Fall is the season of bountiful harvests, vibrant colors, and festivities. If you’re looking to embrace the spirit of autumn and make the most of your garden, growing pumpkins, gourds, squash, and decorative fall corn is a fantastic idea. Let’s dive into how you can cultivate these seasonal delights at home and discover creative ways to use the surplus.

Planting. Choose a well-drained area with plenty of sunlight for planting. These plants love warmth and sunlight.Start seeds indoors about 2-4 weeks before the last expected frost date, then transplant them outdoors after the frost has passed.

Soil and fertilization. Ensure the soil is rich, well-draining, and slightly acidic. Incorporate compost or well-rotted manure for better fertility. Fertilize at planting and during the growing season to promote healthy growth.

Watering. Pumpkins, gourds, squash, and corn need consistent moisture, especially during the flowering and fruiting stages. Water deeply when the soil is dry.

Pest control. Monitor for common garden pests like aphids, squash bugs, and powdery mildew. Use organic insecticides or neem oil to protect your plants.

Harvesting. Harvest pumpkins and squash when they have a deep color and a hard rind. Gourds can be collected once they have fully matured and dried on the vine. As for decorative fall corn, harvest it when the husks are dry and the kernels are hardened.


“What do I do with all of these gourds?!”

Pumpkins, squash, decorative gourds and fall corn can surprise the beginner gardener with an overwhelming abundance of fresh produce. Sometimes these crops just really take off and take over your yard! So then you might be wondering what to do with all of it. 

Create decorative displays. Arrange the gourds, pumpkins, squash, and fall corn in decorative displays on your porch, entryway, or dining table to add a festive touch to your home. 

Make autumn wreaths. Create autumn wreaths by incorporating dried gourds, mini pumpkins, and corn husks. Hang them on your front door to welcome fall.

Craft seasonal centerpieces. Hollow out small pumpkins and gourds to use as natural vases for floral centerpieces. Fill them with autumn blooms for a rustic look.

Consider other home décor. Paint or decorate pumpkins and gourds with your family, turning them into fun and colorful pieces of home decor.

Make homemade bird feeders. Hollow out larger gourds and fill them with birdseed. Hang them in your garden to attract birds and add a charming touch to your outdoor space.

Whip up culinary delights. Utilize surplus pumpkins and squash for delicious fall recipes like soups, pies, bread, or roasted vegetables. Pinterest will give you more ideas than you can use in a lifetime!

Preserve your corn. Preserve decorative fall corn by drying it and using it in future crafting projects or as natural fall decor.

Give them as gifts. Any of the above ideas also make terrific gifts for an autumn-loving friend or neighbor. 

Donate to a food bank. Any edible pumpkins or gourds will be much appreciated by your local food bank. Food banks often report that they already have plenty of peanut butter and canned goods, and would love to distribute more healthy fresh produce to their clients.

Embrace the beauty of the season by cultivating your own fall garden. With a little effort and creativity, you can turn your harvest into stunning decorations and delightful culinary treats. Happy gardening and happy harvesting! And as always, we’re here for you if you have questions about creating a garden space within your landscaping.