Pumpkins take up a lot of space and are really at the whim of the British Summer but I still wouldn’t be without them in the vegetable patch.

T

hey grow so fast and when the fruit begins to swell you can monitor them on an almost daily basis.

I forgot to order pumpkin seeds last year so went to buy some from the garden centre. There wasn’t a very good selection and I came away with a packet of Winter Festival – a variety I had never heard of before. They were amazing. Small, neat little fruit that were the sweetest I have ever tasted. And they kept in the cellar for months. I have also grown a butternut variety called Hawk.

IMG_beeThere was enough seed left over to plant more this year and they have romped away.  I don’t know if it was just the right weather at the right time or the handfuls of chicken manure pellets I worked into the bed. I had a little furtle under the leaves and found more than a dozen little pumpkins.

I’ve cut the leaves back so the sun can penetrate and the bees can see what they are doing! I’ve put some semi-permeable membrane under the pumpkins so that they don’t get splattered by mud.  Unfortunately the butternuts are not doing so well – I think they are getting  smothered.

We just need a fine, dry September so they can ripen well – then watch out for my pumpkin soup recipe and an amazing pumpkin dessert we had in Turkey.

 

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