Growing a pumpkin vertically

Having not had great success growing pumpkins and butternut squashes to date, I’d almost decided to give up on the effort of these. The “atlantic giant” pumpkin I grew, although a looker, had a hollow interior and mushy skin. Better in appearance than use. And although I’d had plenty of butternut squash fruit over the past two years, they seldom got the necessary heat to ripen on the vine and so ended the autumn green and worm food.

In the supermarket last winter I bought a few small pumpkins called “supermarket squash”. These neat little pumpkins were the right size to make a pot of soup and with their hard green skins were apparently “good keepers”. I could only find commercial quantities of seed available to buy, and so with my last “supermarket squash” I cleaned and kept some seeds. Happily they germinated in seed mix in the spring and the resultant three plants are now scrambling up a tripod of bamboo canes. Their tendrils are a little small to wrap the canes but they happily grab on to the rubber coated metal ties used to keep them vertical. Just hoping that their small size can hang while it ripens.

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