Spaghetti Pumpkin Growing
Spaghetti Pumpkin (Squash) is from North America. Indians who lived in the state of Massachusetts raised and used it for food. From Indian squash is translated as "eaten raw, unprepared." This is logical, because these people ate raw pumpkin and constantly consumed the seeds of this vegetable.
Spaghetti Pumpkin Growing
Pumpkin has an oblong shape, divided into segments, and a bright saturated color (from yellow to orange-red). The texture of the pulp is very dense, and the peel of the ripe fruit is hard, so that the Spaghetti variety can be stored almost until spring. The mass of one vegetable reaches an average of about 1-2 kg.
This vegetable gives a great harvest. Its stems grow rapidly and reach up to 8 m in length. The plant weaves well both on specially set nets, and simply on the ground. Fruits can be harvested from the end of July and almost to frost.
The main thing that is valuable in this vegetable is its low-calorie content and minimal sugar content, which is why squash is considered a dietary product. If you try a fresh vegetable, its flesh will have a slightly sweet taste and a crispy texture that resembles a young walnut.
The use of pumpkin both in raw and in cooked form has such a positive effect:
- helps to remove excess water from the body;
- eliminates swelling;
- tidies up the nervous system;
- normalizes sleep;
- promotes normal digestion;
- favorably affects the condition of the skin.
This variety is very easy to grow. The plant does not require a strict regime of heat and moisture; almost any soil is suitable for it. The only things that should not be forgotten are organic and potash fertilizers. Such top dressing is suitable for squash pumpkin, especially if it is grown in poor and dry soil.
If the growing conditions are suitable (enough moisture and heat), then the seeds can be sown directly in the open ground, but in a certain climate it will be much better to germinate the seedlings of the house first. This should be done in late April - early May. This period is the most favorable for sowing seedlings.
Pumpkin seedlings are very fragile, so it is better to use special peat pots for growing, with which you can then put it directly in the garden. They need to be taken with a size of at least 6 × 6 cm.
Soil for seeds can be of two types:
- purchased in a gardening shop (universal or substrate for cucumbers);
- Self-made: fine sawdust, peat and humus in a ratio of 1: 2: 1 and nitroammophosk (1 tsp. per 1 kg of soil).
Seeds can be prepared independently
Before planting, you need to prepare the seeds. You can either purchase them in a specialized store, or collect them in the fall and prepare them yourself (do not dry them in the oven, only at room temperature). Store planting material in a dense rag bag in a dark and dry place.
Before sowing seeds, you must:
- iterate over them, throw them away and use only large ones ("pot-bellied");
- soak the seeds in warm water at night;
- then wrap it in a dense, damp cloth and keep it for 2-3 days (periodically moisten the cloth with water) - this speeds up the process of seed germination.
Only after the above procedures, planting material can be placed in pots with the ground.
Gardeners recommend sowing pumpkin seeds in pots 20 days before planting in open ground (this is approximately the second half of May). Pots need to be densely filled with a substrate and plentifully watered, then make dredges about 5 cm deep and sow the seeds, filling them with a substrate.
If the planting material is not sown in pots one at a time, but in boxes or other containers, it is recommended to fill up the bottom with sawdust, a layer thickness of about 4 cm - this allows the soil to retain moisture longer.
Before the seedlings sprout, the pots need to be covered with a film or glass on top to get the effect of a greenhouse. The temperature should be no more than 25 ° C during the day and no less than 15 ° C at night. After the emergence of sprouts, it needs to be slightly reduced (put the pots in a cooler place).
Lower temperatures prevent the plant from growing quickly upwards (so that it does not turn out to be tall and thin). Watering should be moderate. After 7-10 days, seedlings need to be fertilized (2 g of nitrophoska per 1 liter of water, while trying not to get on the plant itself).
Transplanting in open ground
In pots, the seedlings should be until reaching 15-20 cm, when at least 2 full leaves are already formed. Then it can be planted in open ground.
The description indicates that Spaghetti pumpkin seedlings grow well on land where potatoes or legumes were previously cultivated. No need to transplant her to the place where her "relatives" grew up (cucumbers, zucchini, onions). The earth needs to be dug up and fluffed up (it should be fertilized since the fall).
Planted with the calculation of 1 sprout per 1 square. m. pumpkin grows very intensively. If you transplant it from a peat pot, then you do not need to shake the soil. If seedlings are grown in boxes, you should take a little land with a plant, so as not to damage the root. It is better to plant it in the evening or afternoon in cloudy weather.
It’s easy to take care of the plant
Caring for this crop in the open field consists of several important aspects:
- watering. It is necessary to irrigate seedlings in the open field if the street is dry and hot weather for several days. It is necessary to water under the root, not the leaves, and preferably in the evening, so that the sun does not form a crust on the ground;
- weeding. If seedlings are sown correctly, then weeding is not needed. It is necessary to ensure that the stems are not much intertwined. To do this, their length can be shortened by trimming the edges;
- loosening the soil. It is necessary to periodically remove the weed from the garden so that it does not pick up moisture from the plants. This must be done by loosening the soil. After this procedure, it absorbs water, heat and fertilizing better;
- it is best to use store-bought, ready-made, mixtures for plant nutrition. They are diluted with water according to the instructions and already contain all the necessary elements. You can make nitroