Pumpkins range in colour and size from cute miniatures to record breaking giants. A pumpkin is a fruit in the genus Cucurbita. The word
pumpkin has French and Greek derivations meaning ‘ripened in the sun’. They are classified as a fruit not a vegetable, as the fruit forms from a single flower and has no stone or core like an apple. Pumpkins can be great fun for the whole family to grow especially young children. They need plenty space in a sunny position, plenty water and sheltered from strong winds. Sow outdoors in May or June after the risk of frost has passed. Space plants 1.8metres apart and feed the plant every week with a high potash fertiliser or use well-rotted manure and compost tea. It is also important to support the fruit off the soil using a straw mulch, glass or even a tile. Great fun carved and lit on the porch for Halloween, and attractive ripening in the garden. Once harvested use the produce in tasty soups, pies or simply just roast them.


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