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Growing Pumpkin

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                  P P P

(Best months for growing Pumpkin in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 68°F and 90°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 35 - 47 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-20 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Sweet Corn
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Pumpkin on vine
    Pumpkin on vine

A large trailing plant with yellow, bell-shaped flowers, pumpkin is frost tender. Most varieties will take up a lot of room . Grow them at the edge of your garden patch so that they can spread away from other vegetables. Butternut produces small to medium pear-shaped fruit with deep orange flesh . Buttercup are small to medium round pumpkins with dark green skin. There are a number of large pumpkins, some round and flattish - good for storage and eating - others will produce the "Cinderella coach" type giant round fruit which are not such good eating.

Harvest when the vines die off and the pumpkins' stalks are dry. Leave a small piece of stalk attached to the fruit to prevent damp causing rot. The fruit can be stored for months in a cool airy place. In some parts of New Zealand, they are stored on shed roofs.

Pumpkins sometimes need hand pollination if the fruit are not setting well or die off after starting to grow.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Pumpkin

Cut up, remove the skin and roast with other vegetables or meat.

Young crisp shoots with young leaves can be cooked and eaten - stewed in coconut milk they are popular in Melanesia. Remove any strings and tough parts and stew until tender, or cook as a vegetable in boiling water 3-5 minutes.

Your comments and tips

18 Mar 18, Margaret (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
How do you know when they are ready to harvest
23 Feb 18, Trudi (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have lots of pumpkin flowers but only one pumpkin has formed. A friend mentioned male and female flowers. Can/should I remove flowers that aren't going to produce fruit?
26 Feb 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
If you go to the Australian - sub-tropical zone - there is quite a bit about this with pumpkin. Pumpkin produce male flowers first then they have female flowers, The female flower is only open for one day (until about mid day). No bees no pumpkin. So hand pollination is required. Take about two male flowers and rub the female flowers with it. Look up the internet on how to do it. This applies to zucchini, cues and melons also I believe.
07 Feb 18, Rose (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My pumpkin snapped off the vine. It is very large but the vine is still healthy. What do i do with the pumpkin to ripen it
12 Jan 18, Susan Long (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can you grow gem squash in South Taranaki, New Zealand? When is the best time to grow them and how?
14 Jan 18, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Follow the advice for zucchini/courgettes
06 Jan 18, Ngaire Whytock (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Why should you avoid planting near potatoes
02 Mar 18, David Cottle (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Not growing pumpkins with a potato crop is a falsehood . An easy way to grow both together an have a good cropmof both is to let the potatoes grow and when well established and moulded up at least twice after all frosts .I always throw a rotten pumpkin onto the potato patch and along with all of the pumpkin seeds collected from those which have been used . A good crop of both pumpkins and potatoes always happens .The pumpkins help to suppress weeds and are good companion plants for spuds .
13 Dec 17, Damian Blake (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Why is it recommended to avoid growing pumpkin near potato plants?
02 Oct 17, sunshine (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
When is the time to grow pumpkin, cauliflower, mandarin. Thank you.
Showing 1 - 10 of 41 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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