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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

19 Mar 20, Toni Proudlock (Australia - temperate climate)
Today,I have salvaged my butternut pumpkin seeds but they are still so fresh and moist. How long does it take for them to dry out successfully? I read that they can be put in a sterile jar and kept in the fridge until September when the planting should begin. What size garden do they need? Can they be cultivated in garden planter boxes? I don't have much garden space and I have a flat block. I am very much the novice gardener....thank you.
19 Mar 20, Another gardener (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Take the seeds and put them in some water for about 3 days. New water each day. That will take the flesh off them. Then let them dry for about 2 weeks. Then put them in a sealable jar and put in the fridge. Plants need to be planted about 1m apart and rows about 2m apart. They need a fair bit of garden to grow in. Depending on the size of the planter box you would need to pay attention to how much fertiliser you put on and water regularly.
09 Mar 20, Karan Franks (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello, My Kent pumpkin vine did very well this year producing nearly 30 pumpkins.. My question is while many are ready to harvest I still have baby ones starting to grow is this a normal thing for pumpkins. thank you .
10 Mar 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I had apple cucumbers have 3 flushes of flowers to produce 3 lots of cucumbers. Pumpkins could do the same. It will then take another 50-60 days or so until you will pick these. The soil would have to have more fertilising or the pumpkins would be small in size. Consideration to, you have had a great crop, do you really want to keep going for 2 months more. I think like, I spent $1 on 10 pumpkin seeds and they produced $40-50 of produce, that is great value. Time to rip that crop out and prepare the soil for the next crop.
05 Mar 20, KO (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I live in Perth. Is it too late to plant pumpkins?
05 Mar 20, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Check on this page : www.gardenate.com/plant/Pumpkin Make sure that your climate zone is showing at the top of the page.
08 Mar 20, Janice (Australia - temperate climate)
Too late for pumpkin. Need to get them in the ground around end sept in Perth
02 Mar 20, Ann Moeser (Australia - tropical climate)
I live in Cairns in Far North Queensland. Will pumpkins grow in shady areas up here and how far apart should I plant each seed please? Regards Ann
28 Mar 20, Clive (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, Central QLD here. Jap pumpkins. This season i planted 2 lots of 3 vines on the same day. One in full sun and the other in a shady area. The full sun ones are growing wee with lots of pumpkins. The ones planted in the shady area grew great looking healthy long vines but not a single flower, male or female. Have turned the water off these ones and will be pulling out in the next day or two. Need plenty of sunshine
02 Mar 20, Anon (Australia - tropical climate)
Most vegetables need a fair amount of direct sunlight a day, 4-5 to 8+ our a day. In shade you will have weak looking plants. It tells you in the notes how far apart. Set the climate zone to tropical for planting times.
Showing 1 - 10 of 672 comments

You should have done this in preparing the soil before planting the seeds. You need composted manure. Fresh manure won't do much for weeks until it is composted. Your plants will tell you how they are going. Good strong green looking plants don't need a good kick in the guts. Pale yellow weak plants do not have enough fertiliser.

- 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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