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

Your comments and tips

05 Jan 09, Sooze (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Gina, We too have been wondering when to harvest a Pumpkin "buttercup" as is looks large, green & with yellow in a couple of places (like its picture). We cut it and then read that the stalk needs to turn brown before harvesting. So we have taken it too early it seems. Haven't cut it open yet to see it its got any yellow flesh. We will now leave the others that are growing till stalk is brown.
05 Jan 09, Jean (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, When preparing a Queensland Blue a couple of months ago, I took a handfull of seeds and put them in a small hole in the garden, well they've come up and I appear to have a flourishing plant, beginning to get flowers on it, Have I got a chance as I just "bunged" them in from my pumpkin, or will it turn out to be "barren", thanks Jean
05 Jan 09, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Jean, you may be lucky. If you had an organic pumpkin it will probably produce both male and female flowers but if it was a F1 hybrid then its seeds will produce sterile plants. Check the flowers for possible female ones (see comment from Jaci above).
05 Jan 09, David (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Ray, your pumpkins are falling off early because they are not fertilised. You may need to go around with a paintbrush and transfer pollen from the male flowers to the female. Check the comment from Jaci to identify which is which.
05 Jan 09, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Brett, Are you using bought seeds or saving seeds from pumpkins? If you have bought seeds, it might be worth contacting the supplier and telling them about your problem. Otherwise, if you saved seeds, see the answer to Jean's query.
06 Jan 09, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
Water pumpkins when they show signs of limp leaves, first thing in the morning. Then have a look after the heat of the day is over and if they are wilting again water them. I pollinate with a small desk duster, the static electricity one that attracts dust, and swish it into the male flowers then into the females everyday till the females show sign of swelling. Be carefull you use one duster for one variety. Dusters are as cheap as chips and last many seasons.
06 Jan 09, Rosie (Australia - temperate climate)
My pumpkin (organic seed) were growing great - now the middle of the vine - where the seeds were initially planted are starting to die off!!! Any ideas what is needed to remedy this?
11 Jan 09, kym matulick (Australia - temperate climate)
my mother only buys butternut pumpkin and puts all her vegie scraps in the ground so she has a lot of pumpkins that came up. however she cant understand why they are all the colour of jap pumpkins but the shape of butternuts. she has a huge crop of pumpkins on the vines which is great but what are they????? can anyone help
14 Jan 09, Radhika (Australia - temperate climate)
I am ecstatic to see that our first attempt at 'golden nugget' pumpkins this year are flourishing, and appear to have ripened. But do I harvest them once the vine has died or do I pick them before then? ( I'm worried they might be more prone to rot etc as they are small)
17 Jan 09, kez (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted some heirloom pumpkin seeds and the plants were looking great. Female flowers were looking great and opened early in the mornings but the male flowers were too immature to use to hand polinate. They simply had no polen when I opened up the flowers! any suggestions? I'm thinking i need to put some potash in the soil maybe
Showing 21 - 30 of 776 comments

We're taking a break and there will be delays processing comments over the holiday season. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!

Geraldine, each pumpkin plant should produce both male and female flowers. The earliest flowers that emerge will be male and all up there will be more of them produced in total than female. You may or may not have to encourage pollination. If you have bees hanging around they'll do it for you. Consider making your vegie patch more enticing to bees by companion planting some bright flowers (like calendula, nasturtiums, french marigolds, sunflowers, etc) to attract them. Anyway, the way to tell the difference between male and female flowers (in case you didn't already know) is that female flowers will generally have a bulbous base near the stalk, below the flower. Also, since they take up a lot of room, have you considered training the pumpkin vine along a fence or up the side of a garden shed? A workmate of mine had them fruiting up on his shed roof last summer.

- Jaci

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