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Growing Pumpkin in The Northern Territory

Introducing Pumpkin

This warm season crop needs plenty of space, but grows vigorously with few problems. Plant your pumpkins in a sunny spot with rich soil and they’ll reward you with an abundant harvest.

Classic Mistakes

Make sure your pumpkins get enough sun and have enough space to grow.

Sunlight

Grow in: Full Sun

Soil Preparation

Pumpkins like a rich soil. Work in plenty of compost and well-rotted manure.

Sowing Seed

Sow seed: April-July
Sowing depth: 10 mm

Sow your seeds into mounds about 1m apart. Once the plants are up and established, choose the strongest 2 plants and remove the rest.

Planting

Plant seedlings: May-December

Pumpkins are best planted from seed. They don’t like to have their roots disturbed.

Care

Once your vines reach the desired length, pinch out the growing tips to prevent them from growing longer. This will encourage them to branch out.

Watering

You will need to water your pumpkin to keep the soil moist during the dry season. Be sure to regulate the amount of water your pumpkin plants get once they start bearing fruit. A drastic change in water supply can cause the pumpkins to crack open.

Feeding

Pumpkins are heavy feeders and benefit from regular feeding. Feed with a balanced organic fertilizer every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season.

Mulching

Mulching helps to keep the soil moist and cool. Apply a generous layer of organic mulch such as shredded leaves, straw or coconut husk. Since pumpkins are such heavy feeders, a compost mulch is also a good option.

Harvesting

Harvest: 15 to 20 Weeks After Planting

Pumpkins can be harvested once their skins have hardened and thickened. Pick mature fruit as you need them. Use a sharp knife to cut them away from the vine. Be sure to leave a piece of stem attached to each pumpkin. If you want to store your pumpkins, only harvest them at the end of summer so that their skins can become hard and thick. Pumpkins should be cured before storing.

What to do about Snails and slugs?

Lay down grit, like eggshells or silica sand or create barriers around your plants. Remove any slugs or snails that you see.

What to do about Powdery Mildew?

Milk spray or baking soda solution work well and can be sprayed on affected plants.
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