From the Desk of Ed Hume: Painting Pumpkins, Eliminating Slugs, and Other Fall Projects

October 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM Leave a comment

Halloween is just around the corner, so it’s pumpkin time!  Have you given any thought as to whether you will carve your pumpkin or paint it?  If you paint your pumpkin it will remain fresh longer.  It should even be fresh enough to use when making your Thanksgiving pies!  Plus, when you paint a pumpkin you can use some wild colors and unique designs that are really creative and almost impossible to recreate via carving.

With our fall rains comes the fall batch of slugs.  Be certain to take a little time to eliminate them.  This is also the time of the year when they are laying their slug eggs.  The eggs are in clusters and each egg is about the size of a bee-bee.  You’ll usually find them along the edge of the lawn or in moist areas.  Be sure to eliminate them, otherwise they will grow to be the slugs that you’ll be contending with next year.  Each cluster of slug eggs usually consists of 25, 50, or more eggs.

Right now is an excellent time to add a little color to the garden.  One of my favorite plants is the winter flowering varieties of heather.  Also, the winter blooming pansies look great at this time of year as they’ll bloom during the winter whenever we have moderate weather, then come into full bloom in the spring.  I suggest you use the lighter colors of winter pansies; the yellows, whites, and soft blues and pinks.  The darker colors don’t seem to show off much on a cloudy, dark day.

Fall color is beginning to come alive on many garden plants, so this is a good time to choose and plant them.  Then when the leaves begin to fall, use them as mulch, dig them into the soil, or add them to the compost pile.  Recycle them!

If you need to do any planting or transplanting, this is an excellent time to accomplish these tasks.  Once the deciduous trees and shrubs have lost their leaves they are dormant enough to be moved.  Likewise Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias and other flowering shrubs can be moved.

If you’re thinking of pruning some of the deciduous trees or shrubs, I would suggest you wait until November this year.  Remember my rule, “Never prune for the sake of pruning – only prune those plants (trees & shrubs) that need pruning.”  Indiscriminate pruning often ruins the shape of beautiful trees and shrubs.

Don’t forget, this is the time to plant tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, if you want to enjoy the beauty of these bulbs in your garden next spring.

For more interesting fall topics, browse through our blog archive on the right as well as the library of information available at


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