Pumpkins belong to gourd family. Winter Pumpkins take the longest time to harvest because they are mostly made use in Halloween carving. And later used for making Thanksgiving pies.
Pumpkins take around 70 to 100 days to grow, and pumpkin seedlings and flowers are delicate, so the planting takes place in a free environment that is in summer. So as the fruit can grow up before winters arrive and frosts appear which can damage the fruit. One good thing about pumpkins is that they are cultivable on a good scale if we consider few things like the soil temperature, which needs to be warm enough (around 18˚C or 67 F) for planting pumpkins.
Secondly, the area that is if you have a good space for growing your pumpkins the crop would be more wide and large because pumpkin spreads a lot. Pumpkin plantation depends on the location you dwell in. If you are living in a hotter climate, u can plant your pumpkins in mid-July, and if you live in a colder climate, you can plant your pumpkins in late May.
All about Pumpkins from Plantation to Harvesting and Storing
To begin with, pumpkins are easy to grow and the most important thing to begin with while planting pumpkins in the type of seed you choose. It is very important to choose the right seed for the type of growth you want. Pumpkin seeds if stored properly can be further used for next plantation too.
Talking about the types pumpkin fall into three major categories depending on their uses:
- Pie pumpkins for food.
- Decorative pumpkins for carving in Halloween.
- Small pumpkins or mini pumpkins.
After the decision of the seed type is the next step is planting of the selected seed type in the soil (preferably in open area). Plant your seeds for about 1 to 2 inches deep into the soil in rows giving them the area to spread. Sun is an important factor for the seedlings to grow so make sure wherever you plant your seeds is not shaded by a tree or a tent.
Plant 2-4 seeds together so in case one seed doesn’t germinate; you have another seed in the place to take over. Pumpkins take a lot of food to grow so provide as much as soil, water, and manure as possible. If everything goes well, the seeds should germinate within the first week, and leaf must appear within ten days. When the plant gets up to 2 inches tall, choose the healthier ones and eliminate the weaker and damaged ones for healthier planting.
Time to time watering is important because pumpkins are thirsty plants. They need a hell lot of water to grow. An easy way to understand the pumpkin psychology is that check upon the soil. If the soil gets dry, water them to moist instead watering the already wet soil.
The motive is to keep the soil moist throughout. Moist soil contributes to pest control, and chances of the pest are more in wet soil. Avoid handling of the plants in wet soil this may disturb or damage the crop. Prefer watering in the morning so the leaves get time to dry themselves in the sun.
Fertilisation & Nutrition
As described pumpkins are hungry boys and need good nutrition for good growth. It demands a regular compost or manure treatment. Healthy nitrogen, phosphorus feeding is also required. Use a good amount of compost during planting seeds and later when plants emerge apply manure tea on an interval of 2 to 3 weeks. Use fish emulsion to the pale going leaves.
Care While Pollination
Cover you plants with row coverings to protect from pests. Allow removal of covering before you allow pollination.
It requires a continuous monitoring throughout to make sure that your growing healthy pumpkins. Apply weed killer regularly to protect your plants from weeds so that they did a parasite and took up the plant nutrition to themselves leaving your plant’s nutrition free and unhealthy.
Scrap away the beetles, which can harm your plants by eating up the flowers killing your crop. Pest like aphids can be dangerous to the plant as they are under the leaves of your plants and not easily seen. They may kill your plants faster than ever, so it’s important to wash them off with water in the morning and allow the plant to dry itself in the sun to get rid of these pests.
Pests get an easy entry when they encounter poor lighting and weather. Reduction in pollination activity and excess use of fertilizer can decrease the yield. Other pests attacking the crop are Squash bugs, squash wine borders, powdery mildew, etc. Learn more about what animals eat pumpkins here.
Cultivation of mature pumpkins is the best part of growing pumpkins. How to know whether your pumpkin is ready to pick?
The answer is the color of the pumpkin. The pumpkin has ripened if its color changes to deep Orange (looks solid). To know more dab your hand on the pumpkin and it should make a hollow sound moreover must feel hard. Further to enquire prick your nail into the pumpkin and if it resists any puncture, it is affirmative that it has ripened completely.
To best way to cut off your pumpkin is to cut with a knife with 3 to 4 inches of the stem along which will increase life to the pumpkin. Avoid cutting too close to the fruit. Carefully handle your fruit else it will bruise. Pumpkin stems are not that strong so don’t hold your pumpkin by its stem because if the stem breaks the fruit will rot in not much time. Keep them in the sun for a week to harden the body later store in a cool, dry place. Pumpkins don’t need refrigeration so we can store them for months.
This is a complete discussion regarding how much time does it takes for a pumpkin to grow. Subscribe to our blog to receive more and updated information about plantation and gardening.