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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
    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

18 Jan 18, Joanna (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Is it to late to plant pumpkins,
12 Jan 18, Susan Long (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can you grow gem squash in South Taranaki, New Zealand? When is the best time to grow them and how?
14 Jan 18, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Follow the advice for zucchini/courgettes
09 Jan 18, Colin mcguigan (Australia - temperate climate)
I have 2 Qld blue pumpkin vines growing 1 vine has 1 pumpkin growing on it the other has none lots of flowers but all male no female does any one know what I am doing wrong...?
10 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Take some time to read the comments here from people about growing pumpkin. Take note about male and female flowers and hand pollinating.
06 Jan 18, Ngaire Whytock (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Why should you avoid planting near potatoes
06 Jan 18, Jeff (Australia - temperate climate)
I believe pumpkins are way smarter than us humans, in the past weeks we have experienced a significant rise is daily temp and today with 43c predicted by the bureau of mythology, my pumpkins have drooped their leaves away from the sun which I think is like us going indoors into the shade. The many shadows produced by this configuration sees my pumpkins alive to live another day. They know how to keep cool! This is one one smart vegetable me thinks! All my pumpkin have plenty of water, the ones in full sun protect themselves the most. Cheers Jeff
09 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Just the way plants look after themselves in weather extremes. My pumpkins are not doing this at the moment even though we are having 30+ degrees for the last couple of weeks. They are even still growing - the vines.
04 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
I have the same problem as w Watson with plenty of male and female flowers but no fruit setting. I've tried hand pollinating but the male flowers don't seem to have any pollen. Anyone know why or have any suggestion? Thanks
05 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have had hit and miss with hand pollinating the last two months. Then again if all female flowers hand pollinated set fruit I would have 30 or so pumpkin on 2 vines. I have come to the conclusion that you look for male flowers that are a few days old. When you pick a male flower just touch the stamen to see if there is pollen on it (yellow powdery stuff). I feel the new male flowers don't have mature pollen. Use 2-3 male flowers and give it a good gentle rub around the inside of the female flower and on the end of the pistil. I don't normally grow pumpkin but have given it a go this year. A big learning curve with no bees.
Showing 1 - 10 of 459 comments

Usually the first flowers on a plant are male - be patient! These are used to pollinate the female flowers that will form shortly.

- Michelle

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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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