Our kick off fall to was amazing thanks to all of you! Laughter, smiles and even a few tears were shared in the barn all weekend long. Life moves faster every day and it seems time holds still for just a bit when you are here. Because our calendars are overflowing we seem to crave the comforts of the season – like pumpkins, mums, gourds and cozy décor. We thought we would share a few tips to keep your gourds, pumpkins and mums looking fresh this fall!
Tips to enjoy your pumpkins & gourds longer:
- Buy pumpkins that are ripe, clean and have a good stem.
- Clean each pumpkin in a bleach water solution when you get it home. This takes care of any bacteria or mold growth that could cause your pumpkin to get mushy or rot before you’ve enjoyed it all season
- For the longest life — keep it dry and out of harsh direct sunlight
- If you want a shiny pumpkin that will last even longer — coat it with Vaseline, WD-40 or a floor wax solution
In our area, simply buying clean pumpkins and keeping them from getting soggy is usually enough to preserve it. The shelf life of pumpkin is quite long making it a favorite for settlers in early America. They would store them in dry attics or pantries and enjoy all winter long. When it is time to carve or cut that pumpkin — fresh pumpkin pie is easier than you think and everyone enjoys baked pumpkin seeds — delicious!!
For mum care:
- Mums love morning sun and afternoon shade
- Cooler nights and day time temps in the 70’s are best. If the weather heats up to the high 80’s and 90’s for a day or two — put them in full shade or in the garage or house for a short time to slow the blooms
- Mums usually require daily watering but good drainage, so make sure to remove any excess water from a drip tray after watering
- If you plant mums here in Iowa and Illinois, do it in early fall so the roots have time to develop before a hard frost. When blooms expire, cut the plant down to ground level and mulch 4-5″ deep. Mums are for zones 5-9 and we are on the border of zones 4-5. If your mums come back in the spring they will bloom in early summer, so keep them clipped back until closer to fall to enjoy fall blooms
Although, our mums are hardy, most people simply enjoy them as a potted plant for fall and enjoy shopping for fresh blooms each fall along with pumpkins and gourds. Have you decorated for fall yet? Have any advice to add for plant care?
Later this week, we will be on Paula Sands Live talking fall decor trends and faux pumpkins. I will be sure to share here too!
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