Secrets for Growing pumpkins in your garden
Pumpkin is a vegetable related to zucchini and is cultivated for the sweet fruit flesh that we use in many recipes. It is also cultivated for its large flowers, the well-known zucchini flowers, which become stuffed or fried. Pumpkin fruits are of the great nutritional value as they contain vitamins, fatty acids, and carotenoids. There are many varieties of pumpkin with different outer bark colors from yellow, orange and red to green and white, as well as various shapes, from round and narrow to oval, in various sizes from pumpkin 2-3 kg to 100 kg. Most pumpkin varieties are edible, and there are varieties that are cultivated for decorative purposes such as the bubbly pumpkin variety.
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When and at what distances do we plant the pumpkins?
To plant the pumpkin early in April, we plant young pumpkin plants in a special bed or procure ready-to-transplant plants. Pumpkin seeds need high temperatures and appropriate relative humidity to germinate. In particular, they germinate in about 10-12 days when the growth temperature is around 25 ° C. If we want to grow pumpkins later in May – June at higher temperatures, we can plant pumpkin seed directly in the soil at a depth of 2-4 cm. We plant at sparse distances, as the pumpkin plants sprout and grow sideways, occupying a large area. The ideal planting distances for the pumpkin are 100-120 cm between the planting sites and 140-200 cm between the planting lines.
What watering, fertilizing and other care does the pumpkin want?
Cultivation of pumpkin is in great need of water and requires watering every two days during the spring and every day during the summer. During the blooming season, we reduce the frequency of watering, so that we can get enough fruit. The ideal watering system for pumpkin cultivation is the drip system. When watering, we avoid moistening the pumpkin foliage as it contributes to the appearance of mildew fungi. When it comes to fertilization, we incorporate compost, good manure, and organic fertilizer when planting, and we repeat the addition of a complete biological fertilizer every month. If the pumpkin plant has a very high shoot growth and does not bear fruit, we peel off some of the shoots to help the fruit grow and produce.
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What diseases and insects infest the pumpkin?
Pumpkin varieties are affected by roughly the same diseases and insects that infest zucchini, however, they are much more resistant. In particular, the pumpkin is attacked by the insects of the mullet and the chrysanthemum that create honeycombs on the foliage of the pumpkin, the squirrel that dries the leaves and the mildew fungus that produces characteristic white spots on the leaves. To protect the pumpkin we avoid dense plantings, thereby reducing the chance of developing fungal and entomological diseases. We dust the root with foliage around the foliage when temperatures are below 30 ° C while spraying the pumpkin plants every 2 weeks with an eco-friendly solution by mixing a tablespoon of green soap and a teaspoon one liter of water.
And one last secret for pumpkin cultivation
The pumpkin is harvested in the autumn 4-5 months after planting. To see if our pumpkin is ripe, we first check if it has the right color. Then we beat the pumpkin wrap with our fingers and if the sound is hollow, our pumpkin is ripe.
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