We grow pumpkin through seedlings: a little labor, and your rich harvest!

Pumpkins in the garden are planted with both seedlings and seeds. Of course, if possible, prefer the seed option, as it is much simpler. But the growing season in most varieties is so long that only in the south you can almost always do without seedlings. In the middle lane, sowing seeds in the garden is not always possible, so you have to sow the seeds in pots and grow seedlings, and then transfer it to the open ground.

Selection and preparation of soil and tanks for landing

Pumpkin at any age is extremely painful to transplant, so sowing seeds in a common box is very risky: it will be practically impossible to extract seedlings from it without damaging the root system. Therefore, sowing should be carried out exclusively in separate cups; it’s even more correct to say pots, since this capacity should be a capacity of at least a liter. Indeed, for the month that the seedlings will remain in the pot, it grows in the form of a very solid bush, and its roots occupy the entire volume provided to them.

You can use glasses from under dairy products for this only as a last resort: even from them it is difficult to extract plants without damage. It is better to take reusable pots with a retractable bottom, and the best thing is peat pots of maximum size. Home-made paper cups are also an option, as paper can be easily torn off when planting plants in a garden bed. If you dare to sow in one common box, the seedlings in it should be free: the sowing pattern is not thicker than 15 x 15 cm.

Of all the available peat pots for pumpkin, you need to choose the largest

If the soil is bought in a store, you should choose either universal (for all types of vegetables), or one that is intended for cucumbers, the word "pumpkin" on the packaging is very rare. But it is not difficult to prepare the soil mixture yourself, if there are suitable ingredients. The best composition is peat, humus and sawdust (almost completely rotted) in a ratio of 2: 1: 1. You can add a glass of wood ash or a tablespoon of azofoska to a bucket of such a mixture, and then mix thoroughly.

Pumpkin seedlings rarely get sick, but if there are doubts about the well-being of the components used for the soil, it should be disinfected a week before sowing, well watered with a pink solution of potassium permanganate.

Filling the pots with the mixture obtained, you need to leave it for a little while: it is quite possible that the seedlings will have time to stretch out a bit (you need an eye and an eye for it!), And then you will have to add soil to the pots.

Seed selection and preparation

In specialized stores, you can choose seeds of any pumpkin variety, but preference should be given to zoned. For example, the most delicious, nutmeg pumpkins in the middle lane are difficult to grow, they usually have a very long growing season. Almost all major firms now sell seeds that are ready for sowing. And, at least, sowing seeds of pumpkin seeds at home for seedlings, there is little sense in somehow processing them: there is no need to accelerate germination, there is time, and from the point of view of the absence of diseases, purchased seeds can now be trusted.

But the pumpkin is most often sown with its seeds from the previous harvest, and this has its own logic: collecting seeds is very easy, they actually cost nothing, are well stored, and all traditional varieties are very good, so summer residents rarely deal with the assortment. But independently collected seeds for sowing must be prepared.

First of all, you need to know that seeds can be taken only from pumpkins that are fully ripened on the bed: only pulp ripenes during storage. The pumpkin for collecting seeds should be healthy, normal for the variety size. It is best to let her lie down for a month after collection in room conditions, and only then wash, rub and cut to extract the seeds. You should not wait longer: at some time, the seeds begin to germinate already inside the fruit.

It is impossible to be late with the extraction of seeds: it is better to do this even before the onset of winter

It is easy to extract the seeds, after which they are washed from the pulp with water at room temperature and dried, immediately throwing out the unfit. Store in paper bags at room temperature and constant low humidity. Germination of pumpkin seeds is high for 6–9 years, and the best seeds for sowing are three or four year old. Before sowing, they are inspected and selected by the largest. If in doubt, check in advance for germination in the usual way.

In addition to calibration, preparation of seeds for sowing may include:

  • disinfection in a dark solution of potassium permanganate for half an hour;
  • two-hour heating in water at a temperature of (50 ± 2) ° C;
  • germination in a damp cloth until the first tails appear;
  • hardening in the refrigerator for three days or variable exposure during this time to cold and room temperatures with a frequency of 12 hours;
  • treatment with fertilizer solutions (take 2 tablespoons of ash and 0.5 g of boric acid, copper sulfate and zinc sulfate per liter of water) for 6-7 hours;
  • treatment with biostimulants (0.5 g of succinic or salicylic acid in 1 l of water) for the same time.

The need for each of these operations can be disputed; perhaps the gardener will choose the stages that he considers necessary. But if you just sow the seeds correctly, they will certainly sprout, pumpkins will grow and produce a crop. Verified by years of experimentation.

Planting seeds for seedlings

Seeds are sown in pots filled with the soil mixture to a depth of 3-4 cm. 2-3 seeds are placed in each pot, laying them at a distance of 2-3 cm from each other. Whether preliminary watering of the soil is needed or is it easier to do it after burying the seeds, is not important. It is advisable to cover pots with crops with glass or a transparent film and put in a warm place (with a temperature of 20 to 30 ° C).

