Pumpkin: sowing growing maintenance and harvesting

The Potimarron, which belongs to the large family of Cucurbitsis a vegetable plant easy to grow whose fruits are harvested between 12 and 15 weeks after sowing. For this, it is necessary to ensure that its high water and heat requirements. Let’s see in more detail how to grow the pumpkin, the star of autumn products in the garden, what special care to give it and how to best preserve its harvest.

Growing pumpkin

This squash loves sols deep, humus but also heavy because they are able to retain water and therefore remain costs. We reserve a zone of the garden well sunny et sheltered from the wind as well as sufficient space because its stems cheerfully reach 2.50 to 3 meters.

Sow pumpkin seeds

This is from April 15 how to sow pumpkin seeds a boon provided you can keep your seedlings warm, under frames, in a greenhouse, or why not at home or on the veranda, near a south-facing bay window.

  • Sow a maximum of three seeds per bucket at a maximum, at a depth of 3 cm,
  • Opt for a planting soil,
  • Moisten the soil well and ensure that it remains moist to promote emergence,
  • Place the cups in the heat.

It is necessary to wait until each seedling has formed 4 real leaves to be able to transplant.

It is quite possible to sow pumpkin seeds in the groundbut in this case it is strongly recommended to wait until the Ice Saints have passed. This climatological period is between May 11 and May 13. If gardeners are wary of it, it is because the risk of frost is particularly high during these three days.

Transplant the pumpkins

Transplanting takes place during the second half of May, when the ground has had time to warm up properly. Each pumpkin seedling must have a good square meter to develop properly.

Some gardeners cover very young plants with a makeshift bell (plastic bottle) during the first days following transplanting in order to facilitate recovery but also to prevent gastropods from devouring their tender leaves which they are particularly fond of.

It should be noted that pumpkin seeds sown directly in the ground do not need to be transplanted since they are already in place. We have of course taken care not to push them more than 2 cm deep, and we respect the same spacing rule as for the seedlings that we transplant.

Caring for pumpkins in the garden

Renowned for its ease of cultivation, the pumpkin still has some requirements.


This is one of the most important key points, along with the heat, to obtain an interesting production. Being very water-intensivethe pumpkin needs a soil always wet, this implies that it must never dry out between two watering sessions. To save water if it does not rain enough during the summer, it is possible to install a mulch at the foot of each cucurbit, which has the effect of keeping the soil cool by slowing down the phenomenon of evaporation during the summer.


The installation of a mulch also makes it possible to limit the development of weeds. If a few undesirable weeds still show the tip of their nose, we do not wait to pull them out by hand, which is highly preferable to the use of a chemical weed killer. In the absence of mulch, the use of the hoe is essential with regularity.


To limit the development of squash, pruning is necessary, especially since it accelerates fruit set and the pumpkins will therefore be more exposed to the sun.

At the start, as soon as you count 6 real leaves, you have to topping above the 2th leaf to promote the appearance of lateral branches that do not produce fruit. They are to be cut above the 5th leaf as soon as there are 8 or 9 of them. As for the branches on which the pumpkins begin to develop, they should also be pruned so as to keep only 6 fruits at most per branch.

After a few weeks, so as not to exhaust the plant unnecessarily, all the non-productive branches are removed.


Snails and slugs love pumpkin leaves of all kinds. So you have to be very careful. They are removed manually and sand is generously spread all around the plants because this hinders the gastropods in their movements.

aphids are most prevalent in spring and summer. They lead to the deformation of the leaves and then the exhaustion of the plant because they feed on its sap. To eradicate black aphids and green aphids, you can buy ladybug larvae. Failing this, it is advisable to water the plantations with a jet then to treat immediately either with black soapeither with a purine of ferns.

gray mold reach the fruit. It is therefore necessary to eliminate the affected pumpkins, that is to say all those which present soft parts. They should not be eaten. This disease, which is favored by humidity, can lead to the rotting of all the stems, leaves and fruits. Care must be taken that healthy pumpkins are not in contact with the ground. We therefore place a flat stone under each of them.

powdery mildew is a common disease in cucurbits, as humidity favors its appearance. It is recognizable by the White powder present on both sides of leaf blades at start of infestation. Subsequently, the leaves turn brownish and then dry out. When powdery mildew occurs when the fruits are in the beginning of formation, it is absolutely necessary to treat with sprays of sulfur combined with a decoction of horsetail.

However, it is not necessary to treat if powdery mildew appears when the pumpkins are about to be harvested. On the other hand, it is necessary to cut off the diseased leaves and burn them.

Pumpkin harvest

Of the first days of october, the pumpkins should be ready to harvest. The time has come when their peduncle is sec. It is better to wait a few more days if this is not the case. The squash will keep for longer. Another precaution is to be taken during the harvest: a pumpkin that can weigh up to 3.5 kg must be hold it well so that it does not fall. The slightest hit reduces the conservation period.

After harvest, the dry feet can be left in place for small animals to find refuge there. The following year, everything must be uprooted in February. If you want to grow squash again, it is better to opt for the rotation des cultures because we do not recommend planting cucurbits in the same place two years in a row.

Storage of pumpkins

In normal times, the pumpkin can be kept between 12 and 24 weeks after harvest – either up to 6 months –, a period during which it improves on several levels: its taste qualities increase as does its content of essential nutrients.

The ideal is to store your pumpkins in a non-humid roomgood airywhere the temperature is of the order of 12°C. The squashes should not touch each other, and the ideal is to place them delicately on very dry straw with which care has been taken beforehand to cover the bottom of a few wooden crates.

Pay attention to the storing sliced ​​pumpkins : it involves covering the portions with cling film and keeping them in the fridge at 4°C. But they must be consumed within 5 to 6 days at the most.

Finally, the freezing pumpkin – as is the case for other squash by the way – is not not desirable if raw because it releases a large amount of water during the defrosting phase. On the other hand, it is a good mode of conservation if one took care of bake his pumpkins before freezing them.

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