Plant pumpkins where the vigorous vines can sprawl. Protect young seedlings from marauding birds by covering with berry baskets at sowing time, removing before plants get crowded. Give vines ample water and feed several times for best yields.
HARVEST AND USE
These big plump beauties need to mature properly before harvest. Wait to pick until their rinds are fully deep orange and tough enough to resist piercing with a fingernail. Cut from vines, leaving good stem handles. Let cure in the sun for 10 days then store in a cool dry place and they’ll keep for months. Steam or bake the rich orange flesh for baked goods, soups or casseroles. Or hollow out the inside and use the ornamental pumpkin whole as a show-stopping serving dish for soup or stew.