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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 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
    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

08 Sep 17, Renae (Australia - tropical climate)
My son and I planted two pumpkin seeds, I have harvested about 8 pumpkins all Kent's and they are getting bigger and bigger. For some reason we seem to have a butternut shaped pumpkin that has the coloring and pattern of a Kent. Could it be a crossbreed? How early is too early to pick them? I've had to throw a few unripened ones away not knowing.
10 Sep 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look how long it states to grow them and don't pick before then. The plant vines will start to die off. Best to grow into the winter months - they will mature slower and you will be able to store them longer. Read the notes here and on the internet.
10 Sep 17, Bru (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I grow butternuts fairly successfully, usually sowing seed from late September. Last years crop took a good 6 months (early April) before i could harvest (i can usually harvest way earlier than this). My suggestion is to give them at least 5 months from sowing, but keep an eye on the vine, once that starts dying off your pumpkins should be ready to harvest.
01 Aug 17, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When to plant bottle Gourd?
03 Aug 17, Bev (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Like all curcubitae, planting time is when your soil is up to 20C. Definitely after all risk of frost is over
19 Jul 17, Terry Forster (Australia - tropical climate)
I am looking for Gramma Pumpkin seeds. I Grew some of these years ago near Beaudesert.Has any body heard of these we made dessert pumpkin pie with them.
21 Jul 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google "Gramma Pumpkin seeds" and you will find where to buy them. I can't put other company names on here. .
09 Aug 17, Terry Forster (Australia - tropical climate)
I ordered them today, thanks for the advice.
26 Jun 17, Pauline (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
From time to time I will have a pumpkin from my garden that when I cut it, it has white lumps in it that are hard and when the pumpkin is cooked it remains hard. Do you know what causes this, maybe something in the soil? something lacking in the soil? a virus? I would love to find out and see if I can avoid or cure this problem.
09 Aug 17, Rana (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I heard that is has something to do with uneven watering or spurts of drought.
Showing 1 - 10 of 422 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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