Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

Growing Pumpkin

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

(Best months for growing Pumpkin in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • 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 68°F and 90°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 35 - 47 inches 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

08 Apr 18, Toni (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have pumpkins that have come up in my garden .They came up in November and are white skins at the moment.I live in Rangiora North Canterbury.I don't know anything about growing them.Do I leave them in as long as possible as I don't know whether the frost or rain will affect them. Thankyou
09 Apr 18, Jim (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Toni you can stop watering your Pumpkins now. After you have a frost the leaves will die off. After the leaves die off you can harvest them any time now. Leave the stem on and store in a place with good air supply and sun to ripen. You can check the ripeness by knocking on them with your knuckles listen for a hollow sound which indicates ripe. Enjoy Jim
01 Apr 18, Grant Onysko (Australia - temperate climate)
I grow pumpkins every season. If you want your pumpkins to grow big you must make sure the entire plant gets watered and fertilised regularly as the vine sends down a root at about 1/2m intervals in search of water and food. When you start getting female flowers (with a pumpkin attached) you need to fertilise them by getting pollen from the male flower, just put your finger inside and you will see the pollen on it, gently brush it on to the middle of the female, once pollinated the new pumpkin will go into a growing frenzy, (I know they are about 90% water ) Water, water, water! And food, My best Kentia/ Jap went 12.2 kg 33cm high, save the seeds and keep them in the freezer. Veggies are the best.
30 Mar 18, William Mclaughlin (USA - Zone 10b climate)
My pumpkins plants get big beautiful blooms, only to fall off. Is this bloom blithe, or a pollination problem etc.? ,
28 Mar 18, Kara Wisniewski (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi I planted pumpkins in mid November, they are still growing and i'm getting heaps of them. Do I just let them keep growing until they decide to dry off from the stalk? I live in Launceston,Tasmania
30 Mar 18, Jen Oscroft (Australia - temperate climate)
My Pumpkins are the same. Still growing like crazy and flowering. I thought they are supposed to be finished? This is my first time growing them down here (Victoria). I guess we'll just have to leave them until the plants die off.
02 Apr 18, Kaye (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
You can buy a piece of pumpkin you enjoy and if it has seeds keep those. Let them dry before planting again.
26 Mar 18, Maddie (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted my kent pumkins in September and have javested about 8 mature pumpkins...new pumkins are now starting on the same vine. Will they mature even though it is coming into winter?
21 Mar 18, Cecilia (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Why are my home grown pumpkins watery? Not nice mashed.Would they make a nice soup.?
23 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have the same - maybe they might dry out if left for a month or so. Mine are jap - very sweet and moist. I probably pick them a bit early as I wanted to dig the garden up to plant other crops.
Showing 1 - 10 of 509 comments

In a large garden plot how far apart should potatoes and pumpkins be planted?

- Beverly

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.