Pumpkins and gourds make great fall decorations. Use them indoors or outside for colorful displays.

Darla Horner Menking | Herald

Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I got to thinking about all the fall decorations I’ve seen on and around everyone’s front porches.

Pumpkins seem to be the most popular and taking kiddos to pumpkin patches is all the rage.

I did some Internet searching and came across a cute list found in Vala’s Pumpkin Patch Fall Fun Cookbook.

I hope you enjoy it.

Ten Pumpkin Commandments

1. Thou shalt not carry pumpkins by the stem.

2. Thou shalt not drop or kick pumpkins.

3. Thou shalt not display or store pumpkins on a cement surface.

4. Thou shalt not steal pumpkins from fields, gardens or porches.

5. Thou shalt not envy thy neighbors’ pumpkins.

6. Thou shalt not throw pumpkins.

7. Thou shalt wash pumpkins to protect them against spoilage.

8. Thou shalt store pumpkins in a cool, dry place.

9. Thou shalt love and cherish thy pumpkins.

10. Thou shalt make pumpkins a part of the Halloween tradition.

More suggestions

A few more suggestions for pumpkins kept outdoors are: Before buying a pumpkin, check to make sure there are no soft spots that could rot easily; keep them out of direct sunlight if possible; and spray a clear coat of sealer on outdoor pumpkins to discourage squirrels and other pests from eating on them.

Pumpkins, along with gourds and squash, also make wonderful indoor fall decorations and centerpieces.

They’re very earthy, natural, not very expensive, and come in a variety of colors, shapes and textures.

Pumpkins kept indoors can be eaten and are very nutritious. Pumpkin can be baked, boiled, frozen, boiled and pureed.

I love this time of the year, the change in weather and the excitement of upcoming holidays and family get-togethers.

And adding to that the decorating of my home with items from nature … well, it feels right and looks even better.

Darla Horner Menking is a Texas Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at darla.menking@gmail.com

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