Alex, Current Issues, Decoration, Halloween, Heated Clothing, How To

It is Halloween again and for many of us this can be a scary time of year. I am not referring to the fear inflicted upon us by small children wearing strange costumes knocking on your door threatening to perform some sort of no doubt dastardly trick unless we immediately hand over confectionary items. No, not this doorstep intimidation racket or even the B list horror flicks that emigrate from their usual late night spot onto primetime viewing hours. It is the terror of the annual pumpkin carving ordeal.

Thankfully, we have some ideas for you. Some inspiration gathered from the great minds of the interweb. If that wasn’t enough we follow this up with a few handy tips to ensure you achieve pumpkin perfection this Halloween.
Here are 5 pumpkin designs we found particularly inspiring/amusing:

1. 

Pumpkin Pi
Pumpkin pi – For the intellectual carver

2.

Star wars pumpkin
Episode 8 – Attack of the pumpkin

3.

Sick Pumpkin
November 1st

4.

Weird baby pumpkin
This is just weird…

5.

Scary Turnip
Turnips are genuinely terrifying

Tips for Carving your Pumpkin:

  1. My number 1 tip is cheat – Download a template from the internet and trace it on to your pumpkin. No one has to know, there are so many great ones out there. Simply trace the template onto your pumpkin and carve carefully around the outline.
  2. Use the right tools – Don’t spend hours hacking away at your pumpkin with a desert spoon. Take a minute to plan ahead and utilise the best tools for the job. A sharp knife is a must. A hammer and chisel may be too far, but saying that there are those on the internet who swear by using power tools for this task.
  3. Clear the area – This task is always more difficult, dangerous and messier than you remember. Don’t start the dissection in your lounge on that new rug you got just last week. Lay down some newspaper, give yourself some space and make sure you’re in appropriate clothing and you will be much better off.
  4. Preservation – If you want your pumpkin to last a while and not go all mouldy and horrible there are a few techniques that will do the job. I’ve read about using Vaseline and similar products but apparently it can be a slippery, dangerous process with mixed results. You can use vinegar but surprisingly the most effective solution is to soak your pumpkin in 1 tsp. bleach/ gallon of water solution for around 8 hours. It may seem a bit excessive, and you will want to keep any children away during this phase, but the results can be great prolonging your pumpkin’s display time by up to 10 days!

Make sure you send in pictures of your finished article via our Facebook page. Points will be awarded for originality, design and overall effort. The winner stands to win one of our brand new Warmawear ™ hand warmers, perfect for the winter months, and of course will be awarded the prestigious accolade of Primrose Pumpkin of the Year 2015! Good luck!

AlexAlex works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.

As a psychology graduate it is ironic that he understands plants better than people but a benefit for the purpose of writing this blog.

An enthusiastic gardener, all he needs now is a garden and he’ll be on the path to greatness. Alex’s special talents include superior planter knowledge and the ability to put a gardening twist on any current affairs story.

See all of Alex’s posts.

Cat, Celebrations And Holidays, Halloween

It is Hallowe’en which is traditionally associated with pumpkins and today we have a treat for you from Paul Peacock aka Mr Digwell:

What is the best variety of pumpkin to use for Hallowe’en?

By far the best pumpkin is the variety ‘Hundredweight’ which is a big beast of a fruit and fairly easy to grow.

What is the best way to grow it?

Place two seeds in an 8 cm pot of compost in April and keep indoors, but not too hot. Discard the worst growing seedling and then let the other grow on to at least a handslength.

When the roots appear at the bottom of the pot, transfer them to an 18 cm pot and grow on until the first week in June.

The ground should be well manured and full of rich compost and choose a warm, sunny spot. Plant out the pumpkins on a small hill around 30 cm tall, and space them at two metre intervals.

Feed weekly with tomato fertilizer and water every other day. As the fruits grow, place them on some wooden planks for protection, and keep them to two or three fruits per plant.

When the fruit skin just starts to crack it is ready for harvest.

Here is also a video of Paul discussing giant pumpkins:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQcNPpl4EIA]
 

Some of the Primrose staff couldn’t resist and came into the office dressed up. See them in all their glory:

The staff member with the best dressed costume will win a special sur-prize, but we need your help in choosing! head over to our Facebook page and vote!

Happy Hallowe’en from all of us!

Mr Digwell gardening cartoon logo

Paul Peacock studied botany at Leeds University, has been the editor of Home Farmer magazine, and now hosts the City Cottage online magazine. An experienced gardener himself, his expertise lies in the world of the edible garden. If it clucks, quacks or buzzes, Paul is keenly interested.

He is perhaps best known as Mr Digwell, the cartoon gardener featured in The Daily Mirror since the 1950s. As Mr Digwell he has just published his book, A Year in The Garden. You can also see more about him on our Mr Digwell information page.

wedding-meCat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter.

She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening.

She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events.