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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

02 Oct 17, sunshine (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
When is the time to grow pumpkin, cauliflower, mandarin. Thank you.
21 Oct 17, Margaret Symons (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
In HB, pumpkin planting of seeds you've stored from last year gets underway in early October. They're easy to grow, plant deeper than 3 cm if birds may dig them out. They will ramble everywhere in your garden! ....Plant mandarins before November. Mandarins do fine semi rural in HB with no frost protection. But once a year, you need to spray them with oil as they can get sooty mould. The sooner you spray the better if the leaves start showing this black mould as it spreads. I hate spraying if there are bees around so check this out first. I underplant citrus with allysium as this little flower is meant to discourage bugs.
01 Aug 17, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When to plant bottle Gourd?
03 Aug 17, Bev (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Like all curcubitae, planting time is when your soil is up to 20C. Definitely after all risk of frost is over
26 Jun 17, Pauline (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
From time to time I will have a pumpkin from my garden that when I cut it, it has white lumps in it that are hard and when the pumpkin is cooked it remains hard. Do you know what causes this, maybe something in the soil? something lacking in the soil? a virus? I would love to find out and see if I can avoid or cure this problem.
09 Aug 17, Rana (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I heard that is has something to do with uneven watering or spurts of drought.
10 Apr 17, Raymond (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I am retired and live in Masterton and would like to grow pumpkins for a little extra income.My father grew triable variety in New Plymouth.Can they grow down here. Thanks
11 Apr 17, John (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You should be able to grow pumpkins successfully in Masterton. About four years ago a little chap (3) from Masterton won the biggest pumpkin competition run by Mitre 10. To get a good start plant the seeds in toilet paper cylinders filled with potting mix and kept on a sunny windowsill. You could start them in mid-October ready to plant out in early November. Plant the cylinder as well to save any root disturbance (it will rot). Triamble is a great old variety. If you can get seed of 'Queensland Blue' it will probably give you a higher net yield per plant at an average of 17 kg. Properly ripened pumpkins always sell well. Try pubs, restaurants, etc. All the best.
25 Apr 17, Raymond (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Many thanks for your helpful comments
02 Oct 17, Heather (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi. A friend once gave me a triable pumpkin, it was firm when cooked and very tasty. He said that they take a long time to mature
Showing 1 - 10 of 32 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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