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

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, try picking a male flower (straight stem) and gently brushing pollen inside female flowers.

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

15 Feb 21, Que (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
How many plants must I plant in a hectare?
16 Feb 21, Anonymous (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Google to find out some numbers. MAKE SURE you have plenty of bees in your area.
12 Feb 21, Margaret (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How long do I keep watering pumpkins? They are big now - mid Feb - leaves a bit mildewy. But new leaves growing.They were planted late Oct from memory.
22 Feb 21, Richard (Australia - temperate climate)
Different pumpkin types take different times to grow but most take over a month to fully ripen and you often wont see any finished products until mid or late March. It is definitely not time to give up yet. Good things to those who wait :) The plants will die very rapidly after the temperature drops in April and May. However if your getting mildew on the leaves in mid Feb I would recommend that you prune or spray the affected leaves to reduce the spread. I have had years where the plant died in late Feb before the pumpkins fully matured and I was very sad.
15 Feb 21, (Australia - temperate climate)
By the guide here pumpkins take around 5 months to grow and ripen.
26 Jan 21, victor (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
hello. i want to know which pumpkin produce green seeds and where can i buy it to plant it?
24 Jan 21, chris (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Planted a few grey pumpkin plants, but all seem to be coming on orange. Last season the first 2 on the vine ended up giant orange and the rest were grey. What do we need to do to get just the grey ones. Cheers.
05 Jan 21, Sue Bradshaw (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I inherited a large Kent pumpkin vine when we moved into our house a year ago on the Sunshine Coast. It came with a single substantial pumpkin. As I've learned more about the way they reproduce I've tried to hand pollinate with only one successful outcome. The vine currently has two pumpkins, one of which was made without any help from me. A couple of weeks ago (late December) the vine became full of tiny female flowers and the male flowers were in abundance too. I thought I'd have a great outcome and even saw a bee or two. But not all of the tiny females even reached the flowering stage, just withered where they grew. It has been pretty hot and humid here, with temps 30+ most days and night in the low 20s. I keep the water up to them but they really suffer during the mid day heat. Would shade cloth help? Is there anything I can add to the soil?
06 Jan 21, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
Most veggies are grown as an annual. To have one 12mths old is a bit unusual. The vine would be very long now before the flowers appear, maybe the plant can't sustain that. Pumpkin zucchini and probably watermelons and rock melons etc When they flower they start with male flowers to start attracting the bees, then produce female flowers. The female flower is only open for one day generally and will be shut by lunch time. So it needs a few visits from bees in that 2-4 hrs to fertilise the female flower. Or needs hand pollination on that day. I live at Bundy and I grew pumpkin through last summer and it was 3-4 degrees hotter last summer than this year so far. I think you just have an old plant that has had it's day. After you pick this years crop think about planting next year in the spring, your vines will be well establish going into summer. It will also allow you to refresh the soil with compost, manures fertiliser etc.
23 Nov 20, Linda (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hello, I threw pumpkin seeds onto a mound of organic soil. The vine is strong and healthy however the fruit forms but then dies off. I have given it some veggie fertilizer and worm juice. I thought that pollination wouldn't be an issue if the fruit is forming. We live on the Gold Coast and the pumpkin patch gets the morning sun actually its in the sun for most of the day.
Showing 1 - 10 of 744 comments

When is the best time to plant pumpkin seeds please? We live on the Kapiti Coast.

- Annie

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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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