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Fall Classic Pumpkins

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October 22, 2016
Our friend Jason has converted an old baseball field into a pumpkin patch and to play off the classic movie line, “if you plant them, they will grow”, pumpkins that is. Pumpkins, as well as gourds and squash, are interesting plants and many folks don’t know that they have both male and female flowers. The male flowers have only the pollen producing stamens. The female flowers have the pistil and have what looks like a baby pumpkin behind the flower. It’s pretty easy to see the difference, but it’s also important to know that the actual pumpkin comes only from the pollinated female flowers. Bumblebees primarily do the important job of pollination, getting covered in pollen from the male flowers, and fertilize the female flowers with the pollen while they search for nectar. Pumpkins, gourds, and squash come in all kinds of shapes, including round, flat, and oblong. They have necks, wings, and warts. They can be quite big, and pretty small. Everyone knows about orange pumpkins, but they also come in blue, green, white, and even bright and vibrant multi-colors. Pumpkins, gourds, and squash make great fall decorations. I love these unigue stacks using flat Cinderella Pumpkins. But besides decorating, did you know these beautiful pumpkins are also edible? And I’m talking about a LOT more than pumpkin pie. Try some pumpkin in soups, pasta, mashed pumpkin, breads, and cookies as well. The baseball roots of this pumpkin patch inspire me. For some reason, I’ve got the urge to PLAY BALL. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.
Department: Agricultural Communications

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