October 2023 – Halloween part 1

Halloween Part 1 Pumpkin fun!

In the unexpected whirlwind of energy and possibly magic, it was none other than my lively brother. I dialed his number and UW network did their thing. 


Robert bursts into conversation. But he was not alone, oh no he had a backup conversation with Daisy right by his side, my enthusiastic bubbly niece. “We need to get busy!” she exclaimed with gusto. Eagerly I asked, because you have to ask as her uncle, “What’s on the agenda?” without skipping a beat, Daisy replied, “Pumpkins!” and I nearly ran out of the room to dress as Frankenstein, but I restrained, being it was not quite Halloween yet. I did think to myself this would make an interesting fruity piece but the magic in this, all is, in all my years as a gardener, not one buttercup has ever had a good idea. So, I can conclude that Daisies are just cleverer than other flowers. So lets got with it and some spooky Halloween pumpkin fun.


So how many seeds does a pumpkin have?


On average medium to large pumpkin has between 360 to 500 seeds. But can you imagine counting 500 seeds? You may well find yourself questioning your sanity. Also, did you realise the pumpkin is linked to the squash family?  These little seeds seem to multiply like rabbits on roller skates


Some say it was the fairy in Cinderella that had something to do with it. Did they intend world domination?  It is hard to tell, they appear to have achieved it. These fruits are native to Central America and Mexico but can be found on all six continents except Antarctica.


How do you grow a pumpkin?


Pumpkins are like high-maintenance divas, celebrity stereotypes. Where you’re the manager and they have a list of demands: –

  1. As a celebrity they require a warm sunny site where they can bask in the spotlight (the sun.)
  2. Don’t get me started on their need for fertile soil. They want royal soil. ok, its usually mixed in manure!
  3. They drink copious amounts of the cocktail named water to keep up with their extravagant lifestyle, which is the need to grow.

Plus let us not forget their never-ending quest for a long season. 


So how do you pollinate a pumpkin?


Alright. buckle up as we enter pumpkin romance. They are like a quirky couple who just can’t wait for another partner to come by so they play the gender game, after all, survival is paramount, love is hard to find and love thy neighbour bah! In a pumpkin strategy, it’s love thy other half literally. 

A member of the Gourd family they have a whole gender game going on yep, you heard right pumpkins have separate male and female flowers. Male flowers usually appear first, with female flowers appearing a week or two later, Talk about a complicated love life, who gets the washing up? There is a possible requirement for the female flower to be placed into the male flower to assist pollination.


So, my conclusion of the pumpkin story.


It is like they signed up for a marathon or bike ride from London to Brighton, determined to prove their endurance. These fruits are not happy with being half-baked – oh no! They want to mature fully and ripen to perfection in 90 to 120 days, ensuring they are ready for the grand debut of the Autumn menu. They become the face of Halloween, a recipe for disaster in the kitchen and it would have been wrong to not have given them the star treatment.  There was too much information to incorporate.

So, I have included some links to sources of further information.


Why do we carve pumpkins at Halloween?

RHS – How to grow a pumpkin

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