Archives for posts with tag: Hybrid

I’m back to blogging after a period of not. We are leaving my frozen garden…

for a 12 day trip to Japan to see the leaves change color in the temple gardens and hills around Kyoto. And maybe I’ll be able to buy a can of hybrid pumpkin seeds. 

It’s the time of year for starting out the curbits. Various kinds of pumpkin, squash, sunflowers and many other flowers need to be started out earlier than the weather and short growing season of this part of Sweden permit. The seeds are sown in flats that can be kept indoors and can thus get going a few weeks ahead of time for later planting out after frost risk is over in the beginning of june.

Two flats of hokkari kabocha a Japanese pumpkin, also known as the hokkaido pumpkin.

It has an exceptionally delicious flavor with a thick orange meat – my favorite. Even tho it’s a hybrid variety, I have to have it, and so do my Japanese customers. I get the seeds directly from Japan by way of Japanese friends who go back and forth often. Next year we are planning on going ourselves.


Pumpkin harvest

I usually wait until after the first heavy frost of the fall to harvest all the pumpkins and the rest of the sensitive crops. We haven’t had it yet, and I’m becoming impatient, so I’ve started gradually taking them in.

Our favorite pumpkin is the japanese hokkari (often called hokkaido pumpkin). I get seeds from japanese friends that travel back and forth between Sweden and Japan. I also have some seeds from China (a pumpkin named lixiu I believe) via internet that are indistinguishable from the japanese ones. These are F1 hybrids so I can’t save my own seeds. I try to avoid hybrids but these have a far superior flavour to anything similar.

Also seen in this picture is uchiki kuri, turban, kroshka, table king acorn, sweet meat and an unnamed small white pumpkin that has a bland taste like a potato. I grow jacko-lantern pumpkins too but they tend to not ripen to a nice orange color until later.

Then there are the nonhybrid offspring from the hokkari that grow on the compost with an inferior flavour. The flavour deteriorates from year to year if I save the seeds.

The pumpkins grew and ripened very well this year. The hokkari were half the usual size and I’m not sure why. It could be because I don’t fertilize much, but it could also have been the weather which was cool, wet and cloudy. They certainly could have used more sunshine. Anyway, the smaller size is very much appreciated by all because they take up much less space in storage. And when cooking there are not as many pieces left that need be to put in the refrigerator.