Fruit and Vegetables

Pumpkin - Cucurbita

Pumpkin - Cucurbita

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It comes from Central America. The pumpkin is a plant known since ancient times, cultivated both for the consumption of the ripe fruit and for the collection of unripe fruits, that is zucchini. In past centuries pumpkin represented a food reserve in the poorest areas. Following selections and hybridizations, the market now offers the possibility of choosing among the many varieties of seeds, pumpkins and courgettes.
Pumpkin plants are vigorous, with creeping stems several meters long or bushy and with a short stem in varieties selected for cultivation in vegetable gardens. The leaves and petioles are covered with rough hairs, the flowers are large, of an intense yellow color and of different sex on the same plant; they are recognized by the peduncle which is much longer in the male flowers; the flowers are edible and are the subject of trade, picked fresh and sold in bunches.


Climate: the plant requires a warm temperate climate, optimal temperature 18-24 °.
Cultivation is favored in mild climates. The temperature suitable for the vegetation of this vegetable is between 10 or 20-25 degrees; sowing outdoors with temperatures lower than 10 degrees, germination is delayed until the seed, sheltered in the ground, feels the ideal temperature. A transplant performed at a temperature below 10 degrees is incorrect and affects the results.


Soil: requires a medium-textured soil, fresh and soft, without water stagnation and well endowed with organic substance. The optimal reaction is slightly acidic.
the pumpkin adapts to any type of soil, but if you want to achieve better results, you will choose a loose medium-textured soil, well-worked and chopped, to which a complete fertilizer (12 12 12) is given in granular form.


Sowing: it is sown directly in the garden in April-May by placing 4-5 seeds at a depth of about 3 cm in each small hole. The small holes will be spaced 1.5 m between the rows and the same number will be out of line.
For a forced cultivation it is sown in jars in a hot greenhouse at the beginning of February and is taken to a cold greenhouse transplanting after the middle of March (after forty days) to harvest from May onwards.
The sowing at home must repeat the same distances and is accomplished by placing three seeds in each small hole.
in abode: March-May, in holes 200-250 cm apart (3-4 seeds each); sowing depth 2-3 cm; quantity of seed 0.6-0.8 g / sqm

How to fertilize

Fertilizations and cultivation treatments: it requires few cultivation treatments with satisfactory results.
the pumpkin is a rather demanding vegetable in terms of fertilization. We will work 5 q / 100 square meters of manure or mature compound at a depth of 35-40 cm during soil preparation work. Among the treatments we remember: the summer irrigations, weeding and hoeing to aerate the soil and keep it free from weeds, the topping of the primary shoot above the second or fourth leaf to facilitate the development of axillary shoots which we in turn cimerà. The thinning is practiced leaving for each little hole the most robust individual. It is performed when the plants have the third well-formed leaf. It is also possible to thin out the fruits, maintaining no more than 2 or 3 per plant in order to stimulate their enlargement. Pumpkins must be protected from summer drought with proper irrigation. Weeding and weeding will keep the soil soft and clean. The water requirements are normal in the sprouting phase, elevated later.
- thinning: plants with 2-3 leaves, to leave the plant per hole
- in seedbed: not advisable; in any case to be carried out in jars with the methods described above
- sprouting: 4-12 days; optimum temperature 30 0C; minimum temperature 150C
When production begins, potassium nitrate can be administered twice in 10 days.
Turnaround: we advise against repeating the cultivation on the same land before at least 3 years have passed. Plant for renewal, it must not follow tomato, pepper, aubergine, bean, pea, watermelon, melon, courgette, cucumber.
Fertilization: can be associated with potato, tomato, bean.


Collection: the collection is scalar. It occurs from late summer to November, when the leaves of the plant are dry and the fruit is ripe.
Courgettes should be harvested when they are still small because, left on the plant, they inhibit the production of new flowers and limit production.
Winter pumpkins are harvested in the autumn, they are left in the sun to complete their maturation and they are kept fresh, placed on wooden boards. Winter pumpkin plants can give three to four large fruits each.


Adversity: The pumpkin is a plant quite resistant to diseases; Among the diseases, the most common is the white mal disease that attacks these vegetables even in the first stages of life; caused by Sphaeroteheca Castanei manifested by a whitish efflorescence on the leaves, followed by yellowing and death of the plants. It is fought with sulfur pulverization. Even aphids sometimes attack pumpkins and can be fought with both specific products and biological control.
Aphids are dangerous because they can infect plants with virus diseases.
Some bacteria, pests of pumpkins such as those of Fusarum and Pseudoperonospora, can remain in the soil and infect other following crops, for which it is necessary in these cases a sterilization of the soils that, respecting the environment, can also be made with solarization, after having eradicated the plants affected by the disease, eliminating all the parts.


Origin: Mexico, Peru
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucurbita
Species: maxima and moschata
Variety: small or large fruit; oval, round, oblong, flat; green, orange, yellow, reddish, smooth or warty peel; yellow, yellow-orange flesh
orange-red; early and late cycle.
Climate: warm temperate; optimum temperature 18-24 ° C
Soil: organic, soft, fresh, sunny; pH tendentially acidic;
Fertilizations: abundant and early letamarions or soil in pre-sowing; balanced ternary complexes.
water requirements: normal in the sprouting phase, elevated later.

Suitable climate

Climate: warm temperate; optimum temperature 18-24 ° C
Soil: organic, soft, fresh, sunny; pH tendentially acidic;
Fertilizations: abundant and early letamarions or soil in pre-sowing; balanced ternary complexes.
water requirements: normal in the sprouting phase, elevated later.
- at home: March-May, in holes 200-250 cm apart (3 - 4 seeds each); sowing depth cm. 2-3; quantity of seed g.0.6-0.8 / sqm.
- thinning: plants with 2-3 leaves, to leave a plant per hole
- in seedbed: not advisable; in any case to be carried out in jars with the methods described above
- sprouting: 4-12 days, optimal temperature 30 ° C; minimum temperature 15 ° C
cultivation works: the pumpkin plants with their meandering stems and the wide leaves quickly cover the ground, therefore they require scerbature and weeding only in the first cultivation period.
With scrapping, only two shoots per hole are left, then two leaves are placed on top of a fruit in formation.

Pumpkin: Irrigation and Harvesting

Irrigation: the pumpkin needs an abundant water supply, through infrequent and deep irrigation; cold water can cause fruit development to stop, as well as thermal drops.
Since the stems are easily subjected to rot, it is necessary to avoid wetting the aerial part and not causing stagnation; better to wet the soil around the plants abundantly and not too frequently, with water at room temperature, in the central hours of the day.
Harvest: September-October, 150 days after sowing; contemporary, when the plant is dry;
The pumpkins, with the stalk well attached (to avoid rottenness) are placed in the sun under a dry and warm portico, so that they dry a little becoming more conservative; they can then be kept for a long time in a dry and ventilated room, taking care that the temperature does not drop below 10 ° C, otherwise the pulp crystallizes and then rots.
Average production: 3-4 kg / sqm
conservation: 180 days at 10-12 0C
rotation: crop for renewal; it does not follow itself, other cucurbits, solanaceous, leguminous
intercropping: in the early stages of the cycle, with beans;
The pumpkin has a low nutritional value due to the high percentage of water; the intensely yellow pulp varieties have a good content of vitamin A (carotene).
Fresh pulp and juice have a laxative and diuretic effect.
The seeds, crushed in a mortar, provide an edible oil with a pleasant taste.
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