Adding a splash of colour to supermarket shelves as well as vegetable patches, pumpkins and squash are a vegetable you definitely can't miss during autumn.
From pumpkin spiced lattes to warming soup, we can't get enough of these rotund orange wonders.
They're at their most popular during Halloween when they're carved into spooky designs and lit up with candles.
Pumpkins and gourds belong to the Cucurbitaceae family (the same as melons and cucumbers) and are some of our most ancient crops.
They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. They can range from blue to yellow and spotty, and can be tall, long, pear-shaped, or round.
Pumpkins are great plants to grow as they don't suffer too much from pests and diseases.
I raise pumpkin plants from seed in our glasshouses. Once they're strong and healthy, I plant them out in the beds after the risk of frost has passed.
Once the pumpkins are fully grown and picked, I cure them in the sun for a few weeks to help the skin harden.
The curing process allows the skin of the pumpkins to continue maturing and hardening, which gives them a much longer storage life.
Any wounds to the skin are able to heal and the flesh will get slightly sweeter.
Our modern festival of Halloween finds its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain. This pagan festival celebrated the end of summer and its harvests marked the beginning of winter.
It was believed that on this night it was easier for supernatural beings and the souls of the dead to enter our world, so lanterns were placed outside of homes to deter spirits.
In Scotland and Ireland, these lanterns were carved from turnips and potatoes which were readily available at this time of year.
In the mid-1800s, Scottish and Irish immigrants arrived in America, carrying with them the tradition of lantern carving for Samhain.
But rather than an abundance of turnips at the end of October, there were pumpkins and squash to be carved instead. This is the tradition that we carry on today.
Next time you're cooking pumpkin, skip the soup and give this pumpkin gratin a try from Kew's Global Kitchen Cookbook.