Here is the Japanese Pumpkin, Cucurbita maxima. It is also known as the kabocha squash, kabocho, kabotcha! It is pretty sweet and makes a great pie or you can cut into chunks an put in soup. This variety can produce dozens of fruits fairly quickly an can make 10 pumpkins per vine. It is hard on the outside with a knobbly-looking skin and a bright yellow-orange flash inside. Fruits can get to 5 Lbs and about 10 inches around. Plants normally don't get to much bigger then 8 feet but may get longer in full sun. We found roasting the seeds to be really good and the flesh makes a good pumpkin pie! Open pollinated 90 to 100 days.
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PUMPKIN SOWING AND PLANTING TIPS
- Grow pumpkins from seeds or seedlings.
- Seed is viable for 6 years.
- Direct sow pumpkins in the garden in spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to 70°F (21°C). In warm-winter regions, sow pumpkin in midwinter for harvest in early summer.
- To start pumpkins indoors before the last frost in spring, sow seed in peat pots 4 to 3 weeks before planting out. The indoor temperature should be 66°F to 85°F (18-29°C) until germination.
- Pumpkin seeds will not germinate at a soil temperature below 66°F (18°C).
- Sow seed ½ to 1 inch (1.3-2.5 cm) deep.
- Seeds germinate in 4 to 10 days at 85°F (29°C) or warmer.
- Space plants in the garden 12 to 18 inches (30-45 cm) apart in all directions.
- Pumpkins will benefit from the warm soil created by planting on hills or mounds; raise the soil 12 inches (30 cm) tall and 20 inches (50 cm) wide and grow individual plants on hills. Space hills 4 to 5 feet (1.2-1.5 m) apart.
- Water to keep the soil from drying.
- Fertilize with fish emulsion or a soluble complete fertilizer at half strength.
- Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of transplanting.
- Pumpkins prefer a soil pH range of 5.5 to 6.8.
- Grow pumpkins in full sun for best yield.
- Avoid planting pumpkins where cucumbers or melons have grown recently.
- Common pest enemies include aphids, cucumber beetles, flea beetles, squash bugs, squash vine borers, slugs, and snails.
- Common diseases include bacterial wilt, fusarium wilt, downy mildew, powdery mildew, cucumber mosaic.