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Growing Pumpkin

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                  P P P

(Best months for growing Pumpkin in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Plant in the garden.

  • 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 in same bed): Sweet Corn
  • Avoid growing in same bed: 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 17, Ray (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Is late January too late to plant pumpkin in Tauranga?
03 Feb 17, Steve (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
A year or so ago I was up that way from Christchurch for a holiday it was April, we saw heaps of people growing pumpkins so I would say go for it but keep them well watered as they like lots of water. And harvest when the first frost hits. Foot Note: I would start them of in seed trays first, in a glasshouse if you have one but not always necessary. If you where down here I would say no?
06 May 16, Carina Powell (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I have grown pumpkins 2 years in a row that have hard white lumps in them, I have bought a plant both times so I am thinking it must be something to do with were they are growing. Any idea of what could be coursing this?
30 May 13, (Australia - temperate climate)
I am getting this mould or rust on my vegetables in my garden. It is causing many of the butternuts to die and the spinach to be spoiled. What could I do to prevent this?
09 Jan 17, Gaurav (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
try charcoal ash in your garden to prevent any diseases to the plants..
18 Nov 12, Janet (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Do you know where I can get triamble pumpkin seeds from. I haven't seen them since koanga gardens had them.
13 Sep 12, tony (New Zealand - temperate climate)
surely it is not worth saving pumpkin seeds unless you have an heirloom variety? Most supermarket ones would be hybrids so they are unlikely to be true to the parent, and pumpkins are known to cross easily with cucumbers etc. Of course you would dry the seed if you are going to store them. Hardest thing with pumpkins is keeping the water up to them, they have so much foliage, they dry out easily.
27 Aug 12, Lachlan (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Do seeds need to be dried before planting?
26 Aug 12, Lachlan (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
If l were to save the seeds from a pumpkin l bought from the supermarket will they be Hybrid variety? Do l have to dry the seeds out before planting them?
07 Sep 12, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Pumpkins from a supermarket are likely to be hybrids . You do not need to dry the seeds before sowing but they will keep better until you want to use them, if you spread them out on some kitchen paper
Showing 1 - 10 of 16 comments

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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. GardenGrow 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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