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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
    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

15 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I was starting to cut up some pumpkin the other day for scones. Hard skin pumpkin to cut. Then I thought - give the pumpkin skin a good wash, cut the pumpkin up and cook it - then peel the skin off - a lot easier.
08 Oct 17, Theunsina (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Goeie dag Benodig 'n paar sade vir 'n funksie... Help asb Theunsina (--------------- Good day Need some seeds for a function ... Please help)
02 Oct 17, sunshine (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
When is the time to grow pumpkin, cauliflower, mandarin. Thank you.
28 Sep 17, Jenni (Australia - temperate climate)
My 9 year old has been eager to grow something she can eat so I gave her some pumpkin seeds from a store brought pumpkin. She dried them out and buried them. Leaves are starting to grow to my surprise. She tenderly waters them each day but wants to know, what she can "feed" them to make sure they are nice and tasty. Also, is it even the right time to grow pumpkin? We are on the south coast of South Australia and the weather is...well odd at the moment. Any tips to pass on to a very enthused and dedicated 9 year old girl? Thanks!
02 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Great to hear of someone so young who wants to grow things. If this attempt fails, tell her to try next year. Plant around April/May and grow into the winter. If you have or can make a garden bed, tell her to try growing some radishes - nearly the easiest thing to grow. Go to Bunnings or a nursery and buy some punnets of lettuce or other things she likes and plant them. When starting out it is a lot easier to plant seedlings. The hard work has been done to germinate them. Also buy a little container of fertiliser (about 2kg or so) from nursery or Bunnings etc. I use a watering can (9 liters) and add a small tupperware cup of fertiliser to the water. Give it a good stir. Scale this down to say 1/2 to 3/4 of a tablespoon in 1-2 liters of water. Wait until the plants have grown to 3-4-5 inches. Little plants little fertiliser and more as they get bigger. Good luck.
30 Sep 17, Darren (Australia - temperate climate)
Spread some compost around the seedlings, and then add plenty of mulch, to save on water in summer. As they get bigger, cut the watering back to a couple of times a week.
08 Sep 17, Renae (Australia - tropical climate)
My son and I planted two pumpkin seeds, I have harvested about 8 pumpkins all Kent's and they are getting bigger and bigger. For some reason we seem to have a butternut shaped pumpkin that has the coloring and pattern of a Kent. Could it be a crossbreed? How early is too early to pick them? I've had to throw a few unripened ones away not knowing.
10 Sep 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look how long it states to grow them and don't pick before then. The plant vines will start to die off. Best to grow into the winter months - they will mature slower and you will be able to store them longer. Read the notes here and on the internet.
10 Sep 17, Bru (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I grow butternuts fairly successfully, usually sowing seed from late September. Last years crop took a good 6 months (early April) before i could harvest (i can usually harvest way earlier than this). My suggestion is to give them at least 5 months from sowing, but keep an eye on the vine, once that starts dying off your pumpkins should be ready to harvest.
01 Aug 17, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When to plant bottle Gourd?
Showing 1 - 10 of 429 comments

Squash/pumpkins are ready usually from november through till feb,depending on when you sowed them.You can freeze cubed,without blanching ...easy!!

- Dave (Spain)

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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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