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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

07 Apr 20, Auther Ray (USA - Zone 7a climate)
When is the best time to plant pie pumpkins in 74883? Reply from Gardenate : First find your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone by entering your ZIP code at the USDA Plant Hardiness website then check here
05 Apr 20, Pam Adam (Australia - tropical climate)
I have just harvested my first ever pumpkin (jap) and it’s a beauty. However there were no seeds inside. Does this mean anything?
04 Apr 20, Bruno (Australia - temperate climate)
I have a number of grey pumpkins on drying vines and the stems have completely dried off most and the pumpkins self detached. The flesh is still far from ripe however with a lot of green flesh under the skin and the rest a pale yellow. While the p’kins are a good size there is not much flesh inside. What’s gone wrong ?
06 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
At a very rough guess I would say they were not fertilised and watered enough. Looks like you planted them about the right time, takes bout 20 weeks to mature.
04 Apr 20, Lisa Morton-Jones (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
We have sown healthy grown pumpkins seeds now, early April They are about 2 inches tall..........we live in Loburn, outside of Rangiora. Do you think they will grow ?? or did we waste our time?? Thanks
06 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If you went to the new Zealand section and looked up pumpkin in cool/mountain you would see to plant Oct to Dec. Look at the time to plant crops, there is a reason, that is when they do best.
19 Mar 20, Toni Proudlock (Australia - temperate climate)
Today,I have salvaged my butternut pumpkin seeds but they are still so fresh and moist. How long does it take for them to dry out successfully? I read that they can be put in a sterile jar and kept in the fridge until September when the planting should begin. What size garden do they need? Can they be cultivated in garden planter boxes? I don't have much garden space and I have a flat block. I am very much the novice gardener....thank you.
19 Mar 20, Another gardener (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Take the seeds and put them in some water for about 3 days. New water each day. That will take the flesh off them. Then let them dry for about 2 weeks. Then put them in a sealable jar and put in the fridge. Plants need to be planted about 1m apart and rows about 2m apart. They need a fair bit of garden to grow in. Depending on the size of the planter box you would need to pay attention to how much fertiliser you put on and water regularly.
09 Mar 20, Karan Franks (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello, My Kent pumpkin vine did very well this year producing nearly 30 pumpkins.. My question is while many are ready to harvest I still have baby ones starting to grow is this a normal thing for pumpkins. thank you .
10 Mar 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I had apple cucumbers have 3 flushes of flowers to produce 3 lots of cucumbers. Pumpkins could do the same. It will then take another 50-60 days or so until you will pick these. The soil would have to have more fertilising or the pumpkins would be small in size. Consideration to, you have had a great crop, do you really want to keep going for 2 months more. I think like, I spent $1 on 10 pumpkin seeds and they produced $40-50 of produce, that is great value. Time to rip that crop out and prepare the soil for the next crop.
Showing 1 - 10 of 678 comments

My pumpkins have sprouted out of some compost I put in the soil. I though they were QLD pumpkins but they are still a light yellow colour, will they turn grey or should I pick them.

- Tina Johnson

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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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