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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.
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.
more varieties for Pumpkin
'Baby Bear' pumpkin
produces 1-2 pound, deep orange fruits that are just the right size for youngsters to handle. As a bonus, the semi-hulless seeds are excellent for roasting. 105 days
'Baby Boo' pumpkin
produces an abundance of 2-3-inch diameter gourd-like white mini pumpkins 90 days after planting.
'Connecticut Field' pumpkin
bears light orange fruits that are a good size for carving. Fruits range from 15 to 30 pounds, so you'll have a choice of sizes for your jack-o-lantern. 100 days
is a good choice for a large (20-30 pounds) pumpkin. It bears deep orange fruit with a strong stem handle. 110 days
is a decorative orange mini pumpkin that produces 3-4-inch diameter fruits in 95 days.
'Long Island Cheese' pumpkin
bears flattened, ribbed, buff fruits that look like a large wheel of cheese. The deep orange flesh is excellent for pies. 110 days
bears ghostly smooth white skin on fruits great for carving or painting. The interior flesh is orange. It is an early-maturing variety, bearing 10-pound fruits 85 days after planting.
'Rouge Vif d'Etamps' pumpkin
is also sometimes called 'Cinderella' pumpkin because it resembles the carriage of the fairytale princess. This flattened scarlet-orange French heirloom variety has sweet orange flesh. 115 days
'Small Sugar' pumpkin
is an heirloom variety that produces small (5-8 pounds) fruits that are excellent for pies and canning in addition to fall decorations. The bright orange pumpkins mature in 100 days.