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

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, try picking a male flower (straight stem) and gently brushing pollen inside female flowers.

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

04 May 21, Sherry (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I want to grow GIANT pumpkins for Halloween. Does anyone have advice, I have seedlings just coming up now. Can I keep them sheltered in pots until the recommended planting time? I really would like to have BIG pumpkins FOR Oct 31st. We don't get frost as a rule, but who knows. I live in Hervey Bay. Would appreciate any and all advise .
04 May 21, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
By the planting guide here they are a spring planting and harvest is approx 5 mths later. You are wanting to grow out of season. Frosts will probably kill them. Plants do not grow much in July August. I don't like your chances of succeeding. USA is opposite to us in seasons that is why they have them in Oct.
18 Apr 21, Nicola (Australia - temperate climate)
I have a volunteer pumpkin plant in my garden which came up a couple of months ago. It has 3 pumpkins about the size of a small football. My concern is we are already getting into below 10 deg at night. Can I do something to keep my pumpkins alive before we get frost or should I give up on them, which I hate the thought of
28 Apr 21, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If you are going to have frosts, they will probably wipe the pumpkin out. Most times it is best to just pull these rogue germinations out when they germinate out of season. just let them grow and see what happens.
16 Apr 21, Adeline Wharrier (Australia - tropical climate)
Can i plant pumpkins now in Mackay?
24 Apr 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could but they may not produce a crop, stick to the planting guide here - that is what it is for.
16 Apr 21, Joy Wallace (Australia - temperate climate)
I have two pumpkins growing wild in my garden, can I send you photos as I don't know what variety they are. They are about a basketball in size.Joy
24 Apr 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Check a seed selling website to find ones similar to yours. Or google pumpkin varieties in Aussie.
19 Apr 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Go to a seed selling website like Boondie or Eden Seeds and look through the different types of pumpkin.
13 Apr 21, Dawn Knape (Australia - temperate climate)
Can I grow pumpkin s now in April in the Yarra valley
Showing 1 - 10 of 765 comments

I want to grow GIANT pumpkins for Halloween. Does anyone have advice, I have seedlings just coming up now. Can I keep them sheltered in pots until the recommended planting time? I really would like to have BIG pumpkins FOR Oct 31st. We don't get frost as a rule, but who knows. I live in Hervey Bay. Would appreciate any and all advise .

- Sherry

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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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