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, 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

13 Oct 20, Mark hillhouse (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When I was a child, my grandmother used to grow pumpkins adjacent to a vary large rock area. She used to trail the vines onto the rock and that was where the pumpkins developed. I don't have a large rocky area to do this so I was wondering about spread some sort of rock aggregate on the ground and trail the vines onto that. Anybody done this before? Cheers
16 Oct 20, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
You don't need any special ground to grow pumpkin on. They grow in bare paddock for farmers.
12 Oct 20, Lisa (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
How close is ‘close to’? I was thinking of planting pumpkin in a bed that is next to a bed with potatoes. The beds are 50 cm apart but I have wondered how define next to or close to in companion planting theory
13 Oct 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Just consider that some pumpkin plants need up to about 8m wide garden bed to sprawl out.
05 Oct 20, Sean (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Can I plant pumpkins in raised beds and let them trail over the edge? Thanks
10 Oct 20, brendan (Australia - temperate climate)
yes. I grow every year in 1/2 44 gallon drums which i have composted over the winter. easy to keep watered
09 Sep 20, Trish (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I'm in temperate climate Melbourne and wish to grown pumpkins in a grow bag due to limited space, any advice on bag size to buy, was looking at the rectangle grow bags would 60 x 30 x 20 be suitable ? Thanks Trish
11 Sep 20, Anonymous (USA - Zone 10b climate)
How limited is your space (is it just the root/ground space that's limited, but you have lots of vertical space)? I ask because pumpkin vines can get SO long. I've grown smaller varieties (lil goblin, sugar pumpkin) in grow bags and they did pretty well, but it was hard to keep the bag from drying out in my hot climate. My fault, I should have mulched. My bags were ~25 gallons...I'm not sure how many square cm that is. I've also had good results with a self-watering container made from a big Rubbermaid storage tote (got instructions on the internet). I think the key thing is, in a container, feed heavily and keep the soil moist with mulch, or else you'll be watering 2x+ a day on hot days.
14 Sep 20, Trish Geradts (Australia - temperate climate)
Thanks for your response. my space is limited to grow pumpkins as they take up alot of room so the idea of vertical seemed good. Yes I agree I am bit concerned about the grow bag being sufficient as yes agree need to keep water & feed up which I am used to as have had lots of pots. This is a little bit of an experiment for me so will see how it goes the seed were from another pumpkin so I will try & hope for the best.
10 Sep 20, Anon (Australia - tropical climate)
There are probably pumpkins that require a smallish area but most pumpkins require an area about 4m square. You could try a grow bag but I would never do it. I watched a TV show, Garden Gurus last weekend, show how to grow tomatoes in one. They planted 3 plants in a bag about your size or a little bigger. They planted them 15-20cm apart. ONE tomato plant needs an area approx. 60cm radius and 40-50cm deep. I plant 4 tomatoes along a 2.5m trellis. My suggest is if you have a small area then plant smallish crops. At home I have 13m x 2.5m and I do not plant any vine crops.
Showing 1 - 10 of 731 comments

I haven't grow butternut but I have Kent pumpkin growing now. The vine did grow out about 1.5-2.0m before the male flowers came out, a few days/week later the female flowers should come out. Hope you have bees otherwise learn about hand pollination.

- anon

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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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