Pumpkin pots

Pumpkins filled with flowers or foliage make great centerpieces

Pumpkin pots

Jamie Hadley

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In "Theme in Yellow," Carl Sandburg wrote of "orange and tawny gold clusters" that "light the prairie cornfields." This month, orange globes carved with spooky faces will light up front porches. For a striking centerpiece to accompany the decor, fill a large pumpkin with flowers and foliage to brighten a party table. Since you start with moistened potting soil, you may not need to add water. If the top of the soil begins to dry out, moisten it gently--don't drench it.

Pumpkin vases will last 10 to 14 days in a cool area before they begin to soften and need to be discarded. Move the plants into the garden or a permanent container. For small and medium pumpkins, use sixpacks or 2-inch pots. For bigger pumpkins, use 4-inch or larger pots.

DIRECTIONS

1. Slice off the top third of the pumpkin.

2. Scoop out the pulp and seeds.

3. Fill the pumpkin cavity about two-thirds full with moistened potting soil.

Give nursery seedlings a thorough soak, then pop them out of their containers and arrange them in a pleasing composition in the pumpkin. Fill empty spaces between plants with more moistened potting soil, tamping the rootballs firmly to stabilize the plantings.

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