Light does not really need light for emergence, but it’s important not to miss the moment when the first sprouts appear from the ground: they grow literally “in front of your eyes”, and if they are not well lit, they will stretch out on the first day. In addition, for the first 3-4 days it is necessary to lower the temperature to at least 16-18 ° C. In this regard, they prefer to grow pumpkin seedlings in greenhouses or sunny greenhouses, unless, of course, they are near the house and can be monitored in a timely manner.

If you leave the seedlings warm and twilight, in two days it will turn into worthless elongated tails

A few days after the emergence of seedlings, it becomes clear which of them are the strongest. They are left, and the rest are carefully cut with scissors: it is better not to pull out so as not to disturb the roots of the specimens remaining in the pots.

Seedling dates

When it comes time to sow pumpkin for seedlings, it is not difficult to calculate, but we must take into account that one can rely only on long-term observations, and one does not have to do it for a year. Seedlings are planted in open ground at about the same time as tomatoes, that is, when the threat of frost disappears. In the middle lane these are the last days of May or the very beginning of summer.

By this time, the seedlings should be 30–35 days old, no longer needed: will outgrow. Adding a week to the emergence of seedlings, we get that the sowing should be done in late April. This is for the center of Russia. Accordingly, in the northern regions and most of the Urals and Siberia, the deadline is moved closer to mid-May, and in the south - a couple of weeks in the opposite direction. Although, of course, in the south, few people plant pumpkins through seedlings, except perhaps the latest ripe varieties.

Video: sowing pumpkin seeds for seedlings

Seedling Care

To grow seedlings, she needs to create conditions of good illumination and heat: for the first three to four days she is kept cool, and then daytime temperature of about 22 ° C is desirable, and night temperature is not lower than 12 ° C. The easiest way to create these conditions is in the greenhouse, and in the apartment for seedlings, you need to highlight the most lighted window sill. During the stay in pots, seedlings should grow to 20–25 cm, but at the same time have a very short and thick stem, which is determined by the first days of her life.

If the first days were not very correct, and after a week the seedlings are a miserable sight (frail leaflets on a long thin stalk), you can try to save her. To do this, that part of the stem, which extends from the ground to the cotyledon leaves (submucosal knee), is folded in a ring or spiral, carefully pressed to the soil and covered with fresh soil up to the leaves.

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Watering

Watering is necessarily carried out with warm water (25-30 ° C), while excess moisture is unacceptable. Overdrying of soil in pots and its swamping are equally harmful. Excess moisture increases the risk of drawing seedlings, and also causes various fungal diseases. In dry soil, plants wilt and stop growing.

It is difficult to suggest a watering regime: the frequency and amount of water depend on many factors, the owner himself can easily determine the schedule. But it is more convenient and useful to water in the late afternoon: before sunset, the plants will assimilate the necessary share of the water received, and the rest will be distributed over whom the earth is and - the excess - will have time to evaporate.

Top dressing

While in pots, pumpkin seedlings are fed twice. The first time this is done a week or a half after the emergence of seedlings, the second time - after another 10 days. In principle, if the soil contains good humus, seedlings can do without fertilizing at all. But the slowdown of its growth and stretching in the absence of other indications indicate the need to help her with nutrition.

The easiest way to feed seedlings with special compounds for gourds. In their absence, they take azofoska (1.5 g per liter of water) or mullein infusion. Obviously, at home, the owners will choose the first option, but in the greenhouse, the mullein is more reliable. To do this, it is insisted for 1 day in water in a proportion of 1:10, then diluted another 5 times and lightly watered the seedlings in pots with the obtained nutrient solution.

In good seedlings, leaves grow almost from the ground

Do you need a picking pumpkin seedlings

A picking of pumpkin seedlings in the classical sense of the word is unacceptable. When picking, for example, tomato seedlings are removed from the box, pinch them the central root and transplanted into separate glasses or a larger box. For pumpkins, such an operation is fatal. The slightest damage to the roots, if it does not destroy the plants, then you will not have to expect a good harvest from them.

In the extreme case, if the seedlings become very crowded in a pot or if the sowing has been carried out in a common box, it must be carefully removed with a lump of earth without disturbing the root system and transplanted to a new place. After that, it is very good to pour warm water and clean it in partial shade for a couple of days.

Diseases of pumpkin seedlings and protection against them

Pumpkin seedlings very rarely suffer from diseases, this only happens if pathogens have been introduced with soil or seeds. In the case of proper agricultural technology, seedlings themselves confront possible problems. In general, diseases of seedlings are the same as diseases of adult plants, the following are most often found.

  • Bacteriosis is manifested by brown spots on the leaves and shoots, an exacerbation of the disease contribute to sharp temperature changes and increased humidity of both soil and air. When growing seedlings in a common box, diseased specimens are subject to unconditional destruction. Pots with diseased plants should be isolated and try to treat seedlings: in the initial stages, spraying with Bordeaux liquid can help.

