Organic farming is a technique of farming that enhances the growth of crops and maintains the quality of the yields. The main source of organic farming is eco-friendly products. Manures, fertilizers and pesticides are the by-products of our environment. So this technique improves our health by increasing the nutrient content in the yields.
Here we are going to discuss about the farming techniques of pumpkin.
Pumpkin is a large round vegetable that is used in most of our dishes. They are orange in colour and are a dense food. Pumpkins are rich in nutrients and have very less calorie content.
Pumpkin is a commonly found vegetable with good content of beta carotene. This content is responsible for the orange colour of the vegetable. Apart from food, they also act as a good source of medicine which can cure cancer, asthma, heart diseases and control muscular degeneration. They are also used as an ingredient in sweets.
Pumpkin belongs to the family of Cucurbita and Cucurbitaceae. They are warm season crops but are also grown in humid and rainy seasons. In India, they are grown during the rainy season.
The best soil preferred for the growth of pumpkin is loamy soil with good drainage property and has a required amount of humus and organic matter. The temperature of the soil should be maintained to 15 degree Celsius for better seed germination. The basic temperature required for pumpkin plants are 15-27 degree Celsius. Never allow the soil to get cold because it may result in the wilt of the roots. For efficient growth, the soil pH should be between 6.5-7.5.
To increase the growth and make them healthy, compost is applied. Relatively a warmer climate is suitable for the development of the crops. In addition to compost, green manure is also applied. When the crop attains maturity, they are provided with Nitrogen because these crops are heavy feeders of Nitrogen. In most of the cases, the organic matters are applied directly to the soil, but in some cases they are mixed with water and are supplied through drip irrigation.
To make the crops resistant from pest fish emulsion, seaweed or garlic extract is used. The standard spacing between two pumpkin crops is 45-60 cm.
While selecting the seeds, buy them from a trusted seed provider. Make sure that they will give quality yields and are resistant from pests and diseases. The pumpkin seeds tend to sprout after 5 days of planting.
Pumpkin crops are also grown indoors. Even in night time, they require warmer temperature and cannot withstand cool overnights.
The major organic matters applied to pumpkin crops are fish bone meal, Alfalfa meal, kitchen compost and farmyard manure.
The weeds can cause severe destruction to pumpkin crops. To prevent them, the soil beneath the crop is covered with dry straw or black plastic sheet.
The required water availability of pumpkin crops is one to two inches per week. Here drip irrigation or sprinklers are used. These techniques reduce the probability of fungal infection.
The major pest which harms pumpkin includes:
- Cucumber beetles
- Squash bugs
- Squash vine borers
To remove these pests, organic pesticides are used.
Commonly seen diseases in pumpkin crops include:
- Bacterial wilt
- Powdery mildew
- Downy mildew
These fungal diseases can be avoided if there is a proper air flow within the farm. Organic fungicides are sprayed to avoid them.
The harvesting period of pumpkin is when the skin colour changes from orange to pale brown. These vegetables last for some days without getting decayed. So this helps us to transport them to distant places. To ensure the maturity of pumpkin, we just force our nail into them. If it cannot be easily poked, then they are ready for harvesting.