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Organic Heirloom French Pumpkin 'ROUGE VIF D'ETAMPES' 

Cucurbita spp.


Kids love this antique french heirloom pumpkin. Flatter than regular pumpkins and darker of color, this is the classic 'Cinderella's ' pumpkin. Red-orange fruits average 6 inches tall and 18 inches across with very deep sutures. Very decorative, but a little hard to carve because of the deep sutures. One of the best baking pumpkins, the sweet thick flesh has a better flavor than most carving types. It is reported as having been the variety the pilgrims cultivated and served at the second Thanksgiving dinner.



Plant lifecycle: annual

Site: Full sun

Days to maturity: 95 to 150 days

Seed depth: 1"

Plant spacing:36-48"

Row spacing: 48-72"

Approx seeds per packet : 3 gram (~ 11 seeds)


How to grow:

Sowing: Direct sow or transplant in late spring when soil warms up. For transplants, start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks after the last frost date. Try to get the plants into the ground no later than the summer solstice. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 68-95°F. Seeds should sprout in 7-14 days.

Sow seeds 1"deep. Sow 3 seeds in each spot you want a plant to grow and thin to the strongest plant. Space plants at a minimum of 36-48 "apart in rows 48-72" apart. If starting transplants indoors, consider using the 12-cell plug inserts.


Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. These big plants need lots of food. Choose a sunny spot with fertile, well-draining soil. Dig in a generous quantity of finished compost and/or composted manure. Dig in 1 cup of complete organic fertilizer under each plant. All pumpkins grow male flowers first, then the female flowers are produced. The female flowers have tiny fruits at the base of the petals and require pollination by bees, mostly. Incomplete pollination is common at the beginning of the season, and results in small fruits that are misshapen at the flower end. Discard these damaged fruits before they rot.

For the largest pumpkins, feed weekly throughout the growing season with fish or kelp based fertilizer. Keep the huge plants well watered, particularly in hot weather. Always water the soil, and avoid any form of overhead watering other than rain. Fruit will grow larger if you keep only one fruit per vine. As the fruit develops, try to gently encourage it to grow at a 90° angle to the vine itself. The largest pumpkin varieties will grow on their sides.


How to harvest: 

Like other winter squash, pumpkins are mature when they have colored up well and their stems are crisp. For the best sugar content, cut the stem about 2" or so from the body of the fruit. If the weather is dry, allow the pumpkins to cure in the field for 10 days, or in a warm room for 4-5 days.

Bring pumpkins in under cover before rain.



Heirloom French Pumpkin 'ROUGE VIF D'ETAMPES '

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