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Growing Pumpkin

(Cucurbita sp.)

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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

29 Dec 15 Brent (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Owen Spooner - with buttercup, it is optional to leave or cut back (this is very similar to most other plants like chilli). If you cut back, your crop will have less but will get bigger. If you leave, you will have more but smaller pumkins. In my opinion, I'd rather leave because I never use a whole pumpkin at one time and more the merrier :) NOTE: But it does matter about how much of your compost/manure is in the soil because if there is not nutrients in the soil, the pumpkins will be very small if left alone to grow.
04 Jan 16 Nicola (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi, I'm growing pumpkins in my garden, & they seemed to be doing well until something has started eating the smaller ones. I have lettuce, cucumber and zucchini & watermelons growing also, but something has decided it likes pumpkin....we have an unkempt avocado block next door, so could be anything....anyone have any idea what prefers pumpkin?
08 Jan 16 Garry (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Nicola, I grow a lot of pumpkins and my biggest enemy has been pukekos other birds sometimes peck holes in small pumpkins. If you can see teeth marks in the pumpkins it maybe rats.
16 Jan 16 Lois (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have growing for the first time 4 pumpkin plants the leaves are quite large? do I cut theses back plants are very healthy
16 Jan 16 Mem (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi does anyone know the predicted date for the first frosts in chch this year?
19 Jan 16 Tom Daniel (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My crown pumpkins are getting quite large can I remove now to harden in the shed or just leave till they ripen
02 Feb 16 Bronwyn Hiku (New Zealand - temperate climate)
This is my first time growing pumpkins, I don't water them as there has been enough rain, but my pumpkins have soft rot. I have placed wooden planks under the pumpkins from the flower stage and still going rotten, What is happening - not sure what I'm doing wrong????
10 Feb 16 Diane Blair (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there, can you please tell me how soon I can pick my pumpkins? I have so many and they are huge but obviously not ready for picking to keep, however I wondered if they would be ready to pick one for immediate eating or do they need much more time. The are the grey variety. We are in Canterbury.
10 Feb 16 Brenda (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi, had almost a whole pumpkin devoured by rat. Question, How do I store them -, as in the garage (dark and dry) they rot over winter.
18 Apr 16 david (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have a bug eating my silver beet how can I stop it & did you know that wash Silver beet or other veggies with salted water it kills all bugs before u cook it

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

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