Archives for posts with tag: kabocha

I finally got them all in out of the cold for winter storage and selling. All over the place.

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 been a terrible year for pumpkins. The weather was cold and rainy and the ground was cold, wet and compact when I planted the  small seedlings out. They never really got going. I thought that I might not get any this year, but the fall has been quite nice, so I got a lot of tiny pumpkins – ripe too. 

It was getting cold yesterday, so I picked all that were left.   

The amount is right, but each one should be about 2 or 3 times bigger.  

Mice were getting at them too.   

It was good that I picked them yesterday.  

For a while I was wondering if I had gotten a package of seeds for mini pumpkins, or that they were planted too close to each other, or that I had fertilised too little, or that the sunflowers shaded them too much, but everyone I’ve talked to around here has had the same result with their pumpkins. 

Try again next year!

The pumpkin patch is in!


The pumpkin plants (kabocha, uchiki kuri, acorn, sweet potato pumpkin, and jackolantern-type and more) have been planted in a spiral, from the center outwards, with sunflowers interspersed and sweet corn planted in raised beds around the perimeter. 



Now for some mulching, weeding and perhaps a bit of watering. Soon this will become a sea of green, billowing in the wind. A calming attraction for meditation and rest in the bus stop. 


All the pumpkins are planted out into this years pumpkin patch, except for some acorn squash that didn’t germinate earlier, so I had to resow them. I’ve also started to put out the sweet corn around the edges. And a few sunflowers are scattered here and there.

Everything is standing quite perky, because the weather has been cooperating better this year. I’ve also started a new labeling system. Long laths that stick up about 80 cm. so that they will remain above the sea of leaves when the pumpkins get growing. The birds and animals won’t be able to pick and toss them around either.

It has been very windy and dry weather the last few weeks. I try to avoid it, but I’ve had to water almost every evening. Now it has rained 9 millimeters anyway, so I’ve taken a break from painting the house, tilled the pumpkin patch and started to plant out the various pumpkins, squashes and maize.

Many vegetables have a slightly longer growing season than these northern climes allow. We start the plants indoors, some as early as the last week of April and others as late as mid May and take outside when weather permits.

When the risk of frost is over, we plant them out in a new tilled field.

Here is our procedure for kabotcha, Japanese pumpkins:
First we dig holes starting from the center of the crop circle spiraling outwards. We space them about one meter from each other and dig about one spade deep and wide. We put a spadefull of compost or old manure in each hole, fill with water, cover with dirt, claw out a hole and put a pumpkin plant in. A little more water is good, as well as packing with some more dirt to keep the plant from blowing around too much in the wind, which is a constant problem around here.

If you have only a few plants, putting them directly on the compost works great.

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.



Some of the pumpkin harvest 2010