Pumpkin is a variety of winter squash that is round with smooth, slightly ribbed skin and is often deep yellow to orange in color. The thick shell contains seeds and pulp. There are several steps in growing pumpkins from planting seeds to harvesting and storing pumpkins. In this article, I have listed a few pumpkin growing stages along with some simple tips to help you grow a successful crop of pumpkins in your home garden. Which will help you a lot from planting sweet pumpkins to preserving vegetables. This article is organized in such a way that you will find a guide on everything from sowing seeds to storing sweet pumpkins.
Sweet pumpkin is one of the most important vegetables that we eat every day, which is loved by everyone, especially mixed vegetables made with sweet pumpkin. But if you grow it yourself in tub or garden and eat it instead of buying it from the market, then it is more healthy It tastes different because you are cooking it fresh from the garden. But for this you must have a proper pumpkin growing stages by following which you will benefit a lot. So I have shared with you some sweet pumpkin growing strategy you can check it out.
Pumpkin Growing Stages
Sowing The Pumpkin Seeds
Before sowing the seeds you must save the seeds and for this you can buy them from any store. Or you can save the sweet pumpkin that you bought from the market for eating if it has seeds. But definitely save the seeds of good variety to get good yield. Initially the seeds should be soaked in water for 8 to 10 hours. The next step is to mix the pot you will be planting the seeds in with half soil and half compost. Be sure to mix well. One thing to keep in mind while sowing seeds is that one seed does not stick to other seeds so sow seeds leaving an inch gap. Then plant the seeds in this container And sprinkle some water in small quantity. Then cover the pot with a cotton cloth. After maximum three to four days you will see a plant with two leaves.
The seedling emerges from the soil with the seed shell attached to the tip of the leaves.
After seven to eight days you should transfer the leaves from this container. The germination period of pumpkin seeds can last for ten days. The first leaves that sprout from the seedlings are not yet the true pumpkin leaves. These leaves are usually called sprouts which aid with the early photosynthesis process of the plant. If you want to grow pumpkins in tubs, mix soil and compost in a separate container. Then take one out of the growing plant and plant it in a separate tub. And if you want to plant seedlings in the field then prepare the soil and compost of the field and then plant the plants one by one.
Growth of the vine
As the pumpkin seedlings mature, the true pumpkin leaves will start to emerge from the middle of the sprouts. The new leaves will have a different shape and look. They have jagged edges, dark green in color, and are heart-shaped. Pumpkin vines spread out from the base of the plant and can grow 6 inches (15 cm) each day if they receive plenty of sun and water.
The length of the vine can reach 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) depending on the variety. Ensure that the soil is evenly moist but try to keep the leaves dry when you’re watering to avoid fungal infections.
During hot weather, you may need to water your pumpkin plants every day or two. In a few weeks, the leaves and stem will start to develop. The vine will begin to crawl, and more leaves will emerge. This stage is the vegetation stage, wherein the energy of the plants is directed at root development and leaf production.
The Pumpkin Flower
Pumpkin flowers will start to bloom 8 to 10 weeks after planting. The flowers are large and bright yellow in color with a long stamen in the middle. The male flowers appear first followed by the female flowers about 10 days later. To know the gender of the pumpkin flowers, you may check some distinct features. Female flowers have an ovary or baby pumpkin at the base of the stem and are usually found at the end of the vine. Male pumpkin flowers grow in the middle of the vine.
Baby Pumpkin Development
If your female pumpkin flower pollinates successfully, a baby pumpkin will form. The formation of your baby pumpkin is the most exciting part of the pumpkin growing stage. Your hard work is showing potential! As your baby pumpkins begin to form – they need plenty of water, sunlight, and moderate temperatures. Try to keep the pumpkin’s soil moist – but not soaked.
Maturity of Fruits
At the end of the growing stage, your pumpkin fruits will start to change in color. One fascinating feature of pumpkins is they change the color of their skin when the sunlight hits. You know your pumpkin’s ready for harvest when it’s a deep orange hue, and the skin feels hard. To help your fruits ripen and dry well, prune some leaves and vines to let the sunlight get directly onto the fruit. You must rotate the fruits to allow the other side to turn orange.
The telltale signs that the pumpkin fruits are ready to harvest are when the vines wither, the fruits change in color, and the rinds are firm and hard. Harvesting soft pumpkins will not do well in storage since they will wrinkle and rot. They need to dry a few more weeks before harvesting.
Pumpkins can last for several weeks and provide you with enough supply throughout the cool season. They can last in storage for 3 to 4 months. The best way to store the fruits is by placing them on wooden shelves or piles of hay in an upside-down position. They will rot if left placed on the floor. And that’s the end of pumpkin growing stages. Hope its helpful for you.
When do pumpkin flowers bloom?
- Flowers bloom at dawn. Male flowers are more than female flowers. Depending on the variety and environment of the pumpkin, there is more or less. Pumpkin flowers are yellow in color and large in size. And the most interesting thing is that making pakoras with sweet pumpkin flowers is very testy. I love making sweet pumpkin flower pakoras with afternoon tea.
- We know about sweet pumpkin cultivation, now let’s know what are the health benefits of sweet pumpkin
Benefits of eating sweet pumpkin
According to research published by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), pumpkin has anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and many other important properties. How these properties found in pumpkin are beneficial for health, we explain in detail below. Just remember that pumpkin is not a cure for any disease. Yes, it can help you stay healthy and reduce symptoms.
To lose weight
- Overweight and obesity can lead to many problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer. A study was conducted on rats to find out the weight loss effect of pumpkin. According to a study published on NCBI’s website, pumpkin seeds can reduce obesity and weight. In fact, it has anti-obesity effects, which can reduce obesity and excess fat.
Rich in vitamin A
- Sweet pumpkin contains many nutrients, one of which is vitamin A. It contains about 8510 IU of Vitamin-A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy teeth, strong bones, tissues and skin. Vitamin A is also considered important during pregnancy and lactation. This vitamin has also proven helpful in curing eye problems.
Good for eyes
- Eating sweet pumpkin is good for eyes. Nutrients found in sweet pumpkin include beta-carotene. This nutrient acts as an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body and can keep the eyes healthy. Also, it is considered helpful in protecting against degenerative eye diseases, such as age-related eye problems.
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