“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” — Albert Camus

Q. I saw a pumpkin at the fair that was flat in appearance, but such a beautiful dark orange, almost a red. What is the name of this pumpkin?

A. There are so many varieties of pumpkins, but we think you are describing a Cinderella pumpkin whose Latin name is Rouge vif D’Etampes. It is a French variety so named because it resembles the pumpkin that Cinderella’s fairy godmother turned into a coach for her. Some people think it is the pumpkin that the Pilgrims celebrated with their first Thanksgiving. It is so dark in color and deeply ribbed that it makes a beautiful accent piece for decorating, but is also delicious made into pies and desserts. It is an heirloom, so you can save the seeds and plant them again and again. It is available in garden catalogs and locally in seed displays.

Q. I have begun to dig my carrots but they are not so pretty. Many have two “legs” on them and some are cracked open but appear to be healed. What did I do wrong?

A. Your carrots become forked when they are growing and hit an obstruction such as a rock or hard soil. To avoid this problem next year, work in a lot of compost to a depth of about 8 or 10 inches. As you dig your compost in, remove any rocks in the area. The cracked carrots come from uneven watering. Next season, you might use mulch between the rows to help hold moisture. Check your watering practices by digging down after watering to see if water is getting down to where the roots are. Your carrots are fine to eat and, if they are funny to look at, the kids might be encouraged to eat more of them.

Q. Is garlic hard to grow? When should it be planted?

A. The best time to plant garlic is in the late fall. You can order garlic for planting from various seed companies or specialty farms. Using sets from unknown sources could introduce pests or disease. Soft-neck garlic usually keeps longer. Hard-neck varieties often produce larger cloves that are easier to peel.

Separate the cloves and plant them in fertile soil, tip up, in a hole three times as deep as the height of the clove. The cloves will root and possibly put out some top growth before cold weather sets in. You may want to put a layer of mulch over your garlic bed to prevent heaving. It is also a good idea to “map” or mark where you planted your garlic so you don’t inadvertently disturb it. Your garlic may also be planted in the early spring, but the resulting cloves will be smaller than fall-planted garlic.

Q. I still have not had frost in my garden, but I also have had very few ripe tomatoes. Any ideas to help me get all those green tomatoes to ripen?

A. What a tough year it has been for tomatoes. We had all that wet, cold spring and then a very hot summer, and you are not alone with this problem. You might want to gather all tomatoes that are showing any pink, or even still have a white/light green look, and bring them into the house with the hope they might ripen on the counter. Wrap them in newspaper to keep them from touching each other and store them out of direct sunlight. You might find uses for your green tomatoes by going online and researching recipes for relishes, breads and fried green tomatoes.

Q. I see so many of the ornamental kales coming into the stores for fall decor, and I love to use them myself, but are they edible?

A. The ornamental kale you see right now is one of the many varieties of kale that are available to us. It is edible, but not desirable for its flavor and its toughness. You will need a good set of teeth.

Kale can be grown in your garden all through the season and even in winter if you have it under covered hoops. It likes cool seasons best and develops a sweetness with the cold. Many varieties are so colorful that you could use them for decor as well as in recipes. Look for labeling on seed packages that say, curly leaves, red veins, blue green leaves, etc. Kale is loaded with nutrients and easy to grow. It is a good way to get your vitamins A, D, and K.

• WSU Extension Master Gardener Program is an organization of trained volunteers dedicated to horticulture and community service. Questions about gardening, landscaping or this program can be directed to the Master Gardener Clinic at 509-574-1604 or visit us at the WSU Extension office. The clinic is open through October on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (except holidays), 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. You may also visit the Master Gardener Booth at the Yakima Farmers Market through October. The new location of the WSU Extension Office is 2403 S. 18th St., Suite 100 in Union Gap, phone 509-574-1600. New volunteers welcome.