Pumpkin Seed Giveaway

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Collect your free pumpkin and squash seeds in preparation for our annual Pumpkin Festival at Hauser & Wirth Somerset this October. The autumnal celebration will take place on Sunday 30 October 2016, featuring a host of competitions, activities and creative tasks using your homegrown produce. Each seed packet contains the following varieties of pumpkins and squashes: Waltham Butternut, Cornell’s Delicata, Atlantic Giant, King of Mammoth and Rouge Vif D’etampes. Simply collect your free pack from the gallery’s front desk and get growing today! We’d love to see your progress so please update images to social media using the official hashtag #hauserwirthpumpkinfestival2016 Schools, don’t forget to take part in our Pumpkin Diary Competition to share your pumpkin growing story. The winning class will get a free trip to explore Hauser & Wirth Somerset. Click here to find out how to take part and download a competition entry form.

Here’s some handy tips on how best to sow your seeds:

  • Seeds can be sown in pots from April – June. Fill a 7.5 cm / 3 in pot with compost, place a seed in on its side 2.5 cm /1 in deep and cover

  • Label, water and place on a windowsill or in a propagator. When roots begin to show though the bottom of the pot transfer into a 12.5 cm / 5 in pot

  • Once seedlings have established, plant outside spacing them 2 – 3 m / 6 – 10 ft apart

  • Seeds can also be sown from late May – early Summer directly into the ground. Choose a sunny, sheltered spot and improve the soil before planting by digging in well-rotted manure or compost

  • Sow two seeds on their side 2.5 cm / 1 in deep. Once the seedlings have germinated, remove the weakest on

  • Protect seedlings with mulch and feed with general fertiliser or tomato plant food, watering regularly though the growing season

  • If you’re growing larger varieties use wire as a guide to train shoots as they grow. Remove some fruits before they develop, leaving two or three fruits on the plant. This will encourage the plant to put its energy into producing larger fruit

  • As the fruits get bigger raise them up onto a piece of wood or brick to protect them from rotting. Remove any leaves shading the fruit as it needs maximum light to ripen

  • If there’s a risk of an early frost protect the fruit with cardboard and straw

(Main image: Pumpkin Festival 2015, Hauser & Wirth Somerset. Photo: Ben Taylor)

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