Allotment

Fairytale Pumpkins

allotment

I love growing pumpkins for many reasons but harvest time has to be the best – certain pumpkins remind me of Cinderella carriages and I’m almost sad at having to chop the stalk and take them home. The snake-like plants are fantastic ground cover to keep weeding down throughout summer and the flowers are edible as well as pretty. This year I grew three varieties, ‘Jack O’ Lantern’ and ‘Baby Bear’ both from Mr Fothergills seeds and Atlantic Giant from T&M (just the one plant though, they are thugs!).

pumpkins

Overall a pleasing yield from just a few plants, I have a couple suitable for carving and the hens will never turn their beaks up at the chance to devour a pumpkin or two. I read elsewhere that feeding pumpkins to chickens is a good way to naturally worm your flock, apparently the coating on fresh pumpkin seeds paralyse internal worms. I don’t know if there’s any truth to this claim, have you ever heard of this? All I know is our hens  get stuck into a pumpkin without any encouragement, stripping the fleshy insides and gobbling down the seeds.

The Atlantic Giant pumpkin I grew, sadly it began to rot before reaching epic proportions. Still, there's always next year!
The Atlantic Giant pumpkin I grew, sadly it began to rot before reaching epic proportions. It was well on its way to being a Cinderella carriage. Still, there’s always next year!

Sadly the Atlantic Giant pumpkin (I thinned down to just one fruit, aiming for size rather quantity) was a bit of a disappointment, it grew to a decent size but nowhere near the giant I envisaged, then it began to rot even though I took precautions against this by raising the pumpkin onto a pallet. Not a world record breaker but I did much better than last year and I won the fun competition I took part in with my neighbour who’s yet to see a fruit!

allotment pumpkins
Certain pumpkin shapes and skins remind me of Cinderella’s carriage, like this one right at the front. Variety ‘Jack O’ Lantern’.

Did you grow pumpkins this year, did you manage to grow a giant? Any bloggers out there up for a fun competition to see who can grow the biggest next year?

36 thoughts on “Fairytale Pumpkins”

  1. I didn’t grow pumpkins – are they really that easy to grow? I’m thinking I shall have to give this a go and grow and next yr I’ll join in the competition :-)

  2. I have heard about the benefits of pumpkin as a natural dewormer for chickens, but I’ve never actually read up on it. I’m sure it can’t hurt. We grew the Jack O’ Lantern variety this year and ended up with the best crop we’ve ever had. It’s pretty exciting to see them all piled up on the front porch :)

  3. I have heard the same thing re hogs and pumpkins – I think it’s supposed to be the seeds that do the trick. Even if that’s all wishful thinking, my hogs, chickens, ducks and turkeys just love them! Great photos – those colours just scream ‘autumn!’

  4. Hi
    My pumpkins weren’t bad this year, not as good as last year though, not as big or as many, but I didn’t spread cow manure in the kitchen garden this year. Interesting about the natural wormer for the chooks, as my girls love pumpkin. Like your pictures and please put me as an entrant for your pumpkin competition. Lots of pumpkin soup for you, if you get a moment I have written a post on my blog about soup makers you are most welcome to visit. Happy pumpkin days and thanks for sharing.
    Sarah x

  5. Brill let me know what you want to grow. :) I’ll go off your advice seen as we’ve had little luck the last two years, will be keeping my fingers eyes and toes crossed! :)

  6. My girls used to love peckin pumpkins :) I didn’t know about the benefits :) my seeds are just in the ground due to our season being opposite to yours..i used to grow all sorts of wonderful varities…small sugar pumpkins,kents,butternut,etc and luckily they didn’t rot..the flowers are an added bonus when stuffed and cooked yum! we will let you know how our pumpkins go this season …:) great pics :)

  7. Lovely pumpkins. I think I might try some of the smaller more decorative ones next year. They always look so pretty come October. That’s a beautiful photo at the top of the post, and also the last one too. I do love seeing people’s growing spaces.

  8. Thank you CJ, I can’t fit the whole of my allotment plot into one photo, it’s so wide. I have a couple of very wide raised beds which are perfect for growing pumpkins because of their sprawling habit, just not so easy to weed throughout Spring because it’s impossible to reach the middle without treading on the soil. I use planks of wood to walk across. I do love the look and colours of some of the more decorative squashes.

  9. Not done pumpkins this year but in the past when we had an allotment used to do Jack O’Lantern (the big ones, for carving not so much flesh) and one or two of the smaller varieties which are delicious for soup or roasting. Can’t remember their names – sorry! Used to service up soup in one of the hollowed out big ones at halloween parties! May have a go again next year, but as they take up so much room it depends on what other veg takes priority. I have seen people feeding their pumpkins with ale to make them grow, I kid you not. Maybe it was a Derbyshire thing….

  10. Beautiful photos of some lovely looking pumpkins, Karen. I only got 3 this year – from 4 plants :( I will definitely give it another go next year though, being an eternal optimist…

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