Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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

02 Jun 19, Sue (Australia - arid climate)
Surprisingly I have pumpkin seeds growing in the shadehouse ??? Is there anyway i can encourage their growth or are they doomed
27 Apr 19, Lindsey (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I would like to grow some pepitas or other breed of squash that has an edible seed. Can you reccomend a type and tell me where i can buy seed, cheers Lindsey
26 Apr 19, skyler (USA - Zone 7b climate)
What time of year is it best to grow pumpkins at ?
28 Apr 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Have a look at this page https://www.gardenate.com/plant/Pumpkin
17 Apr 19, Virginie (Australia - temperate climate)
I have grown my first pumpkins this year, and they hung on the vine. Amazing, 3.8kg hanging! Now, my question is: if I store them outside, will the possum eat them? Thank you in advance
17 May 19, Vic (Australia - temperate climate)
Possums ate mine - so did the rats! So you need to store them where these sharp-toothed creatures cannot reach them.
16 Apr 19, Lynette (Australia - temperate climate)
I have pumpkins coming up now from garden compost. Is it too late to let them grow?
22 Apr 19, Robyn (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Depends what climate zone you live in, what type they are and if you have cold conditions and frost. They probably germinated due to the warmth of the compost so if they are in a warm sheltered position you could let them grow and see if they reach maturity. Then you will be able to keep the seeds as they will be acclimatised to local conditions and should always grow better than seeds introduced from elsewhere. All depends on if you have the room to experiment.
13 Apr 19, (Australia - temperate climate)
Vine shows no signss of dying off 12 April but only 1 big pumpkin and some small ones.Melbourne.Will they grow now or is it too cold
13 Apr 19, G carr (New Zealand - temperate climate)
What causes the white mould type stuff that attacks pumpkins .I try hard not to spray is there a none chemical solutions to this problem. Thank you
Showing 1 - 10 of 615 comments

We live in North Otago NZ what time of year & how do you know that your pumpkins are ready to harvest the plants are named little cutties

- Robyn

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on GardenGrow. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.