Giant Autumn Roundup: Pumpkins

crown-princeAfter a large, successful but monotonously blue crop of Crown Prince in 2015, I decided to go colourful this year. I loved Crown Prince, but I wanted some oranges and browns too, so I spent some time researching the tastiest heritage varieties around.

The results are good, but not heavy. I’m not really sure why, perhaps it was the lack of sun at the front end of the year and the lack of rain at the back-end. Perhaps I just mollycoddled them too much. My next-door plot neighbour who, living a long way away and having a one year-old baby doesn’t get down very often, enjoyed a giant crop of butternut squash having basically planted and left ’em, whereas I got an indifferent crop after looking after them all summer. C’est la vie.

I only grew one plant of Crown Prince, which only produced one fruit. It is excellent, but I’d have liked more. I will definitely grow more plants next year. Score: 6/10 – tastes great but the yield was stupidly low.

pumpkin-rouge-vif-de-tempsRouge Vif de Temps should be bright orange – and it is. It also has a great flavour. But it wasn’t as big as I’d have liked and I just got the two. I’ll grow it again and hope for better things – though it was on almost pure manure. I don’t really understand why it did so poorly. Score: 7/10, due only to poor yield.

It was entirely my own fault that Musquee de Provence, the true Cinderella pumpkin, didn’t reach it’s nut-brown, segmented best. I noticed it was sitting on wet soil, so tried to gently place a tile underneath it, snapping it off.

It’s pretty big and nicely segmented, but still dark green. I’ll still cook with it, but it won’t have any of its trademark sweetness. I’ll try again next year, and place a tile underneath it whilst the stem is still small and supple. Score 6/10 for stupidity.




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