OLD BOER WHITE PUMPKIN (Curcubita maxima), also known as Flat White Boer Ford, is a heirloom from South Africa and one of the finest pie and general use pumpkins you can grow. It is also knockout gorgeous - very large, ribbed, creamy white in a natural sort of way - just everything you want in a decorative pumpkin. It stores an incredibly long time so don't forget about it because its dense smooth creamy sweet orange flesh is superb for cooking and baking. Plus, its brittle shell is much easier to open than many pumpkins. A sharp knife is all you need (no mallet necessary, even on the largest). The seed cavity is small in relation to the flesh, but it holds many many large plump seeds which also make delicious eating. Very few strings and they are completely confined to the seeds and peel off easily. This is a plus as any cook will tell you. These heavy, heavy pumpkins weigh on average 15-20 lbs, but can get larger. The beauty shown measures 17" x 6"h and weighs over 25 lbs, but you have to eliminate all the competition on the vine and faithfully fertilize to achieve that. Sturdy vines provide excellent coverage for the fruit and strong "handles" afterward. Please note the long grow time required and start this beauty indoors if necessary. 115-125 days. 10 seeds.
ABOUT PUMPKIN: Most pumpkins fall into the category of Cucurbita pepo (jack-o-lantern types). Many large fruited types are Cucurbita maxima and are irregular in size and shape. Other pie pumpkins are Cucurbita moschata and excellent for processing. If you are saving seeds, do not grow hybrids and do not grow more than one variety of the three types or cross-pollination can occur. Soil should be well-drained with a pH of 6.0-6.5 and at least 60 degrees. Seeds will rot otherwise. Plant in hills, which will also help warm the soil. Plant 6-8 seeds per 2' hill 1" deep and gently tamp soil. Do not over-fertilize with nitrogen as this will encourage vine growth instead of fruit but do provide plenty of rich compost. Because they have deep roots, water one inch per week and allow it to soak deeply into the soil. Water in the morning, so leaves dry by evening. The first flowers that appear will be male, whose function it is to provide pollen for bees who then pollinate the female plants. The male flowers simply drop off (gather them up quickly and batter them up for a tasty treat). The female flowers will be swollen at their base. If they appear before the males, they will not go to fruition.