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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

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?
22 Jun 14, Lorraine (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
My pumpkin plants are not dead they are sending out new strong branches with flower buds. Will I leave them in for next summer? Will they fruit next summer?.
02 Apr 14, jenni (Australia - temperate climate)
at our community garden we are inundated with slaters.....they ate down to soil level 5 of the 6 pumpkin seedlings, approx 6inches long, that we have just planted. we need help please
10 Apr 14, Steven (Australia - temperate climate)
I think slaters typically only eat decaying garden matter. My vegetable seedlings, including pumpkins, were being consistently eaten in my greenhouse this year. It took me a while to figure out that it was actually rats and mice. They were eating the seedlings, snail bait, and eventually Ratsak. Now they can't eat.
06 Mar 14, Kyria (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have planted "mini golden nuggets". I have noticed that on every inch of plant mainly under the leaves there are eggs EVERYWHERE!! All over the entire crop. Judging from pics they don't look like squash bugs I have no idea what they are or how to treat them... Any ideas? I live in Melbourne
06 Mar 14, Mary Ann tatarskyj (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted one seed this year (variety unknown) but the vine is rampant. I have 4 pumpkins which seem to be going very well, but there are a lot of leaves and quite a number of flowers underneath these leaves. Should I remove some of the leaves to expose flowers to sun and bees? I'm a novice vege gardner. Thanks.
21 Feb 14, gavin (Australia - temperate climate)
pumpkin vines gets fruit to approx 2 inches then rots & leaves turn yellow brown... have you a answer for this problem
24 Mar 14, ally (Australia - temperate climate)
Sounds like the fruits aren't pollinating properly. when you get both a female and male flower open at the same time, early morning is usually best. Pick the male flower and peel back the petals to reveal the stamen with the pollen on it. find the open female flower (with the baby pumpkin at the base of the flower) and gently rub the male stamen against the female stigma inside the flower. It's like artificial insemination. The fruit should set and grow after the female flower closes and falls off the pumpkin fruit after a few days.
18 Feb 14, Lynette Maindok (Australia - temperate climate)
I have a pumpkin growing it has flowers and small front But the are going rotten help
17 Feb 14, dennis (Australia - temperate climate)
Can i plant pumpkin feb
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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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