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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

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.
14 Mar 17, Paul Tracey (Australia - temperate climate)
I see from the Gardenate planting guide that the planting time for pumpkins is September to December. I purchased butternut pumpkin seedlings from Bunnings in February. Is the selling of such seedlings out of step with the recommended planting season unethical? The seedlings have grown and there are currently 3 pumpkins visible. I am concerned that by planting them outside the recommended period they will not mature to completion.
15 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Pumpkins are best planted when soil temperatures have reached 15-17 degrees C. This varies between climate zones, Australia is a large country. A soil thermometer is aa good investment to check this. They usually cost around $20.00. If you plant seedlings in February you would need to have about 4 frost-free months to harvest. As for ethics many companies sell what looks good or what people want. Tomato plants are available in Victoria as early as July. They will not do well until mid to late October when the soil has warmed up and many will die. This suits the seedling growers as they will sell more plants as replacements. Having said that if you have a sheltered spot you could get tomatoes going earlier. The best thing to do is to check the planting times on this site relevant to your area and don't be tempted by what's on offer.
29 Jan 17, Gabriella Hont (Australia - temperate climate)
What is the best way to water pumpkin plants? Do you water near the original base or do they grow roots elsewhere?
04 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
The best way to water pumpkins is at the roots as overhead watering will encourage mildew development. And, yes they do send down roots from the running stems so if you can trickle water them it will definitely help. Trust this helps.
29 Jan 17, elizabeth starrett (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
December I noticed in my garden an unusual plant growing from kitchen compost . Now at the end of January it has spread over the lawn, someone said it was a pumpkin, I can identify many fruit forming, like a glob shape with yellow flower,, and long stems with yellow flowers the fruit is a light green color.How can I know at this stage, it a pumpkin, and not a weed. thanks
04 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
It is fairly likely to be a pumpkin from discarded kitchen scraps. It could also be a melon, cucumber or sqush if youu have eaten them. The flowers with the long stems are the male flowers which will pollinate the flowers with the round 'glob' on them. Compost grown pumpkins usuall thrive so it sounds like a bonus! Trust this helps.
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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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