Pike Nurseries offers advice for picking the perfect pumpkin.

Horticulture experts help gardeners decorate for the season with fall Do-It-Yourself projects

By Pike Nurseries October 1, 2020

It’s a pumpkin palooza at Pike Nurseries! This October, the Southeast’s favorite garden center gets a jump start on fall traditions with pumpkins varieties in all shapes and sizes. The experts recommend planning ahead for a pumpkin’s use – whether carving or cooking. Carving pumpkins are desired for their nice shape and smooth surfaces, whereas cooking pumpkins are known for their flavor and texture. The centerpiece for fall décor, long-lasting heirloom pumpkins and gourds are used for seasonal displays in homes, gardens and tabletops throughout the season.

When selecting a pumpkin or gourd, the experts at Pike Nurseries recommend looking for a firm option without cuts, soft spots and darkening bruises or blemishes – all signs of rot that will make the pumpkin decay more quickly – and avoid carrying them by their delicate stems. Gardeners should look for deep orange colors for the skin and green for the stems.

Pumpkins Varieties

No matter the purpose – carving, decorating or cooking – there’s a perfect pumpkin for the job.

  • Classic Orange The tried-and-true carving pumpkin is a classic staple of the season! Look for individual pumpkins free of imperfections on at least one side that make a hollow sound when tapped. Large pumpkins will maximize creativity and give more of a canvas to work with for jaw-dropping Jack-o’-lantern designs – from scary to silly. Pike Nurseries makes decorating at a discount simple with the All-You-Can-Carry Pumpkin Challenge, where guests are invited to carry as many medium-sized classic orange pumpkins as possible for only $24.99! Pike Nurseries employee-owners will be social distancing, so shoppers are encouraged to bring a family member to help stack.
  • Heirlooms Heirloom varieties are perfectly imperfect, offering a trendier approach to decorating. These popular pumpkins tend to be flatter on top, making them ideal for stacking, and have unique characteristics such as deep ribs and a variety of colors from white to gray-green to sunset red. Mix and match small and large heirlooms on tabletops, stoops or around fall container gardens for a festive display!
  • Gourds These relatives to the pumpkin offer a wide variety of options that enhance any display. With hundreds of types, including swan-necked, ridged and bumpy, gourds are a must-have for table and front door décor.
  • Knucklehead Pumpkins Create a creepy aesthetic with varieties that have naturally occurring flaws like wart-riddled and bumpy skin, resulting in a devious display! These can easily be added to traditional pumpkins or heirlooms in unique fall accents or used as unusual carving pumpkins.
  • Pie Pumpkins Don’t forget to grab a few for recipes! While most pumpkins are edible, the smaller ones are favored for pies and other pumpkin-flavored sweets because of the higher sugar content and thicker, softer flesh. Pie pumpkins are ideal for roasting, desserts, soups and more seasonal dishes – offering a nutritious treat without the tricks!

31 Days of Pumpkins Pumpkins come in different shapes and sizes, lending to a vast range of uses and personalities. Simple Do-It-Yourself projects can transform pumpkins into festive indoor and outdoor arrangements. The experts at Pike Nurseries have outlined a few of their favorites to help get started:  

DIY Decoupage Pumpkins
Families can use the colorful foliage of fall clipped from the garden to create stunning decorated pumpkins. Consider color and texture when choosing leaves and pick a collection that will complement each other.

DIY Succulent Pumpkin Planter
Succulent lovers can incorporate this waterwise plant in an heirloom pumpkin craft! Since the pumpkins won't be carved, this long-lasting DIY can grace porches or tables from Halloween to Thanksgiving.

DIY Pumpkin Topiary
Decorators can play with different sizes and shapes of pumpkins to create a topiary that’ll fit the designated space and décor style.

DIY Jack-o-Plantern
Gardeners can create a pumpkin planter by cutting open a pumpkin and planting favorite fall flowers and foliage inside! Be sure to read the recommended care instructions.

Pike Nurseries provides homeowners with horticultural excellence and top-notch services. Home Garden Consultations are perfect for homeowners in need of advice on specific garden issues or plant identification and care tips. The Pick ‘n Plant service allows customers to choose their own plants in one of 19 retail stores and have certified installation partners plant for them. A custom landscape design and installation from Pike Nurseries can include patios, walkways, drainage solutions, retaining walls and of course, plants. Homeowners can schedule a landscape designer home visit by booking online or calling 855-444-7453 toll-free.

In an effort to keep customers safe, all Pike Nurseries locations are now exclusively offering delivery and curbside pick-up. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Customers can complete an online form or call a local store to order, and a Pike Nurseries employee-owner will return the call to personally consult on the request and finalize the order.

Pike Nursery, Buckhead
4020 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: 404-843-9578

Pike Nurseries, Acworth
3602 Cobb Parkway
Acworth, Georgia 30101
Phone: 678-574-5868

Pike Nurseries, Milton
3155 Bethany Bend
Milton, Georgia 30004
Phone: 678-433-9060

Pike Nurseries, Cumming
6050 Bethelview Road
Cumming, Georgia 30040
Phone: 770-205-1737

Pike Nurseries, East Cobb
2900 Johnson Ferry Road
Marietta, Georgia 30062
Phone: 770-640-6468

Pike Nurseries, Suwanee
1105 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
Suwanee, Georgia 30024
Phone: 770-271-5433

Pike Nurseries, Toco Hills
2101 LaVista Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30329
Phone: 404-634-8604

Pike Nurseries, Marietta
1875 Roswell Road
Marietta, Georgia 30062
Phone: 770-977-3040

Pike Nurseries, Johns Creek
5795 State Bridge Road
Alpharetta, Georgia 30022
Phone: 770-813-5050

Pike Nurseries, Lindbergh
2410 Camellia Lane NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30324
Phone: 404-869-2875

Pike Nurseries, West Cobb
3431 Barrett Parkway, NW
Marietta, Georgia 30064
Phone: 770-423-1650

Pike Nurseries, Towne Lake
2475 Towne Lake Parkway
Woodstock, Georgia 30189
Phone: 770-926-3252

Please view other Pike Nurseries articles: Online Advice with Kid’s Corner, Stressless, plant more: Pike reveals top benefits of gardening, Juicy tips for tasty tomatoes, Tips for planting modern-day victory gardenspersonalized container gardens, Garden-Themed Learningand Top essentials for a colorful spring garden.

For more information on Pike Nurseries, follow along with Pike Nurseries on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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