Pick Some Pots of Pumpkins

By Susan Littlefield

Want to get a head start on your pumpkin patch this spring? The Natural Gardening Company can help with its potted seedlings available by mail-order. New for 2011 is a unique assortment of pumpkin varieties that will delight you not only with the plants themselves, but with their wonderful names.

The 12-inch tall, 12-16 pound, deep orange fruits of 'Knucklehead' are speckled with as many warty lumps as a witch's nose. The deeply ribbed fruits of 'Speckled Hound' have a distinctive blue-green mottling over an orange background. 'Long Island Cheese,' so named for its resemblance to wheel of cheese, produces squat, 6-10 pound fruits that are great for baking. Ivory white 'Valenciano' is perfect for adding interest to fall displays, and the orange flesh of its 10-18 pound fruits is good for cooking as well. The deep, steel-blue of 'Jarrahdale' sets this pumpkin from New Zealand apart. The 10-inch tall, 12-inch wide, ribbed fruits average 10 pounds and store well. The miniature fruits of 'Jack-Be-Little' are great for fall decorating and their flesh is delicious when cooked.

Well-rooted seedlings are shipped in 2 3/4-inch pots. Most of the above varieties, as well as other interesting varieties like 'Rouge Vif d' Etampes,' the French "Cinderella" pumpkin, are also available as seeds. All seedlings are organically grown, as are many of the seed offerings.

For more information on these pumpkin varieties, or to request a free catalog, go to: The Natural Gardening Company.

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