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Growing Pumpkin

(Cucurbita sp.)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
                P P P P

(Best months for planting Pumpkin in Australia - temperate regions)

P = Plant direct in garden where they are to grow.


September: Frost tender

  • 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 in same bed): Sweet Corn
  • Avoid growing in same bed: 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

22 Nov 14, Andrew (Australia - temperate climate)
Do you think there is a need/requirement to cut the larger leaves from pumpkin vines. One of my pumpkin vines is quite lengthy with hugh leaves.Is there a need to prune a pumpkin ???
02 Nov 14, Simon (Australia - temperate climate)
How many pumpkins does one vine optimally produce?
29 Oct 14, Cheryl (Australia - temperate climate)
My mother has had diificlty getting her pumpkins to produce female flowers. She gets lots of leaves and male flowers, but no female. Any idea why, and what she can do to get pumpkins this year?
02 Aug 14, Laurie Thompson (Australia - temperate climate)
Have there been any memos on the Windsor Black Pumpkin lately . Laurie
29 Jul 14, Garry (Australia - temperate climate)
Hey Pete, Reckon someones pulling your leg. Pumpkins produce male and female flowers on the same vine, but only the female flowers produce fruit.
15 Nov 14, Hank (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Pete, I am aware of that but don't you have to manually pollinate them and if so, what is the best way?
27 Jul 14, Pete (Australia - temperate climate)
I am told by a number of people around my area that I should only plant seed from a 'female' pumpkin. I understand each plant has both male and female flowers needed to produce fruit. Am I being fed a myth? All my efforts to find out the facts lead nowhere. Question-- can you sex a pumpkin?
02 Aug 14, Roz (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Pete, Garry is totally correct. The same plant produce both male and femail flowers.
16 Aug 14, Sally (Australia - temperate climate)
Female pumpkins have a large circle formation an the base (finger tip and thumb tip to make a circle size) and the males have a small circle( 20 cent coin size)
06 Oct 14, Karen (Australia - temperate climate)
All fruit is sort of "female". Like all species only the female produces offspring. So you can't get a male or female fruit for that matter. Male flower, yes, but not male fruit. It's the female flower that develops into a fruit after pollination by a male. As Gary said, someone was pulling your leg.
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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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