Latin Name – Cucurbita pepo
Sowing Instructions – INDOORS – Sow seeds vertically 1cm deep in a small pot. Place in propagator/cover with glass or polythene bag until the seedlings appear (usually 5-8 days). When the seedlings have 2/3 leaves transplant into 2L pots and grow on for a few more weeks. In mid-late May (a week before transplanting) dig a large hole 30cm square for each pumpkin plant (90-150cm apart, in rows 180-240cm apart) and fill with lots of well-rotted manure. Make a mound and cloche to warm the soil up. Harden off the pumpkin plants for 3-4 days before transplanting out into the centre of the mound. Keep covered with cloche for a week or so and water well. Can also be grown in greenhouse soil provided it is very fertile and kept moist. OUTDOORS – Squashes are hungry feeders so to give them a good start outside, dig a hole 30cm square and fill with well-rotted manure and mound the soil up and cloche the area a week before direct sowing. Plant 2 seeds into the centre of each mound (2.5cm deep, spacing 90-150cm apart, in rows 180-240cm apart) and cloche again until the seedlings grow. Remove the weaker seedling, and remove cloche a couple of weeks later. The seed will not germinate until the temperature is consistently above 13C. Keep well watered.
Hints and Tips – Pumpkins are a group of winter squshes, normally characterised by their vibrant orange skin. The Hallowe’en pumpkin market is as popular as ever. Relatively easy to produce, with good storage qualities. Also gaining popularity for its culinary uses.
Number of seeds – 8