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03/11/2010 10:18:00

Fab Pumpkin Growing

Now that Halloween is over, and the candles in the spooky pumpkins have melted away, you've trawled the internet for 101 ways to cook pumpkin that isn't pumpkin soup, and you've roasted and scoffed your seeds, you may be thinking that you could manage an even bigger pumpkin next year. And the best way to get a truly impressive pumpkin is to grow your own.

Growing your own pumpkin is not difficult. They need a fair bit of space, a little bit of knowledge (not much) and a lot of food and water (although a generous portion of manure in the soil at the start will go a long way). There are some good articles on growing pumpkins here:

BBC gardening guide to growing pumpkins

More technical guide by champion growers on how to grow giant pumpkins

Useful video on growing pumpkins

If you think growing a pumpkin might be too technical and you're not skilled enough, think again! For some inspiration, take a look at some of these photos of schools in Kent who took part in this year's pumpkin growing competition run by Victoriana Nursery. The schools receive seedling plants from the nursery and the staff then visit the schools to judge the finished pumpkins. This year's winning school was Sheldwich Primary School, where one of their students, Alistair Eiggs, managed to grow a 112cm pumpkin! This won the school gardening club a £40 voucher to spend on plants and seeds for next year.

These are the seedlings at the nursery waiting to be sent out to schools.

The judging.

Some proud growers!

Could your school or nursery work with a local garden centre or nursery to hold your own mini competition?

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