The secrets to growing a pumpkin include preparing the plant site in advance, starting the pumpkin seeds indoors early, keeping the plants sheltered and watering them well. Before planting the pumpkins in the spring, mix generous amounts of compost, manure, natural fertilizer and organic materials into the planting site, which needs to be at least 6 feet by 6 feet in size, during the previous fall.
Start the seeds early to give the plants a long growing season by planting each seed in a 4-inch peat pot. Place them indoors in a bright, warm location, and keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate within a week. Plant or transplant pumpkin seedlings outside after the last frost of the season when the soil reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Hill the pumpkin seedlings by placing the peat pots in groups of four in small hills or mounds amended with manure. Erect a mini greenhouse around the plants to protect them from the cold, or swaddle them at night in blankets.
Water the bases of the plants well and often. Give them at least 1 inch of water per week and more after the fruit sets. After the seedlings are 3 inches tall, thin them out. Spread mulch around the plants to keep the soil moist and inhibit weed growth. Feed the plants a high-nitrogen fertilizer until the flowers start to form, and then feed them a high-phosphorus solution.