harder to shell).
  • Crookneck pumpkins are easier to peel and aren’t stringy which also makes them a great option.
  • You can roast the seeds of any kind of pumpkin.
  • Don’t be put off by a pumpkin with a dull shell; the flesh of the pumpkin is still good and will even get sweeter.

For Carving

  • You want a round pumpkin, not an oblong one since those are more stringy.
  • Tap the pumpkin and look for a hollow sound. This means that the walls aren’t too think and the light can properly get through and show your carving details. You can also determine this by the weight; if it’s really heavy, then that’s a good sign that it’s very thick.
  • Avoid pumpkins that have a shell that feels as hard as wood. These can be difficult and actually dangerous to try to cut through.
  • Make sure that your pumpkin is able to sit upright so that it doesn’t go rolling around when you’re trying to display it.

Quick Note: If you have a favorite pumpkin that’s not shown down below, then let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about it (and I might add it 😉 )!

A Guide on the Different Kinds of Pumpkins

Jarrahdale

What You Need to Know: 

  1. Delicious and not very stringing, they’re a great pop of color for your home.
  2. Other similar varieties: Kakai, Blue Lakota, & Blue Max

Sunlight Pumpkins

What You Need to Know: Not too big and not too small, it makes a great sized pumpkin that’ll add some brightness to your porch. BUT if you want a larger variety, then Mellow Yellow is the way to go.

Crystal Star

What You Need to Know: White pumpkins tend to change color when they age. However, this one keeps its color throughout its life, allowing you to have a ghoulish white hue for your carved pumpkin.

Jack-Be-Little

What You Need to Know: 

  1. Edible and become more orange as they ripen. 
  2. Other similar varieties include Sweetie Pie & Baby Boo.

One Too Many Pumpkin

What You Need to Know: A uniquely pretty pumpkin that’s great to decorate your front porch with. But they’re also great for carving & eating. 🙂 

Cinderella

What You Need to Know: 

  1. Moist and sweet which makes it great for pies, but it can also be used as a beautiful decor piece.
  2. Also, looks great when stacked with like-pumpkins (or different varieties).

Flat White Boer Ford

What You Need to Know: This one is great for pies as it has a small seed cavity (which means more pumpkin for cooking).

Field Trip F1 Hybrid

What You Need to Know: They weight around 5-7 Ib. and are great for kids to grab when at the pumpkin patch.

Porcelain Doll Pink Pumpkin

What You Need to Know: These pink pumpkins were created for a good cause; to spread awareness of breast cancer. And the sale of these pumpkins goes towards a foundation that helps with breast cancer research.

New England Cheddar

What You Need to Know: Has a high sugar content which makes it great for pies.

Musee de Provence

What You Need to Know: Rich & dense which is great for pies, but also great to display with seasonal flowers.


I hope this very simple pumpkin guide was able to help you decide what to get this fall. And if you have any favorite pumpkins that weren’t shown, then let me know in the comments down below! I’d love to hear about them. 🙂

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Meet Silas & Grace

Silas and Grace always had a passion for travel. So in 2016, they started Chasing Foxes as an independent income source. 4 months after launch, they were making enough money from their blog to travel full-time, and in the past 5 years, they’ve been able to encourage others in their blogging journeys too. Learn more about Silas & Grace.

A grayscale side portrait of Silas and Grace Moser of Chasing Foxes kissing one another.

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