Pumpkins & Squash

Growing Guide

Where to plant

Full sun. Well drained soil.

Sow depth


Space between seeds / seedlings


Row space


Size of pot needed (width / depth)


Seedling Sow Depth


Best practice

Directly sown

Germination (days)


Maturity (days)


How to Grow

From seed

Form small mounds of soil and space these 1m apart.

Sow 3-4 seeds in each mound and water well.

As seedlings grow, thin to the two strongest plants in each mound.

In a pot

Not recommended.

Ready to harvest

Harvest once the vine dies off and the stalk turns brown.

Harvest pumpkins any time before the first hard frost in autumn.

Use garden shears or scissors to cut the pumpkin from the vine.

Collect seed

Cut the top off your pumpkin and scoop out all the pulp.

A large spoon works well for this task.

Separate the seeds from the pulp with your fingers, then place the seeds in a colander to rinse under cool water.

Try to remove as much pulp as possible from each seed.

Inspect the clean seeds carefully, and select the largest ones to save.

Larger seeds will have a better chance of germinating and growing healthy vines.

Spread the seeds on a layer of wax paper and allow to dry overnight.

Pumpkin seeds are sticky, so wax paper works best for the initial drying period.

Once the seeds are dry, line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer.

Place the tray in a cool, dark place for at least one month.

This allows the seeds to become completely dry.

After one month, sort through the seeds and discard any with mold or mildew.

Place the good seeds in an envelope.

They can be stored in the envelope until next year’s planting.

When to Grow


Zone 1 - Cool


Zone 2 - Temperate

September , October , November , December


Zone 3 - Subtropical

February , March , August , September , October , November , December

Companion Planting

Tips for Care

Pinch out the end of rambling stems to help contain the growth
Like most fruiting plants, pumpkins require pollination to help fruit set.

Bees help with this, so it's important to encourage them to your garden by planting a variety of flowering plants, including salvias and lavender.

Hand pollination can also help to improve fruit set.

To hand pollinate, pick male flowers (sitting above a fairly thin erect stem), remove petals and gently brush over the centre of the female flowers (flowers sitting above a tiny swollen base).

Do this early in the morning as the short-lived flowers can close by mid-morning.
After harvesting, if you don't plan on using your pumpkin straight away, let it sit in the sun for about a week, then store it in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Pumpkins can keep for 10 months or longer provided the skin is unbroken.
Don't plant pumpkin in the same spot for up to two years (this includes places you have grown other members of the cucurbit family).

This helps decrease the risk of soil-borne diseases.

Pests & Problems