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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

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

15 Jan 19, Noel (Australia - temperate climate)
This year my pumpkins are quite robust, a good yield due to creating a beehive I reckon. But its very hot here in NE Victoria, the plants are struggling, despite 2 daily waterings and although the stems haven't dried off my instincts tell me to pick them before they get affected as well. Am I right or wrong?
16 Jan 19, Graham Bower (Australia - temperate climate)
If the stems haven't dried off fruit will be immature and tasteless. They will not keep .Leave on the ground. Risk of rotting is slight and worth the risk. If you are unduly concerned you could always lift the fruit off the ground onto a piece of wood or similar. I rarely lift mine until May / June. Graham (berwick Vic)
16 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Go by the guide here of 15-20 weeks. But a good indication is the stem holding the pumpkin to the vine is woody and hard. Pick one of the oldest ones and try it - judge from that when to pick the rest.
13 Jan 19, Jonie (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Hi. We live in Zone 9. We were able to get beautiful pumpkin plants and florets, but never produced a pumpkin this year. We know they can grow bc there is a pumpkin farm nearby that produces plenty. I thought that I had only males, but then female plants appeared and still no flower. We started them in Late July, I think. Any advice?
07 Jan 19, Wayne Cronin (Australia - temperate climate)
My butternut pumpkins are growing well but when the pumpkin gets to a good size approx 100-150mm long it goes brown and dies off. It is about 38 deg here the last week and I water twice a day (morning and late arvo) Is it the heat or too much water or needs some fertiliser???
14 Jan 19, Craig (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Wayne, I planted my pumpkin seedlings last September and luckily it happened to be next to a lavender bush which attracts bees. It gave me 4 pumpkins which ended up growing under the lavender bush and next to the fence. I watered it a few times and then it just took care of itself. But they do tend to prefer growing under or around other plants for shade.
08 Jan 19, Carl (Australia - tropical climate)
Hi Wayne, A possibility is they are not being pollenated. Are there bees in your garden? I would suggest pollenating the flowers yourself with your fingers gently. Touch the male, then touch the female flower. Good fun. Carl
10 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - tropical climate)
Usually the un-pollinated little pumpkin only grows to about 50-70mm then shrivels up and dies. I had one grow to about 6
08 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Try growing them early in the planting season. Start seedlings in August Sept. Mulch around the plants and give a good watering twice a week. I don't grow things in summer too many problems. You probably have some disease or grubs. Do some research on the net.
07 Jan 19, john colee (Australia - tropical climate)
hi when do i plant kent pumpkins in townsville
Showing 1 - 10 of 566 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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