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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 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

09 Dec 17, Cheryl (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
We have both jap and butternut pumpkins growing but seem to only have male flowers. Do we pull them out and start again. There is plenty of male flowers
11 Dec 17, Gary (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Cheryl, pumpkins and the like start off with plenty of male flowers, so that when the female flowers form (which should be any time now) there are plenty of male flowers to be able to pollinate them. When the pumpkin runners get to about 3 meters pinch out the tips and they will put out more runners thus giving more crop. Cheers Gary
11 Dec 17, Michelle (Australia - arid climate)
Usually the first flowers on a plant are male - be patient! These are used to pollinate the female flowers that will form shortly.
23 Nov 17, terry (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
hi im in nth NSW just near kyogle and lismore my pumpkin plants refuse to form pumkins there seems to be no bees anywhere and its getting to be a major worry Queensland blue pumkins are the best tasting for use in sweet pumpkin pies ill try to hand pollonatye today also is it likely i will have the same problems if i buy seedlings these ones were seed i saved out of a pumkin from last year thanks for your time Terry
23 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Just found this - commercial production. For efficient pollination and fruit set, there must be: both male and female flowers and bees to move pollen from male to female flowers. A number of factors can influence pollination, Cold and overcast days limit pollination activity of bees. Hot dry conditions desiccate pollen making it unviable. Rapid growth promotes earlier flowering. However, high temperatures, long days and high rates of nitrogen can result in: vigorous vegetative growth and few flowers and a higher proportion of male to female flowers. It is important to check the sex of the flowers. A ratio of 1 female to 7 male flowers is usually considered adequate. Flowers open early in the day and for one day only, and they close by mid afternoon. These periods are shorter under high temperatures. Flowers are most receptive to pollination in the morning when bee activity is usually the highest. Bees are necessary for pollination and must be active in the crop. Flowers require at least 12 bee visits for good pollination. If bees are not plentiful, introduce at least two hives per ha after female flowers appear and male flowers start producing pollen. Spread hives around the field outside the crop, preferably so that bees have to fly over the crop to get to another food source. Destroy flowering weeds around the crop.
23 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I was given a Jap pumpkin and I grew a Qld blue earlier this year. The Jap was by far the better for flavor. When I was growing the Qld blue it rained (heavy) several times and the female flowers were very wet inside and just rotted. If no bees plant some flowers (research flowers for bees) around your yard. I'm doing this as I have very few bees I think. Also it is best to grow pumpkin into winter I have read. It wouldn't make any difference if using seeds or seedlings. I have two Jap pumpkin growing now - will be interesting to see if they produce.
15 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I was starting to cut up some pumpkin the other day for scones. Hard skin pumpkin to cut. Then I thought - give the pumpkin skin a good wash, cut the pumpkin up and cook it - then peel the skin off - a lot easier.
08 Oct 17, Theunsina (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Goeie dag Benodig 'n paar sade vir 'n funksie... Help asb Theunsina (--------------- Good day Need some seeds for a function ... Please help)
02 Oct 17, sunshine (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
When is the time to grow pumpkin, cauliflower, mandarin. Thank you.
21 Oct 17, Margaret Symons (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
In HB, pumpkin planting of seeds you've stored from last year gets underway in early October. They're easy to grow, plant deeper than 3 cm if birds may dig them out. They will ramble everywhere in your garden! ....Plant mandarins before November. Mandarins do fine semi rural in HB with no frost protection. But once a year, you need to spray them with oil as they can get sooty mould. The sooner you spray the better if the leaves start showing this black mould as it spreads. I hate spraying if there are bees around so check this out first. I underplant citrus with allysium as this little flower is meant to discourage bugs.
Showing 1 - 10 of 436 comments

loads of pumkin seeds when do i plant for next year

- eddie coy

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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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