Bright orange flesh
Ask any allotment veteran their idea of the best-flavoured winter squash and you can pretty much guarantee this one will come out top of their list. A nutty, honey-like depth and smooth, pudding-like flesh make it a superb choice for roasting. One of the most long-storing of all squashes.
Steel blue skin and bright orange flesh with a sweet nutty flavour, and averaging 3-4kg (6½-9lb) in weight. The storage potential is excellent; it can be over 3 months if kept in a frost-free area with good ventilation. Trailing growth habit.
Why might it be best NOT to eat these fresh? Squashes noticeably increase their sugar content after just a month of storage at 10°C. These sugars fuel the creation of carotenes and some of these will break down to create the aroma compounds that give winter squashes their characteristic buttery, caramel aroma. So with squashes, sit back and wait a while before enjoying a sweeter, more flavoursome and more nutritious meal. For the highest levels of carotenes (and sugars and aroma chemicals) choose winter squashes like the large Crown Prince or, Hokkaido type Uchiki Kuri, the true King (or should we say Emperor?) of nutrition. Not only do these taste great but a 100g serving will deliver more than twice your recommended daily intake of vitamin A and 50% more fibre than butternut squash.
What are carotenes? Plants can’t hide from the harmful ‘sunburn’ effect of uv radiation but they have evolved a range of protective natural compounds including the beta-carotenes that turn pumpkins and squashes yellow or orange. These are now widely believed to also confer protection against a range of cancers in humans.
Plug or Potted Plant:Plug
If Plug Small, Medium or Large:Large
Aftercare - Easy:True
Aftercare - Moderate:False
Aftercare - High:False
RHS Award of Garden Merit:True
Likes Acidic Soil:False
Beds & Borders:True
Greenhouse, Glass House or Home:True
Grows in Sun or Partial Shade:True
Grows in Sun or Shade:True
On Receipt - Remove the plants from the packaging immediately upon receipt. Check the compost is moist and water if necessary. All the vegetable plants can be planted immediately into a moist soil in the garden, provided conditions are suitable. Once planted water well to settle the soil around the plants. Soil Preparation - Vegetable plants require a well-drained soil in a sunny position that has ideally been dug in the autumn. Prior to planting lightly fork over the area removing any weeds that have grown, and break down any large lumps. Apply a general fertiliser such as Growmore and rake into the surface. During the growing period keep the plants well watered in dry spells and keep weeds under control.