Pumpkins are herbaceous plants with tendrils that belong to the cucurbit family ( Cucurbitaceae ) and are native to Central and South America . The species most commonly cultivated in hobby gardens are the giant pumpkins ( Cucurbita maxima ) and the garden pumpkins ( Cucurbita pepo ) . Summer squash has a soft skin that can be eaten , while winter squash is hard and needs to be peeled. If the pumpkin tastes bitter, it could be a poisonous ornamental pumpkin , which must not be consumed . It is important to only plant one type of pumpkin next to each other so that there are no poisonous crosses . Pumpkins need plenty of water , sunlight , and nutrient-rich soil. A culture in the pot is possible. No more than three fruits should ripen per plant. Since the plants are tall, there should be about 1.5 meters between crops in the bed.
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