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

16 Apr 21, Adeline Wharrier (Australia - tropical climate)
Can i plant pumpkins now in Mackay?
16 Apr 21, Joy Wallace (Australia - temperate climate)
I have two pumpkins growing wild in my garden, can I send you photos as I don't know what variety they are. They are about a basketball in size.Joy
13 Apr 21, Dawn Knape (Australia - temperate climate)
Can I grow pumpkin s now in April in the Yarra valley
14 Apr 21, Mel (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Dawn, Unfortunately April is not the right time to grow pumpkins in Victoria as we are heading into winter. Pumpkins require a fairly long growing period of 4-6 months (depending on the variety) of warm weather and are they are very frost sensitive, so will die once winter hits. If you are keen to grow something now, cabbages, broccoli, Asian greens, lettuces, radishes and carrots are pretty good bets. If you have your heart set on growing pumpkin, best to wait till October/November for sowing/planting for best results. Cheers & happy gardening.
13 Mar 21, Martyn Beaver (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Can I grow pumpkin all year round in Brisbane and if so can I grow Kent /jap and butternut ?
19 Mar 21, M (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Most crops have a preferred season or two to grow during. There are reasons for that. That is why this website recommends growing at certain times of the year.
05 Mar 21, Edith Martin (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted some butternut pumpkin seeds in January. They are only producing male flowers. How can I get some female flowers?
08 Mar 21, (Australia - temperate climate)
Give them some time. Quite often male flowers are first to appear, attract the bees.
28 Feb 21, Kobie Swanepoel (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
My pumpkin's leaves are full of lice. What natural remedy can i use for that? Thanks
28 Feb 21, Daniel Chai (New Zealand - temperate climate)
in my garden now many pumpkins are sprouting, even if it is not the season. Maybe after eating pumpkins the dregs were dumped there. what shall i do? Do I remove them to save the space for other veges or leave them?
Showing 1 - 10 of 758 comments

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?

- Sue Bradshaw

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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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