Growing Pumpkin

Cucurbita sp. : Cucurbitaceae / the gourd family

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

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

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • 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, 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 Sep 22, Jen (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Hi is sept with warm temps too late to plant pumpkins?
13 Sep 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 8b climate)
It is about 4 months too late by the guide here. It is not the temps now but what they will be in 4-5months time when the pumpkin are suppose to mature.
25 Aug 22, Samantha Turner (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi there, I am in Sthn Gold Coast. Am I able to plant a butternut pumpkin in a very large pot (for root growth) and then let the vine trail over into the garden. My soil isn't very good, by using a pot I can buy good quality soil / potting mix. Would this work? Thank you, Sam.
29 Aug 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Yes it would work - need to water regularly and also fertiliser now and again. Amazing what a little compost and fertiliser can do to poor soil.
28 Aug 22, marco (Australia - arid climate)
i live on the gold coast .my pumpkin have been growing for a month ,slow growing yet still alive .the ones i have self pollinated are going well. the other i left not so good .try growing zuchinne very rewarding .
25 May 22, Kylie (Australia - arid climate)
I have a kent pumpkin vine that is producing huge fruit. The vine is still very healthy, but the pumpkins are easily 5kg each already and don't show any signs of slowing their growth. Any tips on when to harvest? I don't want to lose the lot, but i also don't want to pick too early. I live in central QLD and we have had a fair wet season.
30 May 22, Anonymous (Australia - arid climate)
Try and keep the bottom of them dry with straw etc.in wet weather. Growing time is 16-20 weeks. The stem will become dry and hard and the yellow part will become dull. When you do start to pick just pick one and try. But think around 18 weeks +.
02 May 22, David James (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have had several pumpkin plants pop up from seeds. I don’t know where the seeds came from as I’ve never grown pumpkins in the past. Never the less the plants grew vigorously with lots of leaves and flowers. I noticed plenty of bees around so assumed pollination would occur, however no pumpkins ever appear. I guess an experienced gardener would know what’s happening. I’m a beginner so I would welcome some information. Thanks.
08 May 22, Pete (Australia - temperate climate)
If your vine is not producing pumpkins there may be a problem with pollination. Go to You Tube and search "how to hand pollinate pumpkins". They will give you a better description of the process than I can. Apparently its pretty easy. Cheers Pete
06 May 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You would have had to noticed if the bees went onto the pumpkin flowers or not. I recently had bees working on some flowers and not the zucchinis 2m away.
Showing 1 - 10 of 797 comments

If your vine is not producing pumpkins there may be a problem with pollination. Go to You Tube and search "how to hand pollinate pumpkins". They will give you a better description of the process than I can. Apparently its pretty easy. Cheers Pete

- Pete

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