Autumn is the time to harvest pumpkins and winter squash, some bursting to be the biggest on the patch, others stealing the show with their exquisite markings. Their lumps, bumps and comic shapes are a prelude to hearty pies, savoury soups and of course, Halloween lanterns.
Find out all you need to know about growing pumpkins and squash in our pumpkin and squash Grow Guide.
Pumpkins and winter squashes are easy to grow and bear fruit that can be stored for winter use. Find out how to pick pumpkins.
All pumpkins and squash are vigorous growers and need a large root run, lots of water, sunshine and feeding, so take this into account when planting them out.
Here are some of our favourite varieties of pumpkin and squash to grow.
The medium-sized, bright-orange fruits of pumpkin variety ‘Becky’ are great for carving for Halloween, and are excellent for cooking too.
Squash ‘Crown Prince’
‘Crown Prince’ is a winter squash that has steely-blue skin and vivid orange flesh. Fruits can weigh over 4kg. Boiled then liquidised with milk and butter, it makes a lovely, creamy soup.
‘Harrier’ produces medium-sized fruits with very sweet flesh. This British-bred squash stores well, too.
This distinctive-looking winter squash has it’s own ‘turban’ or ‘cap’. It has an excellent flavour and can be roasted, or stuffed and baked like a marrow. It also makes a good soup.
Also called onion squash, ‘Uchiki Kuri’ produces sweet, round, compact fruits – great for training on a frame.
Squash ‘Sweet Dumpling’
‘Sweet Dumpling’ is a particularly ornamental winter squash, bearing green-striped white fruits up to 10cm (4in) in diameter. The fruits have a sweet-tasting flesh, which is enhanced by roasting and baking. They store well into winter.