It’s been a tough year for growing pumpkins but at last they are ready for gathering them in and grading them. Today is the day to make a start.
A rallying call for Pumpkinista’s across the UK, our battle bus is in Westminster getting the message out about Big Pumpkins.
For too long the people of the UK have suffered from EU legislation that allows small, thin shelled and stalk-less pumpkins to be sold as suitable for Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns. The people of the UK deserve better. If this doesn’t work we will build a wall and make Asda pay for it. Either way it’s gonna be GREAT!
The first of our 2018 has emerged this morning so we are declaring the 2018 giant pumpkin season underway. Our early pumpkins generally go to PR companies who need to get their Halloween shoots filmed early September so don’t worry if you haven’t sown yours yet (we only sow our Halloween stock early to mid May). There are plenty of our seeds still available on GiantVegetableSeed.co.uk if you want to grow your own giant.
This seed germinated after 5 days in a propagator set at 24 degrees Centigrade which was a bit of a trial (we usually go for 30 degrees C (85F)) to test viabilty.
How about something a bit different for the gardener in your life?
A packet of giant vegetable seeds might provide a season of fun, not just in the growing but in the research to find all the tricks of the trade to make yours the whopper that wins the show.
Giant pumpkins take up an enormous amount of room but many of the other classic horticultural challenges can be grown in a standard garden greenhouse or in a small vegetable bed at home or on the allotment.
A perfect stocking filler!
We rarely get to see the results of the photo-shoots that take place in the pumpkin patch but this year it was a little different.
Cat’s Dog Photography from Preston joined us again to get their Halloween shot of Poppy on a giant pumpkin….
… but whilst they were there my old faithful Springer Spaniel Molly was woken from her slumbers to have her own photo taken. The photos are fantastic and have captured some of Molly’s expressions that perhaps only I can see but it makes them much more than a photo to me.
Whilst the giant pumpkins and the large carving pumpkins have been going out for a few weeks now, today marked the first of the ‘eating’ pumpkins to be gathered.
Uchiki Kuri is actually a winter squash with a taste far superior to pumpkin. They are very early to mature and have superb storage characteristics.
With smooth butter coloured flesh and a hard bright sunset orange coloured rind has a pronounced, distinctive chestnut flavour.
Uchiki Kuri Squash is also known by a variety of names: commonly known as Potimarron or Onion Squash because of its shape, and is also known as Japanese squash, Orange Hokkaido or Red Kuri squash.
All the 2017 slots for pumpkin patch photo shoots are now taken but we are taking bookings for 2018!
A nominal charge of £20/hr is made to cover the time I need to spend with you. Bookings are taken from 1st September through until the last weekend in September. Please remember that the weather is beyond my control and your booking fee is non refundable if cancelled with less than 48 hrs notice!
An early start this morning to harvest the first pumpkin of the season ready for filming the Halloween episodes of BBC’s Eastenders. I’ve been working with the prop buyers to match the pumpkin supplied to the script so hopefully we might see it again in Albert Square towards the end of October.
I can’t remember the last time we had such a good selection of seriously big pumpkins available so early.
They are expensive but they are available to be cut and collected for your event, activity, TV filming or PR photo shoot.
Three of the 2017 giant pumpkins are already (1st September) big enough to conceal an adult and so could be used as boats if anyone fancies having a go at breaking the Guinness World Record. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-24653190
Be aware that I stand by my quote and will not be held responsible for any mishaps to idiots wishing to try!
“Going in the sea in large vegetables is not a good idea”
Mark O’Hanlon, Pumpkin grower
All the 2017 pumpkins are now planted – indoors and outdoors. After a difficult germination (we are blaming the seed compost we used) the plants grew well.
For the indoor plants the next milestone is pollination where we select the female flower we want to grow on and the male flower that we wish to cross pollinate it with. The outdoor plants have to take their chances with what our bees decide is best for them.
Keeping up with the weeding and watering are the ongoing challenges until harvest time.