Most of us are aware of the health benefits of pumpkin. But not everyone likes to eat it, despite the fact that it is just a storehouse of vitamins!
For those who love pumpkin very much or just want to join a healthy diet, starting to grow it on their personal plot, an article will be addressed.
- How to prepare pumpkin seeds for planting
- Growing seedlings
- Watering and feeding
How to prepare pumpkin seeds for planting
Many gardeners leave the seeds of the eaten pumpkin for sowing in order to grow seedlings from them, and then get fruits in the garden. You can buy seeds of various varieties of pumpkin in specialized horticultural centers.
In any case, before planting the seeds of this plant, you need to sort them. The largest seeds are subject to selection, and the thin and small ones are sent to marriage.
Planting pumpkin seeds directly into the ground or in a special peat tablet is most often not done. It is recommended to begin with a few days to devote to germinating seeds, which can then be planted.
For soaking, the seeds can be placed in warm water (with a temperature of about 50 degrees) for a couple of hours, and then wrapped in a damp cloth and put in a warm place. In this state, the seeds must be kept until they are pecked, constantly keeping the fabric moist.
Seed soaking is necessary in order to:
- their germination occurred faster;
- the seeds were less eaten by pests, since they lose their attractive taste when soaked.
Advanced gardeners know that pumpkin seeds that have hatched need to be hardened.
This is especially true for those plant varieties that grow better in the southern regions, but I want to grow them in cooler conditions.
Hardening is as follows:
- sprouted pumpkin seeds are left in a damp cloth for 3-5 days, placing them, for example, in a vegetable drawer at the bottom of the refrigerator;
- germination is carried out with a temperature difference: from about 8 to 10 hours a day, the temperature is maintained at + 18-20 degrees, and then from 12 to 14 hours the temperature is reduced to + 1-2 degrees.
It is recommended to grow pumpkin through seedlings due to the fact that in this way the fruits can be obtained much earlier.
If you use normal room conditions for growing seedlings, then you need to place the germinated seeds in bright light, best of all on the windowsills of windows facing south. If possible, things will go even faster if you use special greenhouses, hotbeds or nurseries.
- Since the pumpkin does not tolerate transplanting well, it is better to immediately plant the germinated seeds in peat-baked pots. A suitable size for pumpkin seeds in such pots is 10x10x10 cm.
- You can make paper pots, and fill in the soil inside. Then it will be convenient to extract seedlings from such pots without damaging the roots.
- If you prefer to use seed boxes for growing seedlings, then before filling them with peat soil, pour a layer of sawdust about 4 cm thick on the bottom.
Planting pumpkin seeds, previously germinated in a wet tissue, is recommended approximately 20-22 days before the planned transplantation of seedlings into the ground. During this time, the seedlings usually have time to get stronger.
To make the seedlings strong, you need to follow some recommendations:
- In the first couple of days, it will be necessary to provide the crops with a temperature of + 18-25 degrees during the day, and lower it to + 15-18 degrees at night.
- When the shoots appear, you will need to monitor the temperature again: for the first six days in the daytime it should be at + 15-18 degrees, and at night + 12-13 degrees. This is necessary so that the seedlings do not stretch out.
- After such changes in the first week and a half, crops can already be placed in a room with a temperature of + 18-22 degrees. But at night it is still desirable to reduce it to + 13-15 degrees.
Watering and feeding
Water pumpkin seedlings with moderate amount of water, but regularly. Overdrying the soil is best avoided. If the temperature is + 18-22 degrees and the optimum moisture content of the earth, the seedlings grow strong, and if the soil is excessively wet, the seedlings stretch out.
Already seven days after the emergence of seedlings, seedlings can and should be fed with fertilizers. It is better to choose a mullein solution for this. But in the absence of it, such fertilizer as nitrophoska is suitable, which is diluted in a proportion of 15 grams per 10 liters of water.
If you do everything correctly, pumpkin seedlings will have low and strong stems, internodes will be short, and by the time of planting, each plant should already have two or three well-developed dark green leaves.
When the threat of frost has passed, the seedlings can be planted in a permanent place in the garden. They plant it in pre-prepared holes, which must be shed with warm water.