Pumpkins are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes squash, Watermelon, cucumbers, muskmelons, and gourds. Individual plants produce both male and female flowers, and fruit size varies from 5 to 30 kilograms, depending on variety. However, seedless varieties will require pollinators. Fruit shape and appearance are quite varied, ranging from round to cylindrical and a single color to various striped patterns on the fruit surface.
SOIL AND CLIMATE
Pumpkins grow best on soils that hold water well and have good air and water infiltration rates. Soil should have a pH of 5.8 – 6.6. Pumpkins are sensitive to cold temperatures, and even a mild frost can severely injure the crop. The best average temperature range for Pumpkin production during the growing season is between 18°C and 35°C. Temperatures above 35°C or below 10°C will slow the growth and maturation of the crop. Pumpkins require a constant supply of moisture during the growing season. However, excess water at any time during crop growth, especially as fruit reaches maturity, can cause the fruit to crack, which will reduce crop yields and fruit quality.
Plough land at least 20 cm deep to increase soil aeration. Plough and harrow 2-3 times for early growth and development. These are done several weeks in advance of planting to condition soil.
Planting and spacing: Pumpkin is grown from seeds directly planted in the field. Plant 3- 4 seeds in a single hill, 2.5 cm deep. Spacing hill to hill with in the row may range from 3 ft to 5 ft and the distance in between the rows may be 6 feet to 9 feet apart, depending on variety.
Basal dose 8-12 ton of FYM, Ecohume Granules 5- 10 kg and fertilizer as general recommendation which includes Nitrogen: 55 kg (N), Phosphorus 35 kg (P2O5) and Potassium 55 kg (K2O) /acre as major nutrients, Calcium Nitrate 10 kg per acre and Magnesium Sulphate 25 kgs as Secondary nutrients and Srushti 5 kg/acre micronutrient mixture which contains zinc, manganese, boron, iron, copper and molybdenum.
Apply ½ of the dose of N and full dose of phosphorus and potash in band at a distance of 3 inches to the side and 2 inches below the seed row before/during planting and remaining ½ the dose of N and Calcium Nitrate 10 kg, Magnesium Sulphate 25 kg and Srushti 5 kg/acre normally 20 days after planting as a side dressing as the vines begin to send out runners. Excess N is detrimental to Pumpkin flavour.
If plants show signs of yellowing, apply side dressing of nitrogenous fertilizer and magnesium Sulphate. Fruits may be large, green-mottled or deep green. Hybrids varieties produce much bigger fruits, shapes varying from globular to oblong.
Pumpkin may suffer injury when exposed to a long period of drought. Apply irrigation water when necessary. Frequent light irrigation 5-6 times during growing season is beneficial. During early stage of growth, irrigate sparingly since too much water tends to hinder root development. If the frequency of irrigation is irregular problem of fruit cracking will be severe.
Melon flies: can be effectively controlled by using para-pheromones traps.
For control of white flies
For control Leaf miners
For control Sucking pests [ Thrips, Aphids , Green leaf hoppers, Jassids]
For control of Red Spider mites
For control of Pumpkin beetle
Damping-off & Fusarium Wilt –
Root-knot Nematodes –
Gummy Stem Blight, Downy Mildew & Anthracnose –
Dithane M – 45 [ Mancozeb] 2 gm/l OR Ridomil gold 80 WP or Master [Metalaxyl + Mancozeb] – 2 g/litre OR Acrobat [Dimethomorph] 1 g/litre OR Phytoalexin 4 mL/l [Phosphorous liquid] + Blitox [Copper Oxy Chloride] 2 g/litre or Kocide [Copper hydroxide] 2 g/litre.
Amistar or Amistar top or Follicur + Antracol or Nativo [Tebuconazole+Trifloxystrobin] 0.5 gm/L OR Taspa [Propiconazole+ Difenoconazole1 mL/L OR Vespa [Propiconazole+ Difenoconazole1 mL/L OR Custodia [Azoxystrobin + Tebuconazole] 1 mL/L OR Contaf plus [Hexaconazole] 2 mL/L
Virus (Mosaic Virus): This is insect transmitted disease that cannot be cured, however it can be prevented by managing insect vectors such as aphids, thrips and other sucking pests. Resistant varieties can help.
Following sprays may be administered to manage viral infections like tospow virus, yellow mosaic, leaf curl and other viral infections
after 10 days:
Harvesting can be done only after 10 days (at least) of insecticide / fungicide application.
Management of Viral diseases
- Thoroughly screen the nursery bed for the infected seedlings and rogue them carefully and transplant only healthy seedlings and remove the diseased plants in the main field.
- Spray with insecticides to check the sucking pests such as Aphids and Thrips which are transmitters of the viral disease.
- Weeds should be removed which may act as an additional hosts.
Spray should be concentrated more on apical parts of the plants since vectors only thrive at apical parts of the plant.
K SANJEEVA REDDY,
Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.
For more information kindly call on 8050797979 or give missed call on 180030002434 during office hours 10 AM to 5 PM
Disclaimer: The performance of the product (s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s)/ information is at the discretion of user.
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