How to Grow Pumpkin and Squashe

Pumpkins are a familiar sight at Halloween, hollowed out and carved into lanterns, but their flesh can be disappointingly lacking in flavor. Some smaller varieties of pumpkin, however, are an excellent choice for eating.

When it comes to winter squashes, a huge range of shapes and sizes is available. Most are vigorous, trailing plants, which need a lot of space, though those with smaller fruits can be trained up trellis and arches. Unlike pumpkins, winter squashes will store well into the New Year. Some are very decorative, and most have a rich, nutty or buttery taste, ideal for hearty winter soups and stews.

Pumpkins and winter squashes are very sensitive to frost and need a long, hot summer to ripen fully. Grow them exactly as you would marrows. Once established, they are very easy going. They will crop even in a dry year, though a couple of really thorough soakings when the fruits are swelling will increase the crop.



Sow the seed at a background temperature of 18-22’C. Follow the advice for growing marrows.


Plant outside into a well-prepared planting hole after all danger of frost has passed. Allow at least a square metre per plant.


If shoots stray out of their allotted area, curl them round the centre of the plant. Plants trained to grow up supports should scramble on their own, but you may need to support the heavier fruits to prevent damage to the stems. If the weather is very dry, give a couple of generous soaks of water once the fruits have started to swell.


Cut and remove the full-sized fruit – the first frost will kill the foliage overnight.


Allow fruits to develop their full color and ripen in the sun. If necessary, lift them and put them in a sunny spot to complete their ripening. Bring the fully ripe fruits indoors before the first frosts of autumn. Pumpkins do not store well, so aim to use them before Christmas. Winter squashes store better, and some will remain in good condition well into the following spring. Store both in a cool, dry, light spot. Winter squashes have dense, usually orange flesh that can be roasted, baked or pureed.

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About the Author: Greenery always attracts Arthur Kunkle. He has a big garden where he plants many fruits and vegetables. His passion for gardening motivates him to write and share different tips on gardening.

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