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Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima
From giant pumpkins that can weigh hundreds of pounds to tiny miniature pumpkins that fit neatly in the palm of a child's hand, there's a pumpkin for just about every need, taste, and desire. Growing pumpkins requires ample space. Give pumpkins, especially the larger ones, plenty of space to sprawl. There's a reason they call it a pumpkin patch -- these autumn treasures need room and sprawl several feet out in all directions. Traditional orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins are fun for carving, but also try other-colored pumpkins, from white to buff, blue-green, and scarlet.
Different varieties, to some degree, control the size of pumpkins. But for the very largest pumpkins, be sure to provide a constant supply of moisture, sunshine, and fertilizer.
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How to Grow Pumpkin
Leave pumpkins on the vine until the skin turns the appropriate color for the variety and the rind feels hard when pressed with your thumbnail. Harvest before a hard frost by cutting the stem from the vine with a sharp knife, leaving a 2-inch stub on the fruit. Place the harvested pumpkins at 80° to 85°F for two weeks to cure them. For longer term storage, place them in a dark location at 50° to 55°F.