How and when to plant pumpkin for seedlings
Pumpkin contains a lot of substances useful for the body. This fruit can be stored until spring without compromising its palatability. However, many gardeners are faced with the question of how to grow. We will talk more about how to properly grow pumpkin in an article.
Why grow seedlings, and not plant directly in the ground
Many vegetable growers prefer not to engage in seedlings, but to plant seeds directly in the ground.
This method has its drawbacks:
- The culture in question is thermophilic; it needs soil heated to a minimum of +13 ° C. In mid-latitude or harsher climates it will be necessary to significantly delay the planting dates, and, accordingly, the harvest. In the conditions of a short summer, the pumpkin does not have enough time for full ripening.
- The hard shell of seeds not sprouted previously will not guarantee seedlings. For direct sowing, more seeds are used in the soil, planting 2-3 in each hole.
- There is always the threat of a change in weather - a sharp drop in temperature or frequent rainfall. Waterlogged soil will also delay the hatching of seeds, and cold can destroy the sprouts.
Given these factors, most gardeners grow crops in seedlings.
How to plant a pumpkin for seedlings at home
For cultivation, you first need to determine the plant variety.
Each of them has its own characteristics:
- nutmeg fruits - an ideal grade for desserts, sweet and gentle taste, juicy pulp. Butternut squash is especially thermophilic;
- large-fruited crops - they ripen well and are stored, the pulp is sweet, large seeds, which are also eaten. Lack of fruit severity, which makes transportation difficult;
- hard bark varieties - they are stored the longest, mature quickly and are convenient to transport due to their small size. The flesh of hard bark varieties can also be hard, it will take longer to cook.
Did you know? Raw pumpkin juice has sleeping pills, and the flesh heals burns perfectly.
Sowing dates are calculated taking into account the ripening varieties and climate of the region. Roughly sowing is carried out from mid-April to mid-May.
Landing tanks and soil
It is not advisable to dive a pumpkin, it has brittle roots, therefore sowing is carried out in peat pots 10-14 cm high and wide.
Ideal soil composition:
- peat - 2 parts;
- rotted sawdust - 1 part;
- humus - 1 part;
- wood ash - 0.5 parts.
Seeds collected from the previous harvest, after being extracted from the pulp, are thoroughly washed and dried. For sowing, large, undamaged specimens are selected and stored in linen or paper bags.
A few days before sowing, the seeds are placed in a slightly pink solution of manganese for half an hour. For germination, wrap in a damp rag until the tail appears.
Sowing seeds for seedlings
Seeds are sown in pots filled with substrate to a depth of 3 cm, tail down. As the sprout is pulled, the seed film will fly off. You need to sow in moist, but not wet ground. The sowing pot is covered with a film and placed in heat (+ 25-30 ° C).
Further care for seedlings at home
Standard seedling care: maintaining temperature, watering and top dressing. It is important to provide the plants with the necessary lighting.
Emerging shoots from the first days need good lighting, otherwise the sprouts will stretch in search of a light source.
Important! If the seedlings are very elongated, the stem in a place close to the surface of the soil, curl up and sprinkle with soil, leaving the foliage at the top.Do not be afraid to break the stem: at this stage of growth, it is flexible.
Daylight hours for seedlings should last up to 10 hours, extend it using phytolamps.
After emergence, the first 3-4 days the seedlings are kept in cool conditions.
Further, the temperature regime changes:
- daytime - + 15–18 ° С;
- night - + 12–13 ° С.
Until seedlings appear, seedlings are kept under cover: the greenhouse effect stimulates seedlings to grow. After 3-5 days, when shoots appear, the shelter is removed. Now the young plant needs access to fresh air and light for full development.
When watering, you need to focus on the soil moisture in the pot. It is equally bad to leave seedlings without moisture and waterlog. Irrigation is carried out with warm, not lower than +25 ° C, standing water. It is watered in the morning so that the water has time to absorb, and its excess - to evaporate.
If during sowing the soil mixture was prepared independently and there is humus in its composition, more seedling fertilizer is not required. But in case of the slightest deviations from normal development, seedlings provide food.
When buying ready-made complexes use fertilizers for gourds according to the instructions. In another case, use a mullein infusion diluted with water 1:10. Watered under the root, if necessary, after two weeks the procedure is repeated.
Airing and hardening
5-7 days before transplanting into the soil, seedlings are hardened. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the thermophilicity of the plant: in the first hours in the fresh air, the pot with a seedling should be covered from the wind by installing a curtain made of thick fabric. You can finish the hardening at the landing site, leaving the pot for an overnight stay in the open.
