We normally grow four varieties of pumpkin for the Halloween period. The smaller 1kg-2kg for culinary use, the medium and large, up to a size of 7kg, are grown very specifically to meet the needs of October 31st. The 7kg and over, make nice showpieces, and the giants offer the amateur gardener a challenge and we will leave them to it.
Baby Bear. (Organic)
A small pumpkin, of typical pumpkin shape. Not easy to grow, as it is slow to germinate if May is cold and wet and then late to ripen, this is a high risk variety even in Southern England.Typical size 600gms to 1.5kg and the majority being 1kg.This is a prolific variety which produces 4-10 fruits per plant with good keeping ability and is regularly used for culinary purposes. The smaller ones can be used as table decorations or even hollowed out and used as a soup bowl.
Mars is an early hybrid variety producing uniform, dark orange coloured fruits with strong dark handles. It has been bred to be a good performer even during difficult production seasons. The fruit is sweet and tasty, and great for roasting. Mars is also ideal for Halloween carving. Producing delightful globe shaped pumpkins that weigh around 1.5kg to 3kg. The fruit has a good depth of dense yellow flesh that has little waste. The fruit are the perfect size for use in the kitchen and the vigorous plants yield plenty of fruit with good quality skin and strong dark handles.
This is a more spherical pumpkin, larger than Mars at 2.5kg to 4kg. This pumpkin has a hard skin, a good handle and is very durable. there is a good depth of flesh, so also suitable for the kitchen . A variety widely used in the carving market with good shelf life.
A top contender for early pumpkins. Racer has a very nice round shape, with deep ribs, strong handle and dark orange colour. The compact semi-bush plant takes up less space and allows for more plants in the field. This hybrid produces very attractive pumpkins in the 3kg to 7kg range and in a good growing season can go bigger. Having said that the early ripening, with a hot summer, can lead to losses in the field before harvesting.
There are a number of different varieties of White pumpkins that range from 20-38 centimeters in diameter and weighing 4-6kg, to large in size averaging 63-76 centimeters in diameter and weighing 30kg, and ours would tend to be 4-10kg.White pumpkins tend to be more spherical , quite uniform, and round with shallow ribbing. The rind is smooth to the touch and a lovely ivory/white, and the flesh can be white or orange, dense, and firm encasing a central cavity filled with pulp and flat, cream-colored seeds.
Munchkin is a bright orange mini pumpkin, early maturing variety that produces a large number of little pumpkins per plant that remain firm for a long time. The stems are thin and sturdy, for easy harvest and less breakage in packaging. Munchkin is a great novelty and you can dry them for autumn flower arrangements and they will survive until Christmas time on a nice dry windowsill.