Growing Pumpkin

Cucurbita sp. : Cucurbitaceae / the gourd family

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

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

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • 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

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

10 Jun 24, Cait (Australia - temperate climate)
We live in NSW, and have got some butternut pumpkin seedlings that we have grown from seed (we weren't sure if they'd grow but have). Do they have a chance at growing sucessfully, or is it too early for them to grow due to winter?
12 Jun 24, (Australia - temperate climate)
If you can hold out for a couple of months that will give the seedlings the best chance
17 Dec 23, Brett (Australia - temperate climate)
It is fairly easy. A male flower has a single central stem in the middle of the flower. Like a small pencil. It has a sort of yellow pollen on it. A female flower has a circular thing in the middle of the flower. If you want to hand fertilise you just break off the male stem and stick it in the female thing and rub the pollen off. It is the same procedure as for all life I suppose.
27 Nov 23, FOX MAN (USA - Zone 8b climate)
what is the biggest type of pumpkin in a zone 8b area?
26 Nov 23, Retha (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Months to plant maize, beans and pumpkin
16 Sep 23, Jan (Canada - Zone 3a Temperate Short Summer climate)
When is the best time to harvest pumkin(squash)
19 Sep 23, (Canada - Zone 3a Temperate Short Summer climate)
Best to harvest 15-20 weeks after planting
05 Sep 23, Anne (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Any suggestions for pumpkin fly? They are rampant here.
06 Sep 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Yellow sticky card board - buy from bunnings or the internet.
18 May 23, tyler (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
can you grow Kent in winter or does it die off ?
Showing 1 - 10 of 825 comments

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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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