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Growing Pumpkin

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20 Mar 17 Barbara Sharp (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, there are pumpkins in garden with big flowers, about 7 crab apple size fruit on each of 5 trailing stems. In Dunedin, what care do they need to produce good fruit.. ie reducing amount of stems, reducing fruit on stems, mulching etc. Have lots of healthy green leaves, have kept them watered and off the ground on boards. Thanks for any advice you can offer. Last year possums got to my only beautiful pumpkin just as it was ready to harvest, so need to cover them this year!! Thanks Barbara
21 Mar 17 Jonno (Australia - temperate climate)
You are listed as sub-tropical but also mention Dunedin. If you live in Dunedin it may be too late for the pumpkins to ripen before winter sets in. Pumpkins need about 4-5 months of good growing weather to do really well. The best way to grow pumpkins in areas where the seasons are shorter is to plant them in toilet paper cylinders filled with mix about 3 weeks before the last frost is expected. Stand the cylinders in a container (for watering) and keep them in a sunny spot inside. As soon as the soil is warm enough, about mid November in Dunedin I would think you could plant them out (cylinder included, it will rot. Removing the growing tips when a few pumpkins have formed will definitely help the pumpkins to grow a good size. If the pumpkins don't develop enough this year grate them and use them instead of zucchini in cakes or savoury slice or muffins. Trust this helps.
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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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