Perfectly proportioned small pumpkins are 5 to 6" in diameter, 3.5 to 4" tall, with smooth, orange skins and solid, dark green stems. Disease resistant. All-America Selections winner. GARDIN HINTS: For a head start in short summer areas, start seeds indoors in individual containers 3 to 4 weeks before outdoor planting time. Cultivate or mulch to control weeds. HARVEST TIP: For decorative use, pick pumpkins (with stem attached) when rinds are hard but before heavy frost.
Sow pumpkin seeds in average soil in full sun in spring after all danger of frost. Sow 4-6 seeds about 3" apart in hills 4-6’ apart. Cover with 1" of fine soil; firm lightly and keep evenly moist. If the fruit will not be very heavy, you can train the vines on a trellis to save space. Give large-fruited pumpkins lots of room to ramble. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
How to Grow Pumpkins
Thin seedlings to 2-3 per hill when they are 1-2" high. Pumpkin plants need plenty of water throughout their long growing season. Like their close relatives, cucumbers and melons, they produce male and female flowers on the same plant. You can hand-pollinate the flowers as you would for cucumbers if the bees are not pollinating them. If you are trying to grow extra-large pumpkins, allow only one fruit per plant to mature. Do not plant pumpkins and other squash family crops in the same spot 2 years in a row.
Pumpkins are ready to harvest when the rinds are hard and the proper shade of orange or white for the cultivar. If a light frost kills the vines, cut the fruits from the vines--with 3-4" of stem attached--before they are damaged by heavy frost. Pumpkins can be stored for weeks or months in a warm, dry place at 50-60°F. Use the flesh for baked pies, soups, casseroles, muffins, or bread. Or cook pumpkin as you would winter squash, and serve as a side dish. Roast the seeds for a tasty snack. The flowers are also edible and can be dipped in batter and deep-fried, stir-fried, or saut¿ed.