To give your pumpkins the best chance for success, you’ll want to make sure you get the seeds in the ground at the right time of year.
Below, we’ve put together a simple guide covering exactly when and how you should plant pumpkin seeds in Melbourne and Victoria.
When should you plant pumpkin in Melbourne?
The best time to plant pumpkin in Melbourne is from September to December. To give your pumpkins the best chance of success, we recommend waiting until October.
As with most vegetables, when planting pumpkin, it’s important to take into account the climate of your region.
Pumpkins like soil temperatures of at least 20°C for the seeds to germinate properly (they won’t germinate below 16°C), which in Melbourne and Victoria will usually occur in the Spring.
How to plant pumpkin
Pumpkins are best planted by sowing seeds directly into the ground, as opposed to planting seedlings or using seed trays or punnets.
Check out our Pumpkin Grow Guide for some tips on getting started with your pumpkin crop:
Grow Guide: Pumpkin
|Plant type: Annual|
|Height: Up to 90cm|
|Climate: Can be grown in most climates|
|How to plant pumpkin|
|Soil: Rich, well-draining soil with lots of compost and aged manure|
|Soil pH range: 6 to 6.5|
|Soil temperature: At least 20°C|
|Spacing needs: 60-80 cm between plants|
|Seed depth: 2cm deep in a 10cm high, 40cm wide mound|
|Germination days: Up to 10 days|
|When to sow: After last frost in temperate and cool climates, year round in warm climates|
|Caring for pumpkin|
|Sun: Full sun|
|Water: Regular watering to keep the soil moist. Avoid getting the leaves wet.|
|Feeding: Feeding is not necessary but they may benefit from a balanced fertiliser|
|Time to harvest: 15 to 20 weeks|
|When to harvest: Harvest pumpkin when the skin is dull and hard. If you can pierce the skin of the fruit with your fingernail, it’s not ready yet.|
How late in the year can you plant pumpkin in Melbourne?
December is the last month that it is recommended to plant pumpkin seeds in Melbourne.
- Pumpkins grow best in temperatures in the range of 20°C to 35°C.
- A pumpkin takes around 3-4 months from planting to harvest.
- Therefore, if a pumpkin is planted after December, it will still be growing in March/April, which in Melbourne is too cold for optimal growth.
How long does pumpkin take to grow?
Pumpkins can take anywhere from 70 to 150 days to mature, depending on the variety, climate, soil conditions, and time of year.
Here are some popular pumpkin varieties grown in Australia, along with their average harvest periods:
- Queensland Blue Pumpkin: 120 to 135 days
- Golden nuggets Pumpkin: 75 to 95 days
- Jap Pumpkin: 70 to 120 days
- Butternut Pumpkin: 110 to 120 days
- Red Kuri Pumpkin: 80 to 95 days
- Jarrahdale Pumpkin: 100 to 110 days
- Turk’s Turban Pumpkin: 130 to 140 days
Does pumpkin need full sun?
Yes, pumpkin will grow best when it receives at least 6 hours of direct sun per day. This is especially important in cooler climates.
How do you harvest a pumpkin?
To harvest a pumpkin, cut it off the vine with a sharp knife or secateurs. Do not tear it off as this will damage the fruit. The goal is to keep your pumpkin as healthy as possible until you are able to use it for cooking, so take care not to damage it.