If I had applied more water, this beauty would no doubt have been bigger. As it is, this French heirloom variety, Rouge vif d’Etampes is as large as a dinner plate in diameter, and still growing. Plenty big enough, I think.
This is the first season I have succeeded with pumpkins on the allotment and I have been analysing why. We have had a relative drought here, but there has been a some rain, coming in a couple of useful soakings and I have watered them from time to time. The pumpkins, four plants in total, share one of my allotment beds with a courgette and a summer squash, so there are only 6 plants in a bed about 6 feet by 8, and they have ample room to sprawl away from the original bed too. I planted each young plant into a thick manure mulch and looked after them whilst they were tiny. I suspect each of those conditions has helped, but undoubtedly the warmth has been the greatest factor-it has been a long, warm growing season.
That and the fact I luckily picked the best variety for this season’s conditions too. I haven’t grown this one before, nor Atlantic Giant which is also expanding nicely. The seed came in a mixed pack from a well-known supermarket chain, so hats off to the seed buyers at Sainsburys! In fact, I bought the seeds last season but was busily using up Butternut squash, Hawk and Harrier varieties, all of which came to nothing, and didn’t get round to sowing them.
A little research into Rouge vif d’Etampes led me to a very interesting and informative North American website All about pumpkins, and this is what it said:-
“Cinderella Pumpkins are a unique French heirloom whose correct name is “Rouge vif D’Etampes”. The source of their nickname it that they resemble the pumpkin that Cinderella’s fairy godmother transformed into a carriage. This pumpkin is recorded as having been the variety cultivated by the Pilgrims and served at the second Thanksgiving dinner. This is our favorite pumpkin variety. There is something magical about them. Cinderellas make a delightful decorative accent for the fall season, but additionally their flavor is good for any pie or winter squash recipe.”
I am looking forward to harvest, but now I have three questions. When are pumpkins ready to harvest? And where can I find magic mice to harness to them, and a wand of course.