PUMPKIN CULTIVATION

Cucurbita moschata,Cucurbitaceae

Pumpkin is a popular vegetable crop in India which is grown in rainy season. It is also known as “HalwaKaddu” or “Kaddu” in hindi. India is the second largest producer of pumpkin. It is used for cooking purpose and is used to make sweets. It is good source of Vitamin A and potassium. Pumpkin helps to boost eye vision, lowers blood pressure and has antioxidant properties. Its leaves, young stems, fruit juice and flowers contain medicinal properties.

Varieties and hybrids

Arka suryamuki, Arka Chandan, PPH 1, PPH 2, CO 1,CO 2

Season

June- July and December- January are suitable seasons.

Climate and Soil

It can be cultivated where the temperature is 25-28 degrees. It requires loamy soil having good drainage system and is rich in organic matter. Soil pH of 6-7 is optimum for pumpkin cultivation.

Land Preparation

Well prepared land is required for pumpkin farming. To bring the soil to fine tilth, ploughings with local tractor is required.February-March and June-July is an optimum time for seed sowing.

Sowing depth and spacing

Direct sowing is followed in this crop. Sow two seeds on per hill and use spacing of 60cm. For hybrid varieties, sow seeds on both side of bed and use spacing of 45cm. Seeds are sown 1 inch deep in the soil.

Seed  rate

Seed rate of 1kg seed is sufficient for one acre land.

Seed treatment

Treat the seeds with Bavistin @2.5 gm/kg of seed is used to cure from soil borne diseases.

Manures and fertilizers

Application of well rotten FYM@8-10tonnes/acre is used before preparation of beds. Fertilizer dose of Nitrogen @40kg/acre in the form of urea @90kg/acre, Phosphorus @20kg/acre in the form of SSP@125kg/acre and Potassium @20kg/acre in the form of MOP@35kg/acre is added. Nitrogen dose is applied in 2 equal splits. First half dose is applied before sowing and then remaining dose of nitrogen is applied as top dressing within one month.

Weed control

To control the weeds, frequent weeding or earthing up operation is required. Weeding is done with the help of hoe or by hands. First weeding is done after 2-3 weeks of seed sowing. In total 3-4 weedings are required to make the field weed free.

Irrigation

Proper irrigation at proper intervals of time is required. Immediate irrigation is required after seed sowing. Depending upon the season, subsequent irrigations at the interval of 6-7 days is required. In total 8-10 irrigation are required.

Harvesting

Harvesting is mainly done when skin of the fruits turns pale brown in color and the inner flesh becomes golden yellow in color. Mature fruits having good storage capacity therefore they can be used for long distance transportation.

Yield

18-20 t/ha of fruits can be obtained.

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