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Growing Pumpkin

(Cucurbita sp.)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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(Best months for planting Pumpkin in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • Harvest in 105-140 days
  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed.
  • Best planted at soil temperatures between 20°C and 32°C.
  • Space plants: 90-120cm

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.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Pumpkin

Cut up, remove the skin and roast with other vegetables or meat.

Your comments and tips

15 Mar 14 Ron Leggett (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Male flowers usually appear first followed by the female which have a small bulb at the base of flower. Hand pollination recommended if lack of bees.. Small pumpkins that rot off are usually result of non-pollination.
22 Aug 14 Eddie (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Should I pinch out the top of my Brussel sprouts to stop them growing too tall.
30 Nov 14 Natasha (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi just wondering our flesh of our pumpkin, no matter what size are are very pale yellow to almost white. Is there a reason for this.
01 Jan 15 Tony (New Zealand - temperate climate)
do I allow my pumpkin to climb the fence or stake?
18 Feb 15 Peter Mack (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
When is the best time to plant Kumi Kumi seeds?
22 Feb 15 Jaya (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How do I know if my pumpkin (cheese pumpkin) is ready for harvesting.
28 Feb 15 Heather (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Tony, we have a vine climbing over a large old stump, 2m tall and I tied some open netting on so the vine could attach to it. It has gone round and round [with help from me] and produced lots of fruit. We harvested small ones and left larger ones near the ground so they hung down on the ground for support. Hope this helps.
11 Mar 15 Jenny (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I am growing kumi kumi pumpkins at the moment. My question is they are getting very large. No sign of plant drying off yet. To harvest them do I wait until the plant starts to die off. I have picked one as it is very large and turning yellow. As in the shops you only see little ones compared to mine.
13 Mar 15 Wendy (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Jenny, we grow kumikumi and take them off the plant when they are small. I find they are like zucchini rather than pumpkin. You pick them smaller - they taste nicer.
25 Mar 15 Garry (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Jenny I think you can harvest kumikumi anytime. You can eat them big, small, green, yellow. The longer you leave them before harvest the longer they will keep.

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New Zealand - cool/mountain,   New Zealand - sub-tropical,   New Zealand - temperate  

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