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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 20°C and 32°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 90 - 120 cm 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.

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 Feb 20, Paula (Australia - temperate climate)
Every year I get pumpkins pop up from compost that we put around the fruit trees. This year I have 10 large ones, and a number of small ones that might mature if it’s not too late. They are a mixture of Queensland blue and Kent. No butternut this year. Last year we spread the compost out the front and did not get a single fruit, otherwise we average 10 a year.
18 Feb 20, Another gardener (Australia - temperate climate)
Last year the compost may not have had pumpkin seeds in it. If it did the seeds may have gone rotten. Or they were too deep in the soil. Why not take a few seeds from the pumpkin you eat each year, dry them out for a couple of weeks and germinate them next year, Put the dried out seeds in a little plastic bag and store them in an air tight bottle in the fridge. You can produce about 3-6 pumpkin per plant if the bees are active or hand pollinate.
01 Feb 20, paul polglase (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have planted pumpkin seeds from last years plants every little bit of space I can find in my yard this summer, plants are coming up everywhere and noticed the first pumpkins growing and looking very healthy. I was wondering if I can put a illtle bit of chicken manure around each plants base, as I think it,s the best thing to add to the garden, but away from the stems to give them areal kick in the guts?
03 Feb 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You should have done this in preparing the soil before planting the seeds. You need composted manure. Fresh manure won't do much for weeks until it is composted. Your plants will tell you how they are going. Good strong green looking plants don't need a good kick in the guts. Pale yellow weak plants do not have enough fertiliser.
25 Jan 20, Michael Daly (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I have plenty of runners on my pumpkins when can you start cutting these off They are greys and green colours. Why are you not supposed to grow near potatoes.
27 Jan 20, anon (New Zealand - temperate climate)
You don't cut the runners (vine) off, how do you expect to grow any pumpkin if you cut them off.
23 Jan 20, Tina Johnson (Australia - temperate climate)
My pumpkins have sprouted out of some compost I put in the soil. I though they were QLD pumpkins but they are still a light yellow colour, will they turn grey or should I pick them.
27 Jan 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have only grown Kent pumpkin the last two years so I don't know much about the other varieties. But a mature pumpkin yellow sounds maybe like a different variety. Doing a bit of reading on the internet might help. Don't pick pumpkin until they are about 18-22 weeks old, the vine will be dying off and the stem holding the pumpkin to the vine will become hard.
20 Jan 20, SA MID NORTH (Australia - arid climate)
Be careful using your grey water on edible crops due to pathogens
24 Jan 20, Jaz (Australia - arid climate)
I'm mid north SA also, I thought we were temperate??
Showing 1 - 10 of 658 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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