Planting seedlings in open ground
Pumpkin is not a capricious plant, but when planting on an open garden, a number of rules must be observed.
The date of transplantation varies depending on the climate of the region: the beginning or middle of May. The main condition is that the average daily temperature should not fall below +10 ° C. The seedlings are 22–30 days old, while its stem has a length of about 20 cm, it is thick and has more than 2 developed leaves.
For landing, choose a flat and lighted area, protected from the wind. Ideal soil is sandy loam or loamy, with neutral acidity. Bad predecessors are potatoes and other melons.
A few weeks before the process, the site is dug up, breaking up heavy clods of earth and applying fertilizer (per sq. M):
- humus - 15 l;
- wood shavings - 3.5 l;
- nitrophoska - 200 g;
- wood ash - 1 l.
The pumpkin beds are up to 70 cm wide. The distance between them is up to 2 m.
The sequence of actions during landing:
- Pits are prepared up to a depth of 25 cm, in a volume of 25-30 cm.
- It is advisable to overlay the edges with peat or boards.
- They fill the soil and spill it with warm water (1 bucket).
- Each hole is covered with a dark film.
- After 2-3 days, a hole corresponding to the diameter of the pot is cut out in the film.
- They spill to the formation of slurry and plant a pot of seedlings in this slurry.
- The film remains until its final rooting.
- In the northern regions, seedlings are additionally covered with "spanbond" or "agrospan".
The culture is not demanding in care, however, a process of pollination can cause some concern. Next, consider everything in order.
Watering is carried out by irrigation in previously loosened soil. Water is needed warm, not lower than +20 ° С, watering time is evening. One plant takes about 20 liters of water. During the formation of inflorescences, the norm is increased to 30 l, during fruiting, again reduced.
Important! The plants have a powerful and deep root system, so averaged norms are described. Determine the need for watering and the amount of water you need according to the condition of the plant, the weather and the amount of rainfall.
Gourds tend to build long lashes that need shaping. Two methods are used:
- the first - leave no more than 3 ovaries with 2-3 leaves, the rest are removed;
- the second - 2 ovaries are left on the main stem, one on the side.
Pinching the shoots is carried out until the formation of inflorescences - remove part of the shoot with the apical flower bud.
If you neglect the procedures, the stems will grow greatly, drowning each other, the fruits will be small and tasteless. In addition, you should take care of the integrity of developing fruits: you need to put a board under them so that the peel does not come into contact with the soil and does not rot.
Did you know? In Kyrgyzstan, pumpkin fruits are used as a container for koumiss - so the drink retains freshness for a long time.
Since the soil is fertilized before planting, the plant does not need a lot of fertilizing. Use both mineral mixtures and organic.
- at the stage of occurrence of 5-6 sheets, nitrophos is introduced - 10 g of powder is embedded in the soil of the trunk circle;
- at the stage of the appearance of lashes, the nitrophosphate is diluted with water (15 g / 10 l) per bush.
- during the period of growth of greens, a mullein infusion diluted 1:10 with water is used (6–8 bushes 1 bucket);
- in the formation of fruit ovaries - in the same quantity and proportions.
To repel pests, plantings are regularly dusted with wood ash.
It is necessary to clarify the method of fertilizer application for pumpkins: they dig a ditch around each plant, and fertilize them with these furrows. Thus, nutrition is better distributed in the soil.
Pumpkin is distinguished by the formation of bisexual flowers, but due to the severity of pollen, its transfer by the wind is not always successful. There are difficulties in pollination by insects due to bad weather, so you have to pollinate the plant manually.
Do this in the morning after watering: with a soft brush, carefully remove pollen from the stamens and transfer it to the pistil of the female flower.
It is not difficult to distinguish flowers by gender:
- male grow on a long inflorescence, have fused stamens with pollen;
- female at the base of the petals have a round seal (an embryo of the fetus) and a pestle in a cup.
The soil on the garden bed must be cultivated: cultivating and weeding. Loosening is carried out before watering in the row-spacings for better distribution of moisture and in the near-stem circle for air exchange. In the first weeks, the depth of cultivation is 10–12 cm, then no deeper than 8 cm, so as not to damage the roots.
Weeding is carried out exclusively by hand without the use of a chopper, in order to avoid damage to the roots. When weeding the grown pumpkin shoots, they are not torn out, but pinched, otherwise the nearby roots of the main plant can be damaged.
According to experienced agronomists, the seedling method of growing pumpkins is more effective. Performing simple manipulations to care for the plant at all stages of its development is the key to obtaining a high-quality crop.