Growing large pumpkins is a snap. Read about why this vegetable does not like frequent watering and learn other agronomic subtleties of growing. The pumpkin has long been loved by gardeners, so it is grown on personal plots everywhere. Indeed, you can make so many delicious things from ripe fruits! Soups, cereals, salads, pies, even jam and pancakes are made from pumpkin. And well-ripened fruits are perfectly stored until spring or even until the new harvest. Pumpkin is very useful, it is used not only in cooking, but also for cosmetic purposes.
Here are the sweetest and juiciest varieties:
- "Chit" … The variety is early ripening, the first fruits ripen after 90–100 days from germination. Fruits are not very large - 2-3 kg, slightly flattened at the top and bottom. Their shell is pale gray, and the flesh is beautiful, bright yellow, juicy and sweet.
- Pumpkin has a similar color of peel and pulp "Volzhskaya" … It is early ripening, high-yielding and well kept. In addition, the variety has good resistance to a number of fungal diseases.
- "Gribovskaya winter" also keeps well and has a similar color.
- "Parisian red" was bred in France. Fruits of this variety can weigh 15–19 kg. The color of the flesh is yellow, and the pumpkin itself is dark red.
If you want to get huge fruits, plant the varieties "Big Max" and "Atlant". The pumpkins of the first can reach 40 kg! This variety is late ripening, so it will give the best results when planting seedlings.
Atlant, like Big Max, is beautiful orange inside and outside. This is also a late-ripening variety. The fruits of "Atlanta" grow up to 20-50 kg! The plant is multicolored. If you want to get huge fruits, leave no more than 1-2 ovaries on one plant.
The pumpkin "Titan" fruits can reach a weight of 150 kg! If you provide the plant with appropriate care and leave one ovary. When growing pumpkin, two main methods are used - seedling and non-seedling.
Getting an early pumpkin harvest - preparing the seeds
If you want to taste healthy self-grown pumpkin dishes already in July, then start the process by growing seedlings. First of all, the seeds must be disinfected in a prepared red solution of potassium permanganate. After they sit in it for 20 minutes, rinse in water. Then place the pumpkin seeds in a solution of trace elements, ash, aloe juice, or a growth stimulant. Keep them for 4-5 hours in one of the proposed solutions, then rinse and wrap in a piece of cotton cloth.
It should be damp for three days. That is how much time it takes for the seeds to hatch or swell in a warm place, and a plant begins to develop in them. After this time, they can be planted on seedlings or immediately to a permanent place.
Growing pumpkin seedlings
It is necessary to plant pumpkin for seedlings in such a way that the age of the grown seedlings when planting in a permanent place is 20-30 days, no more. In the middle lane, this is done on April 15-25.
Like cucumber, squash, pumpkin seeds are immediately sown in separate containers. If you plant them in one large one, and then dive, then such a transplant will negatively affect the seedlings - after all, the pumpkin plant does not like it when its roots are injured. Therefore, it is better to plant one seed at a time in peat pots. Then, when planting seedlings in the garden directly in this container, the pumpkin root system will not undergo mechanical damage, and the seedlings will take root well.
Fill the containers almost to the top with soil for seedlings, spill it with a weak solution of potassium permanganate, make a hole in the middle 2–2.5 cm deep, place a seed in it, sprinkle it with soil. Put the pots on a tray, a tray, cover them with transparent cellophane, place on a warm sunny windowsill. Inspect the pots once or twice a day, if seedlings have appeared, place the bowls, for example, on a glazed balcony, where the temperature is + 15– + 20 ° С.
It is very important not to allow elevated air temperatures in the first 3 days after the emergence of the sprout, so that it does not stretch out. In the following days, it is also not necessary to create too greenhouse conditions for the pumpkin, but you can raise the temperature to + 25 ° C. In such an environment, with sufficient light, the seedlings will not stretch out, they will be strong. Plant it in the garden when the probability of a return of spring frosts passes - May 15-25.
