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Growing Pumpkin

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                P P P P

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

P = Plant in the garden.

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
    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

21 Jan 17, Joanne (Australia - temperate climate)
My pumpkins are just forming "tenis ball size" with only 30days or less until it gets cold. I have planted late, November late but it's not made much difference to zucchini & cucumber but I'm hoping for mature pumpkins in 80days. Has anyone else had mature pumpkins by then?
10 Jan 17, Jen (Australia - temperate climate)
When is the best time to plant pumpkins in Warrill View - near Ipswich please. Would it be too hot now?
16 Jan 17, John (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Pumpkins could be planted up until February providing you don't get frosts. Plants take up to 4 months to mature so work out when you are likely to have a frost, if any. Unripe pumpkins do not keep so if you get caught make pumpkin soup or shred them into batch quantities as you would for Zucchini Muffins or Slice and freeze them for later use. Trust this helps.
09 Jan 17, Joanne (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted pumpkins in early December & they are huge already & have long stalked male flowers not seen any female yet but am wondering if theirs still time for fruit to appear
17 Jan 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Pumpkins, for some reason, are often reluctant to produce female flowers early in the seson. They take from two and a half to four months to grow and ripen from flowerset.Turn them on their edge as soon as they are big enough to stop water pooling around the stalk. When the cold weather sets in and the tops die off, harvest the ripe ones and store them in a dry place. Unripe ones can be used to make pumpkin soup or shredded in recipe quantities as you would for zucchini muffins thenfrozen in recipe quaantities for later use instead of zucchini. Trust this helps
24 Nov 16, Jenny (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, our house is on rock so we have very little garden. I have been trying to grow buttercup in large pots with varying degrees of success. I was wondering why sometimes the fruit or females are yellow as soon as they start to form.
25 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello Jenny, The most likely cause is they haven't been pollinated. When a female flower opens pick a male flower and carefully remove the petals then put the male part of the flower onto the centre of the female flower and turn it slightly to transfer pollen (male sex cells) onto the female flower. Insects would normally do this but a shortage of bees will affect pollination rates. Pumpkins are hungry and thirsty plants so ensure watering is consistent and that they are well fed. Trust this helps. John
27 Nov 16, Jenny (Australia - temperate climate)
Thanks John I am aware of the pollination process. What I want to know is why the females are yellow as soon as they form ie really tiny buds, they are yellow as soon as they show on the vine.
02 Dec 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Sorry, I haven't got a conclusive answer for you. I have done some research and found that female flowers often don't set early in the season and also that they can be stressed by heat or dryness and not set. Sorry I can't help you more
04 Oct 16, rebecca (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, my female flowers and small pumpkin are going brown and falling off anywhere in size from and marble to squash ball size. The plant is quite vigorous but have started getting yellow spots on the more mature leaves. have fertilized with granules with trace elements but do I need something else. it is planted in a raised bed near a brick wall.
Showing 1 - 10 of 331 comments

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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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