Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When it comes to fall floral materials there are more choices than ever before. Here are some recommended items for fall harvest floral displays in 2010.
You no longer have to settle for plain orange pumpkins for fall floral designs. Knuckle Heads pumpkin is a delightful, large fruited variety. This is referred to as a ‘super freaky’ type due to its unique appearance. Over the surface of the orange rind are numerous large orange warts. This variety is ready to harvest about 105 days from the time the seeds are planted. The fruits weigh between 12 and 16 pounds.
I also like Goose Bumps pumpkin. It is another of the warty varieties. The fruits are broad and round, while Knuckle Heads is taller and more slender. The warts on Goose Bumps appear larger than those on Knuckle Heads. Goose Bumps is ready to pick in about 95 days from planting time. The fruits weigh between eight and 12 pounds.
Kamo Kamo resembles a two toned pumpkin. In fact, this is one of the rounded, pumpkin-like winter squash. The fruits are about seven inches wide. The coloring can vary slightly. It is often yellow-orange with streaks of deep green or greenish-black. It is ready to harvest in about 95 days from planting time.
Bat Wing is a novelty acorn squash that would be good for fall floral use. These are bicolored with vivid orange paired with deep green or black splotches. The color depends on the growing conditions. Some fruits are more orange than others. However, all will have irregularly shaped patches of deep green or black near the stems. These are generally about six inches wide. Bat Wing is ready to harvest in about 75 days.
Red Warty Thing is a novel hubbard squash. These fruits are fairly large—up to 20 pounds. They’re around 1¼ feet in height. It is named for the beautiful orange-red coloring decorated with warts. This is ready to harvest in about 110 days from planting time.
Speckled Hound winter squash is a novelty variety for fall. The top is rather flattened. It has regularly spaced ribs. This is pale to medium orange with blue to green irregularly shaped lines running partway down the ribs. This is ready to harvest in about 95 days.
I like Lil Pump-Ke-Mon because of its diminutive size and unique coloring. This is a hybrid with mini fruits that only weigh one to two pounds. These are white with delicate green and pale orange lines running down the ribs down from the stem to the base. They’re rather flat looking for a pumpkin. This is ready for harvest in around 100 days.
For something unusual try one of the white pumpkins. Baby Boo bears miniature fruits that are small enough to fit in your hand. They weigh four ounces or less. These are ready to harvest in 100 days. Harvest on time as the fruits can become pale yellow when they complete ripen.
Cotton Candy pumpkins are also white skinned. These are large fruits—somewhere between five and 12 pounds. They’re ready to harvest in about 110 days—somewhat later than some pumpkins. After harvesting, keep these in a shady place as too much sun can affect the white color.
Thompson and Morgan has added one of the super freaky pumpkins to its 2010 lineup. Freaky Tom pumpkin is an especially warted type. The fruits weigh up to 14 pounds, and are nearly a foot across. These are deep orange with a tall, slender shape. The surface is dotted with thick warts. Freaky Tom is ready to harvest in about 105 days.
In addition to the usual autumn hued ornamental corns, consider Green and Gold dent corn. This has lovely large, bicolored ornamental corn ears. Bright green and cream colored kernels form alternating rows of color. This is ready to harvest in about 95 days.