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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

12 Dec 18, Karen Cadle (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My squash is growning like a trifford do I just let it grow or would it pay to pinch it out
13 Dec 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could do both depending on how many squash you have. I had a couple of cuies that had 3 flushes of cuies. If I nipped the vine I would have only had 18 cuies - in the end I had 48.
04 Dec 18, Robyn (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I live in Te Anau and wonder what is a faster maturing pumpkin variety?? We had a good crop of pumpkins growing last year, but a rogue frost in mid March killed off the plant and the pumpkin crop did not ripen, and the weather is only coming good now (early Dec) to plant.
05 Dec 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look around some seed selling companies - email or phone them. Most times I see like 15-20 weeks to grow but which is early I don't know. Another way is to start the seeds early indoors or somewhere protected from the weather. You could start growing them in Oct say under lights. Sometimes nature throws us a big curve ball and stuffs it all up.
09 Dec 18, (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
thanks
17 Oct 18, Vincenzo gattellari (Australia - temperate climate)
When the time for plants the grey pumpkin
21 Oct 18, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
Now
17 Oct 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Most common is the Jarrahdale pumpkin - plant Sept to Dec and don't pick until vine starts dying - about 18-20 weeks from planting. Good fertile soil, lots of sun and plenty of water.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 549 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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