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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 20°C and 32°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 90 - 120 cm apart
  • Harvest in 15-20 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Sweet Corn
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Pumpkin on vine
    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

08 Apr 18, Toni (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have pumpkins that have come up in my garden .They came up in November and are white skins at the moment.I live in Rangiora North Canterbury.I don't know anything about growing them.Do I leave them in as long as possible as I don't know whether the frost or rain will affect them. Thankyou
09 Apr 18, Jim (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Toni you can stop watering your Pumpkins now. After you have a frost the leaves will die off. After the leaves die off you can harvest them any time now. Leave the stem on and store in a place with good air supply and sun to ripen. You can check the ripeness by knocking on them with your knuckles listen for a hollow sound which indicates ripe. Enjoy Jim
18 Mar 18, Margaret (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
How do you know when they are ready to harvest
23 Feb 18, Trudi (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have lots of pumpkin flowers but only one pumpkin has formed. A friend mentioned male and female flowers. Can/should I remove flowers that aren't going to produce fruit?
26 Feb 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
If you go to the Australian - sub-tropical zone - there is quite a bit about this with pumpkin. Pumpkin produce male flowers first then they have female flowers, The female flower is only open for one day (until about mid day). No bees no pumpkin. So hand pollination is required. Take about two male flowers and rub the female flowers with it. Look up the internet on how to do it. This applies to zucchini, cues and melons also I believe.
07 Feb 18, Rose (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My pumpkin snapped off the vine. It is very large but the vine is still healthy. What do i do with the pumpkin to ripen it
08 May 18, Peter (New Zealand - temperate climate)
had the same problem early in last season I put the pumpkin in a warm dry place in the garden shed and was left for 3 months decided to cut it and was surprised to see a fresh not fully ripe but very edible pumpkin, warm shed and dry seems to work
12 Jan 18, Susan Long (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can you grow gem squash in South Taranaki, New Zealand? When is the best time to grow them and how?
06 Apr 18, Denise Gibson (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I live in Wainuiomata and have grown gems for two years running and I intend to plant a lot more this year. They were delicious. I planted the seed at the end of August and as soon as they had about 4 leaves, I planted them out in the garden, I also cut off the bottom of a coke bottle, took the cap off and put the bottle over the seedling until they were a little stronger. Hope this is helpful and good luck.
14 Jan 18, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Follow the advice for zucchini/courgettes -www.gardenate.com/plant/Zucchini
Showing 1 - 10 of 45 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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