Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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 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

20 Apr 17, Bronwynne Livingston (Australia - temperate climate)
Moved into a new house early Feb. Noticed pumpkin growing. Watered well and started flowering. Hand pollinated my first female in mid March and 4 weeks on have a delightfully larger-than-brick sized butternut growing. Have just last week pollinated a second vine which appears to have taken well too. Is this due to unseasonably warm weather this autumn? Or good rainfall?
21 Apr 17, Giovanni (Australia - temperate climate)
The unseasonably warm weather would certainly have helped keep the pumpkins growing but with the cooler nights of Autumn and Winter approaching you may not get them ripened in time. If you don't, just treat them like zucchinis or make pumpkin soup with them. Disappointing but you will get something out of them. For best results pumpkins need to be planted in late October to get a good long season in temperate areas.
17 Apr 17, Valerie (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I have a raised bed which had beetroot and tomatoes last season. Noticed a strange plant and decided to let it grow (from curiosity) but it turned out to be pumpkin and has taken over the raised bed despite constant "culling". It has produced quite a few flowers but they just close and fall off. The foliage is very healthy and the flowers numerous (being in a composted bed). My question is - if the season is over by December is it worth letting the plant(s) continue to grow and produce flowers if there is no chance of forming fruit? I have seen only a few bees and tried self-pollinating but nothing seems to be moving. Would appreciate your comments on this.
19 Apr 17, Ken (Australia - temperate climate)
Pumpkins will not be likely to ripen in temperate areas now as Autumn is setting in. It is better to get an early start in the season, around October to ensure a good crop. Any small pumpkins on your vines could be harvested and treated like zucchinis. Sadly our bee population is declining rapidly. Providing host plants around your garden will help. These include any of the 'daisy' type flowers, a lot of herbs and lavender.
11 Apr 17, Merilyn Cook (Australia - temperate climate)
My pumpkins (like many others in this are) have only just flowered and have set a large crop of pumpkins that are only just the size of a golf ball although some are double that size. Should I persist and hope for a mature crop or bite the bullet and pull them all out?
11 Apr 17, Jack (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
There is not a lot of chance getting a crop of pumpkins now as Autumn is setting in. harvest all the small pumpkins that you can and treat them like zucchini's (they are in the same family) and start earlier next season. In a lot of areas we haven't had a lot of Summer to help development and ripening.
25 Mar 17, Rocco Zappia (Australia - temperate climate)
Good Day which month is good to plant "Halloween Pumpkin"
27 Mar 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
The best time to plant pumpkins, squash, zucchinis, cucumbers, etc is when the soil temperature is 15-17 degrees. This is around the end of October in the southern states. Many people say 'after the Grand Final' or 'Melbourne Cup' time.
24 Mar 17, Peter Turner (Australia - temperate climate)
Planted Karadle Gray pumpkins late spring, they are still growing and prducing female flowers. it is now late March, when will they die of so we can pick the fruits. Peter
24 Mar 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
The likelihood of them ripening is fairly slim unless you don't get any frosts until late May. The vines will normally start to die off when they are ready. If you run out of time use them to make pumpkin soup or grate them to use in place of zucchinis in cakes or savoury muffins. Next season plant your seed in toilet paper cylinders or egg cartons so they will be ready to plant out in late October. Plant cylinder or egg 'cell' as well as it will rot.
Showing 1 - 10 of 352 comments

Post a question, comment or tip about Pumpkin

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support Gardenate

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.