Growing pumpkins

One of the easiest and most productive ways to use a patch of soil the size of the usual Adelaide lawn is to grow pumpkins on it. I’d normally plant about $6 of pumpkin seed in spring, and collect around 100 pumpkins in late autumn for use in soups and roasts over the next six months.

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Pumpkins are best grown along drop-lines, because once they get going, they spread all over the place and watering becomes impossible if you need to wade in there with a hose or sprinkler. Pumpkins can also climb, and will grow through fences and and up trellises and trees if given a chance.

Our favourites are Butternut Pumpkins (below) – a small sweet pumpkin having deep orange flesh that is equally good in roasts, soups or dips.

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Pick pumpkins when the stems dry off and they break easily away from the dead vine. The hard shells on these pumpkins means they can be stored on the shed roof out in the weather; however, we have an old chest freezer inside that’s ideal – it keeps the rats out, and the lid can be left open to allow air to circulate around the pumpkins to prevent them going mouldy. Bundling your dry fruit tree nets into cushions helps relieve pressure on those at the bottom of the pile while simultaneously allowing ventilation.

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Pumpkins make great gifts – they are dry and rugged and easily carried home, to be turned into a pot of delicious pumpkin soup that can last for many meals.

2 comments:

Maggie said...

Thanks Andrew, that is exactly what we did with your pumpkin gift last Friday, hot pumpkin and nutmeg soup. 2 meals for us, 2 meals as gifts to the great grands and the grandson's household. Seeds in the compost now.
So I reckon the gift of a pumpkin is a gift that keeps on giving!

Anonymous said...

is it too late to plant them now in Adelaide?

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