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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 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

09 Feb 18, bruce (Australia - temperate climate)
Butternut pumpkins...planted mid Nov'. do they change colour & sound hollow when ripe? we are a bit dubious when to harvest.
12 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Harvesting Knowing when to harvest pumpkins is no great mystery, firstly the skin should be hard, secondly the stem leading to the vine should be hard as well, this indicates that the pumpkin is no longer taking in nutrients. And Thirdly when given a tap it should sound a little hollow. SO how long from planting to harvest 3 – 4 months. When you do harvest them make sure you leave a good amount of stem attached, this helps them last longer and prevents rot. Many growers like to leave them in the field until the first frost hits as this will knock back the vines but also toughen the pumpkin and some say make it taste sweeter and keep longer.
07 Feb 18, Rose (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My pumpkin snapped off the vine. It is very large but the vine is still healthy. What do i do with the pumpkin to ripen it
31 Jan 18, Karen hoye (Australia - temperate climate)
When to plant gourd seeds in Newcastle NSW first attempts Cheers Karen
02 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It says it grows like pumpkin, so plant it now.
28 Jan 18, Shelley O'Brien (Australia - arid climate)
What are the best varieties of butternuts, and pumpkins to plant in dry areas of western NSW?
30 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Go to a seed company like Boondie Seeds and read about different pumpkins. Doesn't matter what kind of pumpkin you grow it will need a fair amount of watering.
27 Jan 18, Cat (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have a pumpkin vine just pop up in my compost heap (just a hole in the ground i dig the compost into away from the house & pets). It's starting to grow pretty prolific, no flowers yet though. I have no real idea of the variety as I've used probably (at least) 3 different varieties of pumpkin and all of the seeds have been mixed in the compost heap. a) can i transplant it to a garden bed in full sun? b) does the one vine/plant grow flowers of both genders or do i need two plants? How do you know what's going to grow? This is the first time I've ever heard you needed or that there were genders to the flowers. My grandpa grew pumpkins when I was a kid & never said. TIA, Cat
02 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If you read the last 20-30 posts here about pumpkin, we talk about hand pollination. Each female flower is only open one day and quite often shut by lunch - so check each morning. If it has grown quite a bit I would not transplant it.
01 Feb 18, Katie (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Cat, Yes you can transplant your pumpkin plant! There will be no way to tell what kind of pumpkin you have until your fruit are growing and it may actually end up being a hybrid mixed variety. It should still be good to eat though! Pumpkins produce both male and female flowers. If you do not have many bees or wish to be guaranteed pumpkins it doesn't hurt to hand pollinate particularly if you only have the one plant. Plenty of info online about how to do that but it is easy with pumpkins. Just google
Showing 1 - 10 of 472 comments

Look how long it states to grow them and don't pick before then. The plant vines will start to die off. Best to grow into the winter months - they will mature slower and you will be able to store them longer. Read the notes here and on the internet.

- Mike

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