When you see the perfect carving pumpkin for sale, it's probably 'Howden', developed in the 1970s by John Howden in Massachusetts as the ideal decorative pumpkin. John's son, Bruce, carries on the family tradition so you can grow your own! These bright orange pumpkins have strong handles, thick walls, and defined ribs that add to its characteristic Halloween look. Each plant produces 1–2, 18–22 pound pumpkins on long vines.
• Botanical Name: Cucurbita pepo
• Days to Maturity: 110 days
• Family: Cucurbitaceae
• Native: Southern United States and Mexico
• Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual
• Plant Dimensions: 10'–15' vines
• Variety Information: Fruits are 12"–16" round and average 18–22 lbs. with medium-grained, pale orange flesh. 1–2 fruits per plant.
• When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 2 to 4 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is 70°–90°F.
• When to Start Inside: Not recommended except in very short growing seasons, 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date. Sow in biodegradable pots that can be planted directly in the ground. Transplant after your average last frost date, when weather is warm and settled.
• Days to Emerge: 7–14 days
• Seed Depth: 1"
• Seed Spacing: 2–3 seeds per mound
• Row Spacing: 4'–6' apart
• Thinning: When several leaves, thin to 1 –2 per mound
• Harvesting: Harvest pumpkins before the first fall frost, and when foliage has begun to dry out. Cut stem with a knife, leaving 3"–4" of stem on the pumpkin. Do not hold the pumpkin by the stem; if stem attachment gets broken, or any part of the pumpkin bruises, the pumpkin may rot. Brush off any dirt or leaves. Ideally, cure at 80°-85°F and 80–85% humidity or a warm, sunny spot with good air circulation for 1 to 2 weeks before eating or storage. Do not allow harvested fruit to get wet.