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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 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

17 Oct 18, Vincenzo gattellari (Australia - temperate climate)
When the time for plants the grey pumpkin
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.
28 Aug 18, Judy (Australia - temperate climate)
We live in maryborough Vic and would like to know when we should plant pumpkins. And do we need to have any other plants around for the bees to come
30 Aug 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You found pumpkin and set your climate to temperate - check the monthly calendar planting/sowing guide. The big green capital P means when to plant. Try to notice if you have bees in your yard, if not look up on the internet - bee attracting flowers and plant some.
27 Aug 18, Myles (Canada - Zone 3a Temperate Short Summer climate)
Hello! I currently have an amazing crop of pumpkins but as August draws to a close the threat of frost becomes greater. I am wondering how to handle this if the vines are not dying off yet. If they have to be picked because of frost soon, how do I keep them till Halloween!
25 Jul 18, LynnStinten (Australia - tropical climate)
I am just south of Townsville and planted Qld Blue pumpkin seeds in early April in good soil with correct PH levels. Plenty of space to run and good sunshine and watered daily. The plants grew well for about 6 weeks producing masses of mostly male flowers?? I had plenty of bees doing their job, but still only got two pumpkins that didn't reach maturity before the plants died off about 2-3 weeks ago. We did have a couple of 6deg nights but nothing lower. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Cheers
Showing 1 - 10 of 542 comments

When is the time to grow pumpkin, cauliflower, mandarin. Thank you.

- sunshine

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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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