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

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, try picking a male flower (straight stem) and gently brushing pollen inside female flowers.

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 Jun 21, Jen (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
golden nuggets late harvest as well as zucchini left to grow big for seed... BOTH fruit are so hard can barely get a knife through looks like they will have to be dumped into compost....What has happened? what next time NOT to do?> thanks Jen
29 Jun 21, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Cut them open and see if you have big fat seeds. If so they should be ok. Sometimes better to just go to someone like Boondie seeds and buy 4-6-8 seeds for $1.50-2.
26 Jun 21, Phomolo Raleting (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
What's the best time to harvest pumpkin?
29 Jun 21, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Check the planting guide here for summer rainfall.
04 May 21, Sherry (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I want to grow GIANT pumpkins for Halloween. Does anyone have advice, I have seedlings just coming up now. Can I keep them sheltered in pots until the recommended planting time? I really would like to have BIG pumpkins FOR Oct 31st. We don't get frost as a rule, but who knows. I live in Hervey Bay. Would appreciate any and all advise .
04 May 21, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
By the planting guide here they are a spring planting and harvest is approx 5 mths later. You are wanting to grow out of season. Frosts will probably kill them. Plants do not grow much in July August. I don't like your chances of succeeding. USA is opposite to us in seasons that is why they have them in Oct.
18 Apr 21, Nicola (Australia - temperate climate)
I have a volunteer pumpkin plant in my garden which came up a couple of months ago. It has 3 pumpkins about the size of a small football. My concern is we are already getting into below 10 deg at night. Can I do something to keep my pumpkins alive before we get frost or should I give up on them, which I hate the thought of
28 Apr 21, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If you are going to have frosts, they will probably wipe the pumpkin out. Most times it is best to just pull these rogue germinations out when they germinate out of season. just let them grow and see what happens.
16 Apr 21, Adeline Wharrier (Australia - tropical climate)
Can i plant pumpkins now in Mackay?
24 Apr 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could but they may not produce a crop, stick to the planting guide here - that is what it is for.
Showing 1 - 10 of 769 comments

If you don't have active bees when they flower then you can hand pollinate. A female flower is only open for a few hours one day, if not pollinated then no pumpkin grows. Google how to do it.

- Anonymous

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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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