5 more days! Yes, the countdown to Halloween has begun! I’m really excited because I love seeing so many pumpkins everywhere. My friends at the Dallas Arboretum had a great idea for all of their pumpkins. They made pumpkin houses, pumpkin landscapes and a huge pumpkin village out of them.
It took more than 40,000 pumpkins to create these gardens bursting with fall colors. That’s a lot of pumpkins. I don’t have that many pumpkins but even with a couple we can have tons of fun!
What we really do is create pumpkin obstacle courses. Use small pumpkins like orange sports cones and zig-zag in and out of them. You’ll be surprised how much the kids get into it. Let them create a course for you too. We often play so hard that we never get to even carving our pumpkins. We wind up doing that the next day! (Last Halloween we actually carved our pumpkins the day after! I guess when I saw I’m flexible when it comes to playing it’s true!)
Play with your friends to warm up for trick-or-treating!
With pumpkins growing in the garden, it’s hard to not imagine how you’re going to carve them up for Halloween. Only problem is it’s way too early to pick them so here’s an alternative…add a monogram or your first initial to the pumpkins your growing.
If you have pumpkins or other squash growing in your garden that are still the size of a small melon or softball, you can carve a letter or face into it and watch it grow.
Use an old ballpoint pen to sketch the first letter of your name into the skin of the pumpkin. Press hard enough to scrape off the top layer of the skin but don’t push the pen already into the pumpkin. If you put a hole in the pumpkin it will attract ants and other pests and will make your pumpkin rot.
The letter or drawing will “scar” as the pumpkin tries to heal itself. Come check on your pumpkin every few days and watch your initial grow. See how it changes sizes and shape as the pumpkin gets bigger and bigger.
I am often asked in September when families should plant pumpkin seeds for Halloween pumpkin carving. It’s a great question but my answer is always shocking and sad for them. I shout out "May", which is then met with a wave of emotion from surprise, to sadness, to utter disappointment. I’ve seen the hashtag #pumpkinparentfail from a number of friends.
The time to change that is now!
Here are my tips to get your pumpkins planted and ready in time for tricks, treats, and fall recipes.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.