A pumpkin is a cultivar of a squash plant that is round, with smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and deep yellow to orange coloration. The thick shell contains the seeds and pulp.
Scientific name-Cucurbita pepo
Climate and soil requirement for growing pumpkin
It is a warm season crop and requires dry weather with abundant sunshine. The soil should be well drained, loamy and rich in organic matter to get a good yield. The soil pH of 6.0-7.0 is preferred.
Improved Variety of Pumpkin
Punjab Samrat (2008): Its vines are medium long, stems are angular, and leaves are dark green. Its fruits are medium in size, nearly round, mottled-green and turn pale-brown at maturity. The fruit flesh is thick and golden-yellow. It is early in maturity, rich in vitamin-A and moderately resistant to mosaic virus. Its average yield is 165 q/acre.
Agronomic Practices for Pumpkin cultivation
Sowing time: February-March
Seed rate: 1.0 kg per acre.
Spacing: Prepare 3.0 m wide beds and sow two seeds per hill at 60 cm spacing on both sides of the bed.
Manures and Fertilizers for Pumpkin
Apply 8-10 tons of well-decomposed farmyard manure per acre before preparation of the beds. Add 20 kg of N (45 kg Urea)before sowing and another 20 kg of N (45 kg Urea)as top dressing within one month.
Irrigation of Pumpkin
First irrigation should be given immediately after sowing to facilitate seed germination. Subsequent irrigations should be given at 6-7 days interval depending upon the season. A total number of irrigations would be 8-10.
Harvesting of Pumpkin
The fruits are ready for harvesting when skin turns pale-brown, and flesh becomes golden-yellow. The mature fruits have good storage capacity, and it is always better to reduce the frequency of irrigation before fruit picking. The immature fruits can be harvested for sale also.
The isolation of pumpkin seed plot from other varieties should be 1000 meter for foundation and 500 meters for certified seed production. Off type and diseased plants are roughed out at vegetative, flowering and fruiting stages. When the skin of the fruits turn hard and attain yellow-brown colour are ready for harvesting and seed extraction. Then clean, grade and dry the seed to 8% moisture before storage.
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- Punjab Agriculture University.