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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

27 May 20, Pumpkin Pete (Australia - temperate climate)
What is the best prep after drying seeds to grow ? Thanks
28 May 20, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Give them a couple of weeks to dry out, put them in a little sealing bag, then put them in a sealable jar and into the fridge. When you take them out of the fridge leave for 20-30 mins before you open the jar. Stops condensation.
25 May 20, Holly (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, I'm wondering if pumpkins can be planted now on a hot western slope in nth new? Yes it's late! Just wondering!
26 May 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Read the article here and get as much info as possible to make a decision. We are about 5 weeks away from the coldest period of the year July August, most plants do not grow much during these months. Generally give the hottest and coldest months a miss. Advice here is they need 20-30 temp to germinate, my soil is currently 18, Bundaberg. It says plant from August. I suggest you wait until then and find a warm area to be able to germinate the seeds or buy seedlings. There is a reason why you plant at the correct time, you have a better chance of a successful crop. Start preparing your ground if it needs it.
14 May 20, Sid Clancy (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in Central West NSW, when should i be planting my pumpkins?
18 May 20, Paul Lehmann (Australia - arid climate)
No frosts, no problem! Get them going as early as you like! I have to wait till last frost is gone, early November but this year I'm going to get some frost covers and start them a bit earlier.
12 May 20, Caroline (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Hi my name is Caroline and I’m not from New Zealand, but I love pumpkins! I REALLY REALLY have the urge to carve a pumpkin but unfortunately they are all out of season in America. This might sound stupid but are pumpkins on the same schedule in New Zealand bc of the difference in climate? Like would I be able to get one shipped ?
04 May 20, Michael G (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in Adelaide and have a crop of Jap pumpkin, the vine is just starting to die back, with the high rainfall we are currently getting should I cut the pumpkins before the stalk dries? I fear the pumpkins taking on to much water and rotting.
05 May 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Be judged by how old they are - should be 20+ weeks to be ready to pick. No good picking a half mature pumpkin. The rain should only be a couple of days. If the pumpkin are laying flat and have water around the stem, tip it out. If you think they are ready try one.
05 May 20, Clive (Australia - temperate climate)
Depends how progressed they are. Vine die back only happens at the end of the vine life. I pick many Japs well before the vine dies, with other later pollinated pumpkins still growing. Excess moisture does not only create rot, but also splitting. If the pumpkins are getting yellow, ghosting, coloring around the stem base they could also split from over watering, so pick them. If they are still young leave them. I picked several Japs this morning, one was 7.2kg and it was only 31 days from pollination. (Central QLD)
Showing 1 - 10 of 708 comments

Plant April to July.

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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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