Growing Pumpkins the Easy Way
Growing pumpkins can be very enjoyable and rewarding as you watch your pumpkins transform from a tiny seed into a huge veggie which is so delicious and has so many benefits.
Here on the island the natives still hold to the tradition of cooking pumpkin and rice, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pies just to name a few. Thanksgiving is a time when these mouth-watering dishes are mostly cooked.
Though these veggies are enjoyed, what is the process they take from the garden to our dinner tables as they are so wonderfully prepared for those scrumptious meals?
Pumpkins should be planted when the weather has warmed up because Pumpkin cannot tolerate the cold. Pumpkins need plenty of space to grow therefore the planting area should be big enough to accommodate these veggies.
Make sure the area you choose gets at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. Also, the soil should be prepared with organic-rich soil in order for the plant to grow nice and healthy. Composting, Organic garden, Organic soil mix, and Preparing your garden for planting.
Mix compost thoroughly with soil to make it nice and uniform. Also, creating a hill when planting pumpkins because the hills help to keep the soil warm for seeds to germinate giving you healthy pumpkins.
To make a hill simply pull soil together in a circular motion until your soil takes on the shape of a mound or hill, it’s like going to the beach and building a sandcastle, scoop and form the sand until you get a nice round hill. Keep that in mind to help with this process.
Next plant about 3 pumpkin seeds on each hill, the hills should be in rows with a space of one foot apart, the purpose of the hill also is to help with drainage. The seeds should be planted at a depth of about an inch deep then cover the holes. It will take about a week for seeds to germinate.
Pumpkin is made up of about 80% water so make sure that the soil is moist, not waterlogged. It is very crucial at this point because you don’t want plants to die.
Fertilizing your pumpkins
Nothing can get you more frustrated than to see a host of an uninvited guest trying to make a meal out of your hard work, but all is not lost applying an organic insecticide will bring these unwanted guests under control.
Before applying read the label and follow as directed because the label is the law. There are many that have done more harm than good hoping that a little extra would do.
Powdery Mildew is a disease that is common when it comes to growing pumpkins. The key here is not to allow the water to wet and settle on pumpkin leaves because the moisture along with the heat will cause this mildew to form on pumpkin leaves.
Signs include yellow and green patches on the leaves followed by a white powder substance. It is best to water pumpkins in the morning so as the day wears on the leaves will have sufficient time to dry before dark falls.
Applying a fungicide will help in bringing this disease under control. Make sure before applying to read the label and follow as directed because the label is the law.
Time of harvest
It takes a pumpkin between 80-100 days in some cases depending on the variety it may take somewhat longer. A good sign to look for is when the vines begin to dry, know that your pumpkin is ready to harvest.
Pumpkin health facts
1. Pumpkins have antioxidants that help to rid the body of free radicals.
2. Pumpkins promote eye health.
3. Aids in fighting cancer.
4. Helps with weight loss.
5. Promotes healthy skin.
6. Lowers blood pressure.
7. Is an immune booster.
8. Is said to have properties that can boost one’s sex life.
9. Has been known to boost fertility.
Health benefits of pumpkin seeds
1. Helps to protect the prostate.
2. Seeds are filled with nutrients.
3. High in antioxidants.
4. Aids in bladder health.
5. Promotes healthy bones.
6. Helps to lower blood sugar levels.
7. Promotes healthy liver.
8. Is loaded with fiber that aids in good bowel movement.
Even the seeds have so many benefits, Pumpkins are really one of nature’s best.
The final word
Adding this veggie to your diet is a must, Pumpkins are loaded with so much good stuff, from the garden to the dinner table may take some time but it is worth the wait. With that said let’s plant those pumpkin seeds and receive the best nature has to offer.