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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

03 Oct 18, Jess (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I see that I should avoid planting pumpkins with potatoes. But how far apart do they need to be? Is opposite ends of the same garden bed ok? Thanks.
08 Oct 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Depends how far apart you planted them - ends of a bed doesn't tell me much. Take into consideration how far the pumpkin plant will spread - could be 5-6-7m. Do you want them running through your potatoes. I would suggest planting any vine crop away from smaller crops.
03 Sep 18, Jeff (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have saved seed from a pumpkin we like and allowed to dry. I am soaking some in water and some in a damp paper towel and left some dry. None are showing any sign of striking. Do I just wait longer or will they strike if I plant some out?
11 Sep 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Take a plastic tray you buy your meat or chicken in from supermarkets - 2-3
03 Sep 18, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Pumpkin seeds will take about 7-10 days to show any activity. Your best bet is damp paper towel or seed raising mix. As they are frost tender, pumpkin seeds need some warmth to start germinating.
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
14 Sep 18, Mike (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Above it says 15-20 weeks to harvest. Take notice of when to plant and how long 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?
Showing 1 - 10 of 53 comments

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?

- Trudi

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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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