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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 = 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 20°C and 32°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 90 - 120 cm 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 Jan 20, Peter Golding (Australia - temperate climate)
I live on Sydneys Northern Beaches. I have my pumpkin vines growing flat out on my lawn. Maybe 3 months since planting from seeds. I notice they produce many flowers but as yet most have dropped off and none have turned to fruit. I have possums and Bandicoots around but dont think they are causing the issue. How can I please keep the flowers from dropping off? I keep the water up to them and have used seaweed solutions a few times and added fertiliser pellets. Thanks for your help in advance
15 Jan 20, Mel (Australia - arid climate)
I am on my third year of the same vine (essentially) with butternut. I'm currently trying a new angle with them and wondering if anyone has tried similar. I was losing a lot due to it sitting in water constantly. Grey water from kitchen sink, bathroom sink, dishwasher and washing machine all runs through the area. This year I have built a tunnel and have been weaving it through like a creeper and am now trying to train it to go up and around a fence. Has anyone had any success with "climbing" their pumpkins
15 Jan 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If you let all that water into your vegie garden then your soil would be WAY TOO WET. I am surprised any thing grows in it. I suggest you move your garden bed or the run off water. Or raise the garden height. They will grow on fences or trellises. I have some Kent doing that now.
03 Jan 20, Ros Young (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, this is the first year I'm growing Butternut pumpkins. I live in Tasmania near Launceston. I have lots of new leavers and the plants are spreading nicely. Can you tell me when I may get flowers please?
04 Jan 20, anon (Australia - tropical climate)
I haven't grow butternut but I have Kent pumpkin growing now. The vine did grow out about 1.5-2.0m before the male flowers came out, a few days/week later the female flowers should come out. Hope you have bees otherwise learn about hand pollination.
28 Dec 19, Cathy (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Something is eating the pumpkin leaves They were planted around mid November so they are around 6 weeks. Thought it might be snails but no sign of them. Any suggestions in what to look for? Cathy
15 Jan 20, Mel (Australia - arid climate)
May be little lizards/geckos that is what I am currently fighting with
30 Dec 19, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Snails come out at night I think. Early in the morning or late afternoon check the leaves for grubs.
22 Dec 19, peter (Australia - tropical climate)
I lived in Victoria Australia every Christmas grew turks head pumpkins. gave them out as presents I want to do something similar up in tropical queensland.what can you think of please
24 Dec 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could grow the Turkish pumpkin, you would have to plant the seeds mid winter and have warm soil to germinate the seeds.
Showing 1 - 10 of 643 comments

Not a problem if it is unripe! can still make lovely pumpkin soup (I actually thin it is better with unripe pumpkin!)

- Michelle

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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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