Lose weight ...

... without a diet? Be good to
yourself. more...
         

Articles - Out and about:

Summer rolls are the perfect snack for hot days. This dish is widespread in south-east Asia and is
Anyone who likes fresh greens in their own home will be delighted with microgreens.
Polenta is associated with the regional cuisine of many European countries such as Italy,
A cup of coffee and a bread roll with cheese, cold meats or jam - this is what breakfast looks like
Rolling hills, misty forests and countless tea gardens – these are the highlands of Sri Lanka

Grow your own squash and pumpkins

Squash and pumpkins will grow well in fertile soil in a sunny area of your garden or allotment. They do especially well if you can plant them on the edge of your compost pile, but given the right soil, they will even bear fruit planted in a large pot on your patio or balcony.

 

Pumpkins (Cucurbita maxima) come originally from tropical Central and South America. The heat-loving plants grow best in full sun in a warm and sheltered part of your garden. They also need very fertile, humus-rich soil. Given the right conditions, they will put on a tremendous amount of growth; a field of pumpkin plants will produce around 100 tonnes of green material per hectare per year. Producing so much biomass, means that a pumpkin grown in a pot needs a lot of nutrients, so use highly fertile soil, a slow-release fertiliser and dig in a generous amount of bone meal. If you're growing them in the vegetable patch, a three-year rotation is optimal for squash and pumpkins, and also for the closely related cucumbers.

Growing tips

To be sure of sizable pumpkins, be sure to water generously, unless there is adequate rainfall. It's a good idea to pinch out side shoots two leaves beyond a flower. As the fruit grow bigger, a thick layer of straw, or an old roof tile will keep them off the wet soil and prevent rotting.

 

The general rule with winter squash is that the longer the fruit takes to mature the bigger and more flavoursome it will be. Squash are ripe and ready to pick when the stalk and the skin are hard and dry. By then they will also have acquired their typical colour. Handle them carefully, because any bruises will be quick to rot, especially if the weather is damp. You should finish harvesting before the first night frost. Store your squash and pumpkins in cool, dry conditions and leave the stalk attached to make sure they keep longer. Carefully stored and checked occasionally for rot, they'll keep through until spring.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de