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Pumpkins and squash come in many shapes and colours. This month heritage veg enthusiast Rob Smith introduces some of his favourite varieties


Pumpkins and winter squash have been around in one form or another for thousands of years, be it the stereotypical orange pumpkin that is carved at Halloween, or the small oblong squash which tastes just like a sweet potato.

So, when is a pumpkin a winter squash? Or is it a gourd and where do courgettes fit in?The world of cucurbita (the family that all of the above belong to), can be a minefield.Therefore, I’ve tried to simplify which belongs to what and why.

There are four main species of pumpkin/ squash.These are Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita moschata and Cucurbita argyrosperma. To make it a little simpler, let’s reduce Cucurbita to the letter C.

C.pepo includes all summer squash/courgettes, spaghetti squash, and field (Halloween) pumpkins.They can produce bushy or trailing vines and have spiky, five-sided stems.

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This month : Get set to harvest - pick your perfect pumpkins plus harvesting kit on test 6-page special feature - pck crops of tasty berries 8 home-grown recipes to suit every taste Save £££ make your own handy crop covers 13 top tips to tidy your plot this autumn Instant savers & giveways - the case for organic seeds Juicy smoothies - grow your own health drinks + 7 Exclusive videos!