    With bacteriosis, the leaves are a miserable sight

  • Root rot primarily affects the weakest plants, it also occurs in the case of high humidity and variable temperatures. The roots and shoots turn brown, then blacken and stop growing. Periodic loosening of the soil and the exclusion of excessive watering with cold water almost guarantee the absence of the disease, but in case of its occurrence, it is better to destroy the affected plants and spray the remaining ones with Bordeaux liquid, adding it to the root zone and carefully raking the soil around the plants.

    Root rot quickly leads to the death of plants

  • Powdery mildew - the scourge of all pumpkin crops, manifests itself in the form of a white powder coating, first on the leaves, and then on the shoots. The disease contributes to a lack of moisture, coupled with an excess of nitrogen nutrition. The most diseased leaves must be cut off and the plants sprayed with colloidal sulfur preparations.

    Powdery mildew is easily recognizable

  • Yellow mosaic - a viral disease, manifested first by wrinkling of leaves, then the appearance of colorful spots on them. Following this, the leaves curl and dry. The treatment is very complicated, for starters you can spray the seedlings with iodine preparations, but most likely you will have to say goodbye to it.

    The yellow mosaic does not look very threatening, but it is a very dangerous disease

Planting pumpkin seedlings in open ground

Ready for planting seedlings should be about a month old, be at least 20 cm high, with two or three large green leaves and a short but thick stem.

You can’t keep seedlings in pots for more than 35 days, it will begin to nykat, wilt and just require a transplant! Therefore, in the last days of spring or the first - summers in the middle lane, it is time to resettle seedlings in the garden.

Pumpkin holes are prepared where lashes have something to cling to, otherwise the pumpkin will need to allocate too much space. Even in the case of transferring lashes to trellis, between the holes there should not be less than a meter, and the optimal scheme for planting pumpkins is 2 x 1 m. The most correct holes do this.

  1. In the designated places, they dig holes in the volume of one and a half buckets, pour a bucket of humus in them, a half-liter can of ash, fill it with soil that was removed to the top, mix well and pour it in a bucket of warm water.
  2. On the edges of the hole lay the sides of the turf, boards or peat up to a height of 25 cm.
  3. Cover the wells with a dense plastic film, sprinkling the edges with soil, and allow the soil mixture to mature and warm for several days.

Only after that, in the center of the hole, a hole is cut out in the film along the diameter of the peat pot, a small hole is dug in its volume, another bucket of warm water is poured, and it is allowed to soak. Then they plant a pot of seedlings “in the mud” and water it well. Good seedlings are planted without deepening, overgrown and elongated deepen on cotyledon leaves.

The film is left in place until the weather is really warm. If, in the first days after planting, strong cooling is possible, the seedlings are covered with non-woven materials. Watering is done once every two days until the seedlings get stronger and grow.

Video: planting seedlings of pumpkin s outdoors

Further care of seedlings

Caring for a pumpkin in the open ground for an experienced gardener is elementary, and a beginner can easily cope. Basically it is only watering and feeding. After all, pumpkin weeds will soon learn to drown themselves, and loosening the soil is possible only at first, until the bushes grow. Adult plants in normal climatic conditions are watered as necessary: ​​they themselves signal a lack of moisture by wilting leaves. In arid regions, however, you often have to water a lot. But waterlogging is unacceptable: it is worse than drying out.

It is desirable to carry out watering in the evening, so that the water warms up in the sun during the day. Watering during flowering and intensive fruit growth is especially important. As soon as growth slows down and the pumpkins begin to ripen, watering is greatly reduced. Plants will miss the moisture that their powerful roots will find themselves at a depth of depth.

If the planting holes were well fertilized, pumpkins need to be fed no more than two times: the first - about three weeks after transplanting, and the second - soon after flowering. It is better to pour the nutrient solution into small trenches made with a hoe along the edges of the former landing hole. Fertilize with either complex mineral fertilizer (about 15 g per plant) or infusion of mullein (a bucket of mullein is poured with water, insisted for a day, then diluted 5 times). This bucket should be enough for 6-8 bushes. Periodically, the soil around the bushes is dusted with wood ash.

When the main stem grows to one and a half meters, pinch it, which makes it possible to grow lateral shoots, on which the fruits will be tied. Leave no more than three shoots and, accordingly, no more than three pumpkins per plant. The shoots themselves are pinned to the ground in several places, giving the opportunity to appear additional roots. If the pumpkins are not erected on the supports, then under the fruits lay boards to prevent decay from contact with the ground.

Pumpkins in the southern regions can be grown by sowing seeds in the garden, and in the regions of the center and north of the country seedlings are often pre-prepared. This is relatively easy, but troublesome. But getting the products of most varieties is guaranteed, regardless of the vagaries of the weather: after all, the main thing is that the pumpkin should have enough summer months to ripen.

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