We all love a good pumpkin pie or soup, especially in the colder seasons and that’s right where the Jarrahdale pumpkin comes in – and why you should consider growing one in your garden.
The Jarrahdale is a winter pumpkin, known for its cold color and vibrant flesh. Its sweet taste makes it a perfect choice for soups, pies, and other pumpkin treats. Jarrahdale pumpkins are actually quite versatile and make beautiful centerpieces for any table, as well as unique jack-o-lanterns for your porch.
What is a Jarrahdale Pumpkin?
The Jarrahdale pumpkin (or cucurbita maxima) is actually a member of the squash family. Its skin is a cold shade of grey/blue that’s contrasted beautifully by the golden flesh. Native to Australia, the Jarrahdale is a cross between the Blue Hubbard and Cinderella pumpkins. They can grow anywhere from six to one hundred and twenty pounds, needing to be thinned out every so often so the vines don’t consume your plot. They’re easy to grow, though! And best of all, you can collect the seeds to grow and harvest a new crop the following year.
How to Grow Jarrahdale Pumpkins
The Jarrahdale pumpkin is an annual crop (meaning the crop doesn’t regrow on its own the next season). So, if you decide to grow them, be aware that you’ll need to replant the seeds each year. They’re fairly easy to grow, though, and take about 100-110 days from sowing to harvesting.
Jarrahdale pumpkin seeds can either be started outdoors or indoors. They’re very frost tender, so the best time to plant them (if starting outside) is towards the end of April after all the frosts have come and gone—usually, once the temperature is consistently 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If you choose to start them inside, you should start seedling growth at the end of March and transplant them outside to their hills at the end of April. They grow between May and September, with the harvesting season starting as early as the end of September and continuing through the month of October.
Planting Your Jarrahdale Pumpkins
Jarrahdale pumpkins grow on a vine, meaning you won’t need any kind of trellis or supports to help the plant stay upright; however, you will have to make sure the plant has plenty of room to grow and thrive. It’s recommended that, if you have space, to make the mounds at the edge of your garden so that the plants can grow into unused areas. Because vines go where they want and grow how they want, you’ll want to thin them out periodically to ensure that they don’t take over your entire garden.
If the plants don’t have plenty of space, you won’t have good growth or a good harvest. Creating hills that are five to six feet apart should do the trick. For some, this, unfortunately, may mean only having one Jarrahdale pumpkin plant per season; however, since they produce multiple fruits, that’s okay! And the growing season is from April to the end of September, so you’ll have plenty of time to ensure a bountiful harvest.
Best Conditions for Jarrahdale Pumpkins
Jarrahdale pumpkins grow best in zones three through twelve! They like six hours of sunlight per day. It’s okay to plant them in an area with partial shade, but make sure it isn’t too consistent (think in an area that has full sun most of the day but is shaded in the evenings or early mornings). Full sunlight is also an option since Jarrahdales need a minimum soil temperature of 65 degrees. (Keep in mind that Jarrahdale pumpkins should be planted in an area with rich, well-drained soil.)
For optimal pumpkin growth, you’ll want to give the plants an even watering. The best way to ensure this is with drip irrigation; however, if you’ve only got a hose, do your best to make sure you’re using it as close to the mound as possible to get the dirt nice and soaked. It’s recommended that you avoid spraying the foliage as much as you can because overly wet leaves could lead to disease.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Growing Jarrahdale Pumpkins
We’ve written a simple guide below to help you choose the perfect spot for your Jarrahdale pumpkins and care for them as best you can!
- Prep a spot for your Jarrahdale pumpkins. Once the temperature is consistently above 65 degrees, find a location in your garden that gets at least six hours of sunlight daily and has good drainage. Create as many mounds as desired (spacing them five to six feet apart to leave room for growth).
- Plant three seeds per mound, about one inch deep. If you’ve started your seeds indoors, you can plant three starters into each mound.
- Water the mound thoroughly. You’ll want to make sure the soil is soaked evenly for optimal growth.
- Care for the plants for the next few months. Check on the mounds once a day and water thoroughly and evenly as needed. Keep in mind that when you water them, you’ll want to get as close to the mound as possible to avoid soaking the leaves (potentially causing disease).
- At the end of September, start to check for fruits that are ready to be harvested. Remember that even though Jarrahdales can get up to 24 inches in diameter, some may end up being smaller and ready sooner.
- Continue checking your vines throughout the month of October until all of your pumpkins are harvested. Continue watering throughout the harvesting season.
What Can You Do With Jarrahdale Pumpkins?
Jarrahdale pumpkins are quite versatile. Their unique coloring makes them a beautiful accent (or focal point!) for centerpieces during large feasts or throughout the season. Because their harvest is from the end of September through all of October, you can also use them to create stunning jack-o-lanterns for your porch, or simply use them as outdoor fall decorations!
Best of all, their sweet, golden flesh makes them absolutely delicious to use in recipes for pies and sweets, as well as soups and stews. Take a look at this recipe for a Jarrahdale pumpkin soufflé that’s made from a pumpkin puree.
Jarrahdale Pumpkin Plant Gallery
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A Full Harvest!
A fresh harvest of Jarrahdale pumpkins, ready to be taken home! They’re versatile, so you can use them to cook, decorate, or even make jack-o-lanterns.
Perfect for Eating
The inside of a Jarrahdale pumpkin. You can see how the golden flesh contrasts with the rind.
An imperfectly perfect Jarrahdale pumpkin (because sometimes the best pumpkins aren’t perfectly shaped)!
A Beautiful Blue
This sea of Jarrahdales gives you a good idea of both their size and their color. Some are a little larger, some are a little flatter, but they keep the same general shape.
Some Jarrahdales on display at a Harvest Festival, just in time for the fall holiday season.
Here you can see how beautiful Jarrahdales look in a table centerpiece. Use similar and muted colors to compliment the shade of the rind.
Baby Jarrahdales on the Vine
These Jarrahdale pumpkins are at the very beginning of their lives!
A Mixed Harvest
This arrangement of pumpkins shows the uniqueness of the Jarrahdales color.
Where Can I Buy Jarrahdale Pumpkins Online?
If you can’t find any Jarrahdale seeds in local stores, don’t sweat it! There are plenty of places online where you can buy things like seed packs to get your garden started.
Jarrahdale Pumpkin Seeds
This 10-seed pack of premium Jarrahdale pumpkin seeds comes from New Zealand (remember that Jarrahdales are native to Australia?) and guarantee high quality. They’re a non-GMO product, and are perfect for growing a medium harvest of Jarrahdales!
Cucurbita Maxima Seeds
These packs result in Jarrahdales that are six to ten pounds each. There are 10 seeds per pack, so you’ll be able to plant three mounds of Jarrahdales from one pack.
Bumpy Blue Pumpkin Seeds
This variant of Jarrahdale is bumpy in texture and makes for a unique focal point. These seeds are non-GMO and come straight from Marde Ross & Company, a licensed California nursery.
David’s Garden Seeds
If you’re looking for a large harvest and have plenty of space for Jarrahdales, David’s Garden sells a 50-seed pack of non-GMO Jarrahdale seeds.