This plant has no fragrance
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Winter Squash Overview
The genus Cucurbita contains some of the fastest growing vegetables, usually known as Pumpkin, Squash, Marrow and Courgette. They come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional Halloween pumpkins and butternut squash to more unusual varieties such as ‘Turk’s Turban’ and ‘Crown Prince’. Fun to grow, these trailing vine species need full sun, plenty of water and rich soil. Seeds are planted in spring, male flowers will bloom first, followed by female flowers (farmers use bees to help pollinate, so they can harvest a good crop) and they are harvested from summer to autumn. Pumpkins and Squash in particular, can become very heavy, so they benefit from being grown up a sturdy support structure. As a food, they're very versatile and can be roasted, used in stews and curries or blended to make a delicious autumn soup. Most varieties store for up to a few months and you can enjoy your home-grown fare throughout the winter months. Smaller species such as Courgettes, are great for small spaces, can be eaten in salads, but do not store so well, so eat as soon as harvested!
Common problems with Winter Squash
Apart from slugs and snails, Cucurbita are more susceptible to pests when grown under glass.
How to harvest Winter Squash
Pick flowers to be served in a beer batter throughout Summer. Fruit is ripe when the outside is fully colored, the skin is hard, and the stem begins to shrivel and dry. Cut the pumpkin's stem using a pair of shears, leaving it a few centimeters long.
How to propagate Winter Squash
Direct sow seed in late Spring or early Summer, 2.5–5 cm deep. Plant seeds in rows or “pumpkin hills” which are small mounds. The soil will warm faster and the seeds will germinate quicker. This also helps with drainage and pest control.
Special features of Winter Squash
Colourful pumpkins brighten up the area in Autumn.
You can grow pumpkins in growbags or containers that are at least 45 cm wide. Plant one or two per growbag, or one per container.
Fruits vary in sizes.
Other uses of Winter Squash
The fruit is a favourite cooked, often with cinammon.
Edible to Sow Under Cover in May
Successional sow small batches on a sunny windowsill or in a heated propagator, ready to plant out later in the month.
Annuals are mostly, self seeders and flower every year giving you lots of bang for your buck.