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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

19 Mar 19, Robyn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
We live in North Otago NZ what time of year & how do you know that your pumpkins are ready to harvest the plants are named little cutties
16 Mar 19, Margaret Reynolds (Australia - temperate climate)
I live on the NSW South Coast in Australia and my butternut pumpkin gets pumpkins up to about 4 inches then they go yellow , die and fall off. Should I pull them out and try again next year.
17 Mar 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Do some research on the internet butternut pumpkin turning yellow and falling off. Many reasons why it is happening.
15 Mar 19, LESLEY MCCUBBIN (Australia - temperate climate)
I am trying to grow Queensland Blue pumpkins. They are next to a lavendar bush and well polinated. Lots of baby pumpkins, but they do not grow very big before they go yellow and die. Some of the leaves have gone brown, so I have removed them. Any thoughts on how I can remedy the situation.
17 Mar 19, (Australia - temperate climate)
You have lavender but do you have bees? Do some research about the subject - going yellow and falling off. In temperate climate I would start my pumpkins in Sept Oct and grow into the summer. Prepare - manure/compost/fertiliser the soil for a few weeks before planting and plant in a different position each year.
18 Mar 19, LESLEY MCCUBBIN (Australia - temperate climate)
Thanks. I do have lots of bees. The grandchildren love to watch them in the pumpkin no problem there. I planted them in Oct. and manured, composted and fertilized the soil, but at time of planting,not 2 weeks before. Does this make a difference? Thanks for the tip, I will do some more research.
12 Mar 19, Bincy Philip (Australia - temperate climate)
Do not water pumpkin plants in the evening. If the leaves stay wet in the night, there are higher chances of powdery mildew.
11 Mar 19, Judy (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
i live in Tasmania, and have self seed pumpkin plants which look healthy. It is now March and they have produced only male flowers. Is it too late for them to produce pumpkins now, even if they do ever produce female flowers?
12 Mar 19, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
They produce male flowers first to start attracting the bees - then you get some female and male flowers. If the plants are older than 12 weeks and no pumpkins growing yet then they probably won't produce any. A new pumpkin takes about 3-4 weeks to grow and then 4-6 weeks to mature.
03 Mar 19, Bec (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, I’m based in Brisbane and have my second season of pumpkin plants in the garden, japs and blue, most likely. This lot have just sprung up from compost that wasn’t fully decomposed that I used to plant some sweet potatoes and other things in. My pumpkin vines are wilting quite badly and I have just read a bit about the cucumber beetle spreading bacterial wilt, which I will check for ASAP. Just wondering, if I do find the sticky, white strands, indicating bacterial wilt, do I need to pull out all of the effected plants? If I don’t find the bacteria present do you think the wilting may be caused by a bacteria in the compost? I thought the plants were just super thirsty so I was watering nearly daily but today we have had quite a decent amount of rain and this afternoon my pumpkin leaves are still wilting but when it cools down they have sprung back up again. It really hasn’t been very hot today, which is what encouraged me to research and ask.... Thanks in advance for your advice. Bec
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