Planting seedlings, sowing seeds, caring for pumpkin
Shrub pumpkins are planted according to the scheme 70 x 70 cm, and climbing - 140 x 140 cm. The pumpkin loves organic-rich soil. It grows well in a warm garden bed. To arrange it, dig a trench 30 cm deep, folding the soil to the right and left of it. Place rotten foliage, semi-rotten compost, or manure in the recess. For 1 sq. m. add 1 tsp. nitrophosphate. Top up the filling of the trench with soil that lies to the right and left of it. Cover the bed with plastic wrap. After 1-2 weeks, you can plant seedlings or pumpkin seeds on it. They are also sown at the end of the late spring frosts.
You can plant seedlings, seeds on a former compost heap, having previously poured the earth on top of 5 cm. Here the pumpkin will bear fruit well and will soon hide an unsightly picture behind its large leaves, turning the compost heap into a picturesque oasis.
The place for this culture should be sunny, because the pumpkin comes from the desert, so it tolerates heat well. For this reason, she does not need frequent watering. If you see that in a hot afternoon, its leaves have slightly sagged, you do not need to grab the watering can and water the plant. Indeed, in this way it closes the pores on the underside of the sheet so that moisture does not evaporate through them. By the evening, the appearance of the plant is normalized without watering.
It is enough to moisten the soil under the plant in the evenings, on hot days 1-2 times a week, sprinkling with warm water from a watering can or a diffused stream of a spray hose. On cool days, this is done every 7-10 days. When the leaves of the pumpkin grow, then you can water it even less often.
After evening watering or rain, a day later, carefully loosen the soil around the bush, lowering the teeth of the hoe shallowly - 1–3 cm. Around the young plant, they loosen 1 cm, around an adult a little deeper.
Pumpkin formation, fruiting
As mentioned above, if you want to get a very large fruit, then leave only one ovary on the plant. Usually it is formed in two or three lashes, on each of which 1-2 fruits are left. If you are growing a pumpkin in the Northwest, then form a plant in 2 lashes, leave one ovary on each.
It so happens that the flowering of the pumpkin is good, but then the ovaries do not form. There may be several reasons for this. If you see that bees do not fly over a flowering plant on a fine day, pollinate it yourself. To do this, pick the male flower, remove the petals and pollinate the female flower with it, at the end of which there is a small rudiment of the fruit.
If the ovaries rot, then this is most likely due to over-watering. Stop watering the pumpkin for a while, then the fruits will tie. Contribute to this and top dressing. Give the first one when the plant has 4–5 leaves. The fertilizer should be dominated by nitrogen. This will help form a healthy, strong plant with dark greens. To do this, you can use mullein infusion, diluted 1:10 with water. You can also use mineral fertilizer, diluting it according to the instructions.
Do not forget that plants are fed only on wet ground, otherwise you can burn its roots.
When the fruits begin to form, feed with potassium-phosphorus fertilizer. Put in 6 liters of water 1 tbsp. l. superphosphate and 100 g of ash. Let the solution stand for 1-2 days, then feed. Do exactly the same 2-3 weeks after this one.
Harvesting and storing pumpkin
2 weeks before harvesting, you need to stop watering and feeding, then the pumpkin will be well stored. The fruits are cut with a stalk in September, before the onset of autumn frosts. If they are minor, cover the fruits overnight with burlap, film or non-woven fabric. Then the pumpkin will be able to ripen well until mid-late September. But it is impossible to delay the process of harvesting this vegetable.
After cutting off the fruit with the stalk, soak it in the sun for 4 days during the day. But bring the night into the room. Pumpkins are stored in a dry basement, cellar at a temperature of + 6– + 10 ° С. If you do not have such premises, store the fruits at home. The main thing is to prevent temperature drops and place them where it is not very hot, for example, next to the balcony door, under the closet.
For long-term storage, only healthy, undamaged fruits are laid, the tip of the stalk of which has dried well.
If the pumpkin is damaged, use it for cooking. Don't throw away your pumpkin seeds. Having dried the largest ones, you can plant next year and not buy seeds. In addition, it is pleasant to nibble on large pumpkin seeds. They are also pre-washed and then dried.
Great harvests for you at low physical and material costs!
The whole process of growing a large pumpkin in this video: