There are so many varieties of pumpkins and squash that I find it very difficult to choose which few to grow. For now, I have limited space in my two relatively large vegetable gardens. But, pumpkins take up a lot of room and although it can be a fun experience, I try to avoid cross-pollination. Last year, in garden number 1, I had 2 rows of corn and 6 rows of potato plants between 2 varieties of pumpkins, and I didn't notice any strange hybrids there. It was a similar scene in the second garden. So with room for only 4 different varieties, how do I go about choosing out of a collection of hundreds?
My first concern is carving. We do a large display for Halloween, my husband has grown as an artist over the years, my kids will carve as many as you will throw in front of them, so I need a nice selection of reasonably easy to carve pumpkins.
Color is another important factor, because as soon as there are a few mature fruit on the vine, I start taking them off for displays around the yard and house. Last year, I found myself wishing for more color and varieties. While the displays were nice, I found they lacked interest. So I need to grow various sizes and colors.
The picture above was taken in 2012, the year I ended up with a lot of hybrids. While this was a lot of fun, we didn't have a whole lot of nice carvers.
I do have 10 acres of land, so I have to decide whether or not to create more growing space for the sake of more varieties and more pumpkins, (and a lot more work).
Here are a few varieties I'm thinking about for 2014:
I could go on and on about all I want to do with all various kinds of pumpkins and squash, but for now I have to work on making up my mind about which seeds to order.