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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 = Sow seed

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

19 Jul 17, Terry Forster (Australia - tropical climate)
I am looking for Gramma Pumpkin seeds. I Grew some of these years ago near Beaudesert.Has any body heard of these we made dessert pumpkin pie with them.
21 Jul 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google "Gramma Pumpkin seeds" and you will find where to buy them. I can't put other company names on here. .
09 Aug 17, Terry Forster (Australia - tropical climate)
I ordered them today, thanks for the advice.
16 Jun 17, Dilsie Evans (Australia - temperate climate)
I've grown pumpkin for the first time, 6 pumpkins. Just cut up the largest, the centre seems a bit soft and has lots of seeds. Is this normal??
19 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You have the skin and then a layer of firm to hard pumpkin - then in the middle is soft tissue and seeds. You don't eat the soft tissue.
05 Jun 17, Lynda Hagar (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My pumpkins started to form late January. I preserved with them watering Ocassionally when needed. They are now a reasonable size now after all these months and the leaves are starting to die off. When the leaves are gone I will harvest the four pumpkins and allow the stalks to dry off before use. They are in a very sunny spot so have had sun all Autumn. I grew Jap pumpkins. I think some people call them Kent pumpkins. Anyway personally I would leave them alone until the leaves die off as long as they are getting plenty of sunshine. Good luck.
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.
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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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