I prefer a large, dry, well ventilated shade structure over the pumpkin. The materials needed to build one of these covers are:
3 – 10 foot pieces of 1/2 inch pvc pipe (very lightweight and flexible)
6 – 1/2 inch rebar – 30 inches
1 – 1/2 inch x 6 feet pvc pipe
2 – 1/2 inch 90 degree pcv elbows
1 – 8×10 foot tarp
Cut the cover 6 x 5 feet. The first step is to tie a loop of twine to each piece of rebar – about 18 inches from one end. This end is then driven into the ground at an angle (toward the center) until the twine loop is at ground level. The rebar should be placed 3 to a side-opposite each other. After all 6 pieces of the rebar are in place, you are now ready to install you hoops to support the tarp. Next, take a 10 foot piece of the 1/2 pvc pipe, and slide it down over 2 opposing pieces of rebar. Repeat this step with the 2 remaining pieces of pipe. Next, take the 6 foot piece of 1/2 inch pvc pipe, and install the 2 -90 degree elbows, facing down. This piece of pipe is then placed on top of your 3 hoops, and duct taped into place.
You have just completed the frame. All that is left to do is to cover it with the tarp. Use twine to tie the tarp to the loops on therebar. Be careful no to create an oven. The structure must be ventilated to prevent heat build up. I leave the north end open. By using a waterproof tarp, the pumpkin and the ground around and under it will remain dry, thus reducing the chance of mold, fungus, and rot attacking your pumpkin. This also reduces the damaging effects of the sun.