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Approaches to growing:

Pumpkin, wint. squash (Curcubita maxima; Curcubita moschata)   Edit Report inappropriate crop

Probably the best vegetable for children to grow - not only can they produce some truly enormous pumpkins, but you don't need to buy extortionately expensive Hallowe'en pumpkins. My children love pumpkin pie and we stock up on spiced pumpkin soup for the winter.

Likes and dislikes
Soil
Stonyok
Lightok
Loamyprefer
Heavyok
pH5.5 - 6.8
Manure
Previous cropdislike
Previous autumnprefer
Before plantingok
Position
Full sunprefer
Partial shadedislike
Shadedislike
Exposure
Opendislike
Shelteredprefer

Sow indoors

sow indoors sow indoors

Plants seed sideways (to prevent water collecting and causing rot), 2.5cm deep in 7.5cm pots in a heated propagator (min 13°C). Thin to strongest seedling when large enough to handle and harden off two weeks before planting outside.


plant plant

Between plants: 90cm
Between rows: 90cm

Plant out after all danger of frost has passed, using cloches in colder areas. Fill a hole 30 x 30 x 30cm with well-rotted manure and/or compost and create a mound on top. This will help ensure they are well-drained. Plant at the centre of this and keep well-watered from the sides, not above, as this may encourage rotting. Mulch with grass clippings, spent manure or even black plastic to keep the roots moist. For trailing (as opposed to bush) varieties, spacing should be increased to 150cm.


harvest harvest

You can harvest as soon as they are ripe but to improve storage leave on the plant as long as possible (but before the first frosts arrive) as this allows the skin to toughen up. The tougher the skin, the better they will store.


Sow outdoors

sow outdoors sow outdoors

Between plants: 90cm
Between rows: 90cm

Fill a hole 30 x 30 x 30cm with well-rotted manure and/or compost and create a mound on top. This will help ensure they are well-drained. Plant three seeds 2cm deep at the centre of each mound after all danger of frost has passed, using cloches in colder areas. Remove all but the strongest seedling and keep well-watered from the sides, not above, as this may encourage rotting. Mulch with grass clippings, spent manure or even black plastic to keep the roots moist. For trailing (as opposed to bush) varieties, increase the spacing to 150cm.


harvest harvest

You can harvest as soon as they are ripe but to improve storage leave on the plant as long as possible (but before the first frosts arrive) as this allows the skin to toughen up. The tougher the skin, the better they will store.


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Organic matter is the key (jamiemac - 22:31 19/09/2012) Report inappropriate tip
Curcubits (courgettes pumpkins cucumbers etc) are v. thirsty and hungry. Organic matter (compost well-rotted manure) is the key - dig it in mulch. Alternatively grow them on a near-mature compost heap before spreading it in the autumn.
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