Pumpkins are related to squash, gourd and watermelon in the Cucurbitaceae family. They vary greatly in size (depending on variety), have sprawling vines, and need lots of room; a single vine can cover 500 square feet!
Sow seeds in rich soil, or you can use already-grown pumpkin plants (we sell them at all Sloat locations!). Sow five or six seeds 1 inch deep in hills 6-8 ft apart. When the plants become well-established, thin each hill to the best two plants. Pre-grown plants should also be planted in hills, 6-8 feet apart. Fertilize periodically with E.B. Stone Flower & Vegetable Food. Water regularly, but keep foliage dry to prevent leaf diseases. Plants grow best during periods of warm nights and warm days. They need full sun and regular water.
In late summer, slide a piece of wood, cardboard or other protection under the pumpkins to protect from wet soil and rot. Depending on variety, pumpkins are ready to harvest 90 to 120 days after sowing, when the shell has hardened.