Decorative gourds and pumpkins are already filling store shelves, tempting those who seek an inexpensive way to add a festive autumnal touch to their homes. Their white, green, and orange hues and patterns Halloween and Thanksgiving well.
When buying gourds and pumpkins, one should keep the following tips in mind:
1.) Avoid those gourds and pumpkins missing their stalks. The stalks should be attached and somewhat firm. Gourds and pumpkins with broken or missing stalks tend to have a shorter lifespan and do not keep as well as those with intact ones.
2.) Any blemishes, bruises, or dents should not appear on the gourds and pumpkins unless they are already scarred with callous tissue from ripening in the fields.
3.) Aim for a variety of colors and shapes unless you have a mono-arrangement in mind. It keeps things more interesting rather than a solitary gourd or pumpkin on the porch or in the kitchen. Sometimes an exception can be made for a white pumpkin such as 'Lumina' or blue-grey 'Queensland Blue' where one itself is enough to create an impact.
4.) Wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth to clean the dirt and debris off. The presentation is more attractive if the gourds and pumpkins are clean.