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

12 Apr 20, Annie (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When is the best time to plant pumpkin seeds please? We live on the Kapiti Coast.
14 Apr 20, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
The monthly calendar tells you when to plant.
25 Jan 20, Michael Daly (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I have plenty of runners on my pumpkins when can you start cutting these off They are greys and green colours. Why are you not supposed to grow near potatoes.
27 Jan 20, anon (New Zealand - temperate climate)
You don't cut the runners (vine) off, how do you expect to grow any pumpkin if you cut them off.
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
22 Jul 19, Walter fargo (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Lindsy. Try Kings seeds, they have two types of oil seed pumpkin (that is the type you want). Austrian Oil Seed Pumpkin and Pumpkin Lady Godiva. Be careful with the water when sowing the seed, as they have no husk they can rot if the soil is too wet.
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
19 Mar 19, Robyn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
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
02 Feb 19, Katrina (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi guys, our neighbours are growing pumpkins (look like crown variety with pale skin and flat bottom) and the vines came over into our place and a nice big pumpkin grew, so of course I picked it right away not knowing anything about pumpkins. The inside was a weird pale yellow rather than orange, I presume now that I have just picked it too soon and it is unripe! Is that correct? Thanks.
04 Feb 19, Michelle (Australia - temperate climate)
Not a problem if it is unripe! can still make lovely pumpkin soup (I actually thin it is better with unripe pumpkin!)
Showing 1 - 10 of 74 comments

What time of year is it best to grow pumpkins at ?

- skyler

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 our 60,000+ gardeners who already use GardenGrow and subscribe to the free GardenGrow 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.