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Growing Pumpkin

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S S   P              

(Best months for growing Pumpkin in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. P = Plant in the garden.

  • 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 in same bed): Sweet Corn
  • Avoid growing in same bed: 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

29 Jan 17, Dominic (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where would one get seeds for different variety of pumpkins is Gauteng. And where would one sale his/her produce?
04 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I would suggest you try nurseries and garden centres for seed. I you don't have any luck try 'pumpkin seed' on the internet. Pumpkins are generally very easy to sell to hotels, etc if they are home grown and properly ripe. Many shop pumpkins are not properly ripe. Trust this helps.
29 Jan 17, Gabriella Hont (Australia - temperate climate)
What is the best way to water pumpkin plants? Do you water near the original base or do they grow roots elsewhere?
04 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
The best way to water pumpkins is at the roots as overhead watering will encourage mildew development. And, yes they do send down roots from the running stems so if you can trickle water them it will definitely help. Trust this helps.
29 Jan 17, elizabeth starrett (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
December I noticed in my garden an unusual plant growing from kitchen compost . Now at the end of January it has spread over the lawn, someone said it was a pumpkin, I can identify many fruit forming, like a glob shape with yellow flower,, and long stems with yellow flowers the fruit is a light green color.How can I know at this stage, it a pumpkin, and not a weed. thanks
04 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
It is fairly likely to be a pumpkin from discarded kitchen scraps. It could also be a melon, cucumber or sqush if youu have eaten them. The flowers with the long stems are the male flowers which will pollinate the flowers with the round 'glob' on them. Compost grown pumpkins usuall thrive so it sounds like a bonus! Trust this helps.
26 Jan 17, cheryl thomas (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi there,I have planted jap pumpkin seedlings.I also have butternut growing but the jap hasn't flowered like the butternut.Both lots of seedlings were planted at the same time.I have zucchini growing next to the jap.Can yiu suggest any solution.Thanks Cheryl Thomas.
29 Jan 17, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Pinch out the ends of the vines
21 Jan 17, Joanne (Australia - temperate climate)
My pumpkins are just forming "tenis ball size" with only 30days or less until it gets cold. I have planted late, November late but it's not made much difference to zucchini & cucumber but I'm hoping for mature pumpkins in 80days. Has anyone else had mature pumpkins by then?
26 Jan 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Depending where you live you would normally get warm weather into Mid-March. If the pumpkins aren't ripe by then make pumpkin soup and freeze the excess or grate them into zucchini recipe quantities and freeze them in stead of zucchini. Sorry I can't help more.
Showing 1 - 10 of 378 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. Gardenate 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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