How to grow a rich pumpkin crop in the suburbs
In the suburbs, pumpkin is one of the traditional vegetable crops. The climate here is favorable for growing many popular varieties. True, a warm summer is not enough to ripen the latest and most delicious pumpkins, but the zoned varieties feel good in the garden: there is no excess heat, and the soil is quite fertile.
The best varieties of pumpkins for open ground in the suburbs
In the Moscow Region, large-fruited and hard-boiled pumpkin is mainly cultivated; it is much more difficult to grow nutmeg. All three species are significantly different from each other. The hard-barked pumpkin is so named for a very strong, tree-like bark, in other species the bark is relatively soft. At the same time, most varieties of hard-boiled pumpkins are characterized by early maturity, which is why they are first of all tried to plant in not very warm regions.
Large-fruited pumpkin has a slightly longer period than hard-boiled, but it is the most cold-resistant and, as the name implies, the most productive. Nutmeg pumpkin is the most delicious, but also the most heat-loving. Most of its varieties are distinguished by late ripening, therefore, in the conditions of the Moscow Region there are problems with their growing. The reckless way of growing in the conditions of the center of Russia does not raise questions in the case of hard-barked pumpkin, large-fruited plants are planted mainly with seedlings, and for nutmeg, greenhouses are often used.
In the Moscow region, the following hard-bred varieties are most popular.
- Gribovskaya bush 189 is an early ripe variety, known for more than half a century. From the appearance of the first seedlings to the harvesting takes 86–98 days. Pumpkins have an oval or cylindrical shape, weighing from 2.5 to 5 kg, yellowish-orange with spotty black-green stripes. The pulp is the same color, dense, good taste, high sugar content. The disease resistance is medium.
Gribovskaya bush - a reliable variety, time-tested
- Spaghetti - a variety included in the State Register of the Russian Federation at the beginning of the XXI century, universal purpose. The first fruits can be removed after 62 days after germination. In technical maturity, the fruits are light green in color, fully ripe - cream. Pumpkins are small, weighing up to 1 kg, barrel-shaped. The pulp is beige, delicate, with the scent of vanilla. The sugar content of the pulp is low. The variety is drought tolerant, characterized by increased productivity.
Varieties with the name "Spaghetti" are not only pumpkins, but also zucchini, because these are related plants
- Golosemyanka is a mid-season cultivar bearing fruit of elliptical shape, weighing from 4 to 6 kg, dark yellow with white spots. The pulp is yellow, slightly sweet. Cold-resistant variety, characterized by seeds without a peel, but with increased oiliness.
- Mozoleevskaya 49 - an old, well-deserved mid-season variety. The growing season is 101–120 days. Fruits are short-oval, slightly ribbed, weighing 4–5 kg, in technical ripeness, dark green with yellowish stripes, fully ripened, are colored in orange and covered with a greenish-brown pattern. The pulp is orange, sweet, firm, of excellent taste. The fruits are very well stored and transported. Disease prevalence at an average level.
Mozoleevskaya - a variety grown for more than half a century
Among large-fruited pumpkins for the conditions of the Central region, the following can be distinguished.
- Volga gray 92 is an old variety with a medium ripening period, the growing season is 102–121 days. Pumpkins are almost round, slightly flattened, weigh from 6 to 9 kg, even gray. The pulp is yellow or cream, medium sweet, of good taste. The variety is high-yielding, drought-resistant, disease resistance at an average level. The fruits are well transported and stored for a long time.
Volga gray looks inconspicuous, but the grade is very decent
- Big Moon is one of the new varieties of table destination. Ripening period is medium-late; fruits are round, smooth, dark orange in color. With free placement in the areas they grow up to 35 kg, a record holder weighing almost a centner is known. The inside is cream-colored, the pulp is juicy, of good taste. Pumpkins are well transported, stored for up to six months.
Big Moon - one of the garden record holders for the size of the fetus
- Medicinal - an early ripe variety, characterized by high productivity and a long shelf life. The fruits are flattened, light gray with a darker colored net, weighing 4–7 kg. The pulp is orange, sweet, very tasty. It is resistant to low temperatures and other adverse climatic conditions, but the variety has a drawback: it is very affected by diseases.
- Sweetie is one of the new varieties of medium ripening, table setting. Fruits are round, segmented, weighing up to 3 kg. Since the bush draws up to 6 copies, the overall yield is not bad. Pumpkins are dark red in color with green spots. The pulp is bright orange, to red, juicy, with a high sugar content, good taste. The variety is considered cold-resistant, therefore it is grown in various regions.
Sweetie - a very beautiful and good-tasting pumpkin
Nutmeg pumpkins are the most delicious, for gourmets, in the conditions of the Moscow Region they are quite difficult to grow, but there are varieties that have time to ripen.
- Candied fruit is a mid-season variety, even recommended by the State Register for the Central region. The time required for complete ripening is 130-150 days. Fruits are flat-round in shape, brownish in color, covered with a waxy coating, usually weigh 6-7 kg. The pulp is orange, dense, dry. Pumpkins are well transported, stored for up to 7 months. The variety is adaptable to various weather conditions.
Candied fruit - one of the few muscat varieties recommended for the Moscow region
- Nectar is a fairly new variety with a medium maturity. Fruits are pear-shaped, medium in size, weighing from 3 to 7 kg. Coloring is orange-brown, with a wax coating. The pulp is juicy, orange in color, great taste. It is stored no more than three months.
- Matilda F1 is a Dutch hybrid recommended for the central region, with a medium maturity. Fruits can be ready in 3.5 months after germination, they are club-shaped, yellow in color, weighing from 3.5 to 4.5 kg. The pulp is thick, orange, of excellent taste. Pumpkins are well transported, lie in the winter for about 4 months. The variety is resistant to weather whims and increased productivity.
Matilda is not very beautiful in color, but extremely tasty
Pumpkin is a heat-loving culture, but it cannot be called a southern vegetable: it ripens perfectly in the middle lane. The latest ripe varieties are planted by some summer residents of the Moscow Region in spring in the corners of cucumber greenhouses, and when warm weather sets in, they whip out: it is unprofitable to occupy greenhouses with such huge bushes. Basically, the pumpkin is grown in open ground. In the Moscow region, both seedling and seedling methods of cultivating this culture are equally used.
Since most varieties of pumpkins form long lashes (up to three meters or more), a serious problem in small areas is the choice of location for its placement. Pumpkin, like cucumbers, likes to climb vertical supports, including even fruit trees. Using this property of her, low-land summer residents often plant a pumpkin at the fence, and then help her put their lashes up. If this is not possible, trellises or even awnings are often specially constructed so that pumpkins grow on the “second floor” and do not interfere with the planting of other vegetables.
In fact, the problem of lack of space is largely contrived: after all, it is enough for an average family to plant 3-4 bushes, and the nutrition area for each of them is about 1 m2. Pumpkins are often planted in unnecessary metal barrels, large bags, and even directly on compost heaps. But in any case, the plants should be well lit by sunlight.
To save space, summer residents come up with a variety of tricks
The second problem, in addition to choosing a place, is that a pumpkin requires a large amount of nutrients, preferably of organic origin. It is impossible to grow a real crop without humus or good compost. Yes, and the soil itself can not be any. Best pumpkin succeeds on dark light loams and sandy loams with neutral acidity. Before it, in a chosen place, you can not plant zucchini and cucumbers.
The pumpkin bed does not have to be dug in a continuous manner. Often a pumpkin is planted almost like a bush: they dig large planting holes (almost holes) into which large doses of fertilizer are applied. One bush requires about a bucket of rotted manure and a good handful of wood ash. Mineral fertilizers can not be used before planting, it is better to apply them later, in the form of top dressing.
In the conditions of the Moscow Region, it is advisable to prepare the hole pits in general in the fall, and in May they should be well poured with warm water, you can add ammonium nitrate (5-10 g per bucket of water), then cover with a film and keep it until the pumpkin is planted: it doesn’t matter seedlings or seeds.
Early ripening pumpkin varieties in the Moscow region can be planted with seeds directly in the soil, and varieties with a growing season of much more than three months are best grown through seedlings.
When to plant pumpkin for seedlings
Seeding time for seedlings is calculated based on the fact that seedlings are transplanted into the open ground at the age of about a month, and it takes about a week for seedlings to appear. Seedlings are planted in open ground at about the same time as tomatoes, that is, when the threat of frost disappears.
So, in the conditions of the Moscow Region, seedlings are moved to a bed at the border of spring and summer, and sowing seeds at home should be carried out at the end of April. Later - only not too late ripe varieties. In case of earlier sowing, planting on the beds will have to be well covered.
Preparing for growing seedlings and sowing seeds
Pumpkin at any age extremely painful transplant. In this regard, sowing seeds into a common box is very risky: it will be practically impossible to extract seedlings from it without damaging the root system. The best selection of containers for seedlings are the largest peat pots available on the market.
For pumpkin seedlings, pots with a volume of about a liter are desirable
Soil can be bought in the store by choosing the one that is intended for cucumbers, the word "pumpkin" on the packaging is very rare. Suitable and universal for any vegetables. But you can prepare the soil mixture yourself, if there are suitable ingredients. The best composition is peat, humus and sawdust (better rotted) in a ratio of 2: 1: 1. On a bucket of such a mixture, you should immediately add a glass of wood ash or a tablespoon of nitrophoska, then mix thoroughly and then disinfect, abundantly watered with a pink solution of potassium permanganate.
In specialized stores you can choose seeds of any pumpkin variety, but preference should be given to zoned, for the Central region or nearby areas. Most seeds sold by well-known companies are already ready for sowing, and for seedlings they certainly can no longer be prepared. But the pumpkin is most often sown with its seeds from the previous harvest, and this makes sense: it is very easy to collect the seeds, they are well stored, and summer residents are rarely involved in updating the assortment.
Only when collecting your seeds, you need to choose for this pumpkin, fully ripened in the garden and grown to normal sizes. It is better to choose pumpkin seeds after a month of storage at home. It is easy to extract the seeds, after which they are washed from the pulp with water and dried, immediately removing the unfit. Store in paper bags at room temperature and low humidity. Shelf life is up to eight years.
Their seeds are often prepared for planting, preparation can include many operations, for example:
- germination test;
- heating in water at (50 ± 2) ° C;
- hardening in the refrigerator;
- treatment with fertilizer solutions;
- treatment with biostimulants.
The need for these operations is not certain; the gardener chooses the stages that he considers necessary. Good seeds germinate well without preparation, after which the pumpkins grow well and bear fruit.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Seeds are sown in peat pots to a depth of 3-4 cm. 2-3 seeds are placed in each, placing them at a distance of 2-3 cm from each other. Pots with crops are watered with warm water, covered with glass or a transparent film and placed in a warm place (with a temperature of 22 to 30 ° C). It is better to immediately provide good lighting, so as not to miss the shoots. When the first sprouts appear, they will grow very briskly, and if they are not well lit, they will stretch out on the very first day. In addition to light, in the first 3-4 days they will need a lower temperature (16-18 ° C).
A few days after emergence, the strongest are left, and the rest are carefully cut with scissors. Summer residents, permanently living in the plots, grow seedlings in greenhouses or greenhouses: it is easier to create the necessary conditions for it.
For growing seedlings, in fact, only heat and light are needed: after the first few days, the temperature is again raised to room temperature. If the owner "overslept" the emergence of seedlings, and they managed to stretch out, you can try to save the seedlings. To do this, part of the stem from the ground to the cotyledon leaves is folded in a ring, gently pressed to the soil and covered with fresh soil up to the leaves.
Further care consists of watering and possibly top dressing. The seedlings are necessarily watered with warm water (25-30 ° C), preventing either swamping of the soil or its drying out. It is better to do this in the late afternoon, so that by the end of the day the plants have time to absorb the required amount of water, and the excess water - evaporate or leave the pots out.
If the soil was made up correctly, seedlings will grow without fertilizing. But experts still advise twice to help her with fertilizers: the first time 10 days after emergence, the second one and a half weeks later. It is especially important to do this if it is noticeable that the seedlings have suspended growth or began to change in color.
The easiest way to feed seedlings with special compounds for gourds, abundantly present on store shelves. If they are not, you can take any complex mineral fertilizer and apply it according to the instructions on the package.
When grown in greenhouses, you can also use infusions of organic fertilizers (mullein or bird droppings), but diluting them to a safe concentration. So, cow manure is insisted for a day, diluted with water 1:10, then diluted another 5 times, and bird droppings are diluted much more strongly.
Seedlings ready for planting should be at least 20–22 cm high, with at least two large green leaves and a short but thick stem. More than a month to keep seedlings in pots should not, it will begin to wither due to lack of space for the roots. Therefore, in the early days of June in the suburbs, it is time to resettle seedlings in the garden.
In good seedlings, the stem is almost imperceptible: it very quickly passes into the leaves
Transplanting seedlings into the ground
Transplanting seedlings into beds for an experienced gardener is not a problem. Just do not save space: there should not be less than a meter between the wells, and the optimal scheme for planting pumpkins is 2 x 1 m. If the holes are prepared in advance and according to the rules, on the day of planting seedlings in the center of the hole cut a small hole in the film. Then they dig a hole in the volume of the pot, pour a bucket of warm water into it, allow it to soak. Then plant a pot with seedlings and water again. Properly grown seedlings are planted without deepening, overgrown and elongated are buried in the most cotyledonous leaves.
The film is not removed before the onset of truly summer weather. If severe cooling is expected, the plantings are covered with spanbond. Watering is done every other day until the seedlings in the new place resume their growth.
Video: planting pumpkins in warm beds
Growing pumpkins in open ground in the suburbs
Pumpkin seeds successfully germinate only in soil heated to at least 12–14 ° C, but seedlings die at 1–2 degrees of frost. The best temperature for the development of pumpkin plants is 20–25 ° C. Therefore, the timing of sowing seeds directly in the garden should be calculated, focusing not only on long-term observations of the climate, but also on the current weather. Roughly in the Moscow Region, the time for sowing seeds begins after May 15, but at this time each hole with crops should be covered with glass or film. However, you cannot postpone sowing: after all, you don’t have to wait until the crop ripens.
Sowing seeds is very simple, the wells for this are prepared in advance in the same way as they are done for planting pumpkin seedlings.
- In the designated places, even in the fall or at the beginning of May, large holes are dug, introducing fertilizers into them and watering them.
Fertilizers with the earth are mixed very carefully
- After making a small hole in the scoop before sowing, 2-3 pumpkin seeds are laid in it at a depth of 5-7 cm.
Seeds are laid out, trying to lower down with their nose
- They fill the seeds with soil, lightly compact them, make low sides of the earth along the edges of the holes and cover them with glass or film.
Under normal conditions, in May, seedlings in the conditions of the Moscow region appear in 6-8 days. Upon the arrival of real warm weather, the film can be removed. But if summer is delayed, many gardeners cut holes in it for sprouts, and leave the film itself in the garden so that the soil does not cool down. After a few days, the weakest shoots are cut off: it is better not to pull them out so as not to harm the roots of the plants remaining in the hole.
Pumpkin Care in the Moscow Region
Pumpkin care is simple and consists mainly of watering and top dressing. Loosen the soil at first, accompanying the cultivation by removing weeds. As the bushes grow, loosening becomes impossible, and the weeds disappear somewhere themselves.
In the conditions of the Moscow Region, it is necessary to water the pumpkin infrequently: natural precipitation is mostly enough. Therefore, adult plants are watered only as necessary: they themselves signal a lack of moisture by withering leaves, this happens during a period of prolonged absence of rain. Most of all, pumpkin needs water during flowering and intensive growth of fruits. But at any time it must be remembered that waterlogging is unacceptable: it is even worse than drying out.
It is usually watered in the evening, heated by the sun with water during the day. As soon as the fruit growth slows down and they move to the ripening phase, watering will almost cease, adding water only in case of extreme drought. Plants will miss the moisture that their powerful roots will find at depth on their own.
Pumpkins are fed at least twice: the first time - in the phase of 5-6 leaves and the second - soon after flowering. For top dressing, they dig a shallow trench with a hoe in those places where the plants allow it to be done. Fertilize with any complete mineral fertilizer (applying about 15 g per plant) or infusion of organics (for example, a bucket of mullein is poured with water, insisted for a day, then diluted several times with water and distributed into 5-8 bushes). Periodically, the soil around the bushes is sprinkled with wood ash.
It is convenient to use ready-made fertilizers in top dressing.
In addition to these usual methods for the gardener, it is advisable to form pumpkin bushes so that excess green mass does not grow, and nutrients are spent on the nucleation and growth of the fruit. When the main stem grows to a length of about 1.5 m, pinch it, stimulating the growth of lateral shoots, on which pumpkins will be tied. Only 2-3 shoots are left on the bush, and on each one they give the opportunity to grow one fruit (unless otherwise specified in the description of the variety).
As the lateral shoots grow back, they are pinned to the ground at a distance of 50–70 cm from the base, making it possible for additional roots to appear. As indicated, pumpkins are often allowed to grow vertically. In this case, as soon as the fruits reach the size of a large apple, they are tied to the supports in any way so that they do not fall. You can use any large mesh for this. If the plants are not erected on supports, then under the growing fruits they lay boards or plywood to prevent decay from contact with the ground. As soon as the fruit reaches a size sufficient for the variety, all leaves covering them are removed to allow access to sunlight.
In conditions of proper agricultural technology, pumpkin plants rarely get sick, but in the event of pests or diseases, the yield is sharply reduced.
For preventive purposes, various chemical and biological agents are used to protect pumpkins, but ordinary summer residents try to do without it, limiting themselves to the timely destruction of plant debris and the fight against weeds. Usually these measures are enough, but in case of signs of disease, they try to use herbal remedies or folk remedies that are harmless to humans. Only in extreme cases, it comes to the use of pesticides, and then gardeners try to limit themselves to the safest like Bordeaux fluid.
Video: technology for growing large pumpkins
Harvesting and storage
Pumpkin is afraid of frost, but still try to harvest after the first light frosts that kill only the leaves. This is a rather risky approach, but in the conditions of a short summer, gardeners try to take time to make the pumpkins ripen better. Finding out if a pumpkin is ripe is easier than sorting out a watermelon. So, for large-fruited and nutmeg pumpkins, the ripening pattern of the fruit is a sign of ripening, and in the hard-bark - drying of the stem.
Unfortunately, in the conditions of the Moscow Region it is often necessary to remove pumpkins from the garden while they are not yet fully ripe. There is no big trouble in this, the pulp comes during storage, in contrast to the seeds. But when picking up such pumpkins, in no case should they damage their peel and generally should be handled with extreme care. Pumpkins are cut with secateurs, leaving the fruit stalk on the fruits, then sorted and sent for storage or for immediate processing.
Pumpkins must be removed with the stalks: without them, they will not lie for a long time
Whenever possible, fully ripened and undamaged fruits are ripened in a warm place for 2-3 weeks, until the stalk finally withers. Pumpkins are best stored in rooms with a temperature of 4–6 ° C with a relative humidity of 60–70%, where many varieties are up to a new crop. Most varieties lie perfectly in the apartment, but the shelf life is limited to several months: soon after the New Year, the seeds begin to sprout in the pulp, and in the presence of the slightest damage the pumpkins rot. In addition, when stored in heat, the fruit dries to a large extent.
When storing large quantities of pumpkins, special racks are equipped, on which straw is laid, and on top - pumpkins in a row and with the stalks up, making sure that neighboring fruits do not touch. Equipped with forced ventilation. Ordinary summer residents, having grown a dozen pumpkins, especially without hesitation, carry them home and place them in pantries or just under the bed. It is desirable that the chosen place be dark, this extends the shelf life of the crop.
Honestly, the author of these lines, who has been growing pumpkins for almost forty years, and mostly nutmeg varieties, keeps them on the cupboards, and it’s warm there, under the ceiling. They don’t spoil until spring. The main thing is that they were initially healthy. By the way, I do not use mineral fertilizers ...
It is not difficult to grow pumpkin in the suburbs, the climate is quite suitable for most early and mid-ripening varieties. Planting is possible both with seeds and seedlings prepared in advance. True, pumpkin takes up a lot of space in the garden, so the owners of the smallest plots do not always plant this crop, preferring other vegetables. But true lovers will always find a place and opportunity to get a healthy harvest.