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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 = 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.

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

22 Jan 19, Sal (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I have 3 healthy pumpkins growing on the vine but the new baby ones are going yellow and dying. What causes this?
22 Jan 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
They are going yellow and dying because they have not been pollinated. Try using a soft small paint brush, or something similar, to transfer some pollen from a 'male' flower (one without a tiny pumpkin behind it) to a 'female' flower - one with a tiny pumkin behind it.
23 Jan 19, Sal (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks for that, I assumed that if a pumpkin formed it must have been pollinated.
22 Jan 19, Mike (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Or break off a male flower and peel back the flower part, then rub the female flower with the male part. Make sure the male has pollen on it by testing with your finger. Even do this with 2-3 male flowers.
19 Jan 19, jamie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
hi guys i havetried growing butternut and have had white mildew distroy everything any tips on preventing this in such a humid climate? thanks
21 Jan 19, Mike Logan (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Grow in a different area next time.
21 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google it - organic or in-organic.
23 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Organic or inorganic spray that is.
15 Jan 19, Noel (Australia - temperate climate)
This year my pumpkins are quite robust, a good yield due to creating a beehive I reckon. But its very hot here in NE Victoria, the plants are struggling, despite 2 daily waterings and although the stems haven't dried off my instincts tell me to pick them before they get affected as well. Am I right or wrong?
16 Jan 19, Graham Bower (Australia - temperate climate)
If the stems haven't dried off fruit will be immature and tasteless. They will not keep .Leave on the ground. Risk of rotting is slight and worth the risk. If you are unduly concerned you could always lift the fruit off the ground onto a piece of wood or similar. I rarely lift mine until May / June. Graham (berwick Vic)
Showing 1 - 10 of 574 comments

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

- Toni

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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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