Magazine article Sunset

Harvest of Surprises

Magazine article Sunset

Harvest of Surprises

Article excerpt

Gourds, pumpkins, and winter squash are easy to grow, and they make great harvest decorations. Gourds are mostly for show, but tiny pumpkins make festive serving bowls when stuffed and baked, and squash have tasty flesh inside.

We grew a wheelbarrowful of these beauties in Sunset's test garden one summer. Here are our favorites. Sow the seeds when the soil warms up in spring so you'll have crops by the first frost. For seed sources, see page 96).

GOURDS. Their colors, shapes, and textures vary wildly. You'll find small ones with smooth, orange shells; lumpy ones with wart-covered shells in orange and green; and spoon gourds with curved necks, or "handles," in solids and bicolors. Calabash gourds with elongated necks have hard shells that turn from green to yellow or brown as they age. 'Crown of Thorns' gourds have multicolored shells with curved spurs resembling stubby fingers. `Turk's 'Turban' looks like a squat pumpkin striped in orange, cream, and green; its flesh is edible.

MINIATURE PUMPKINS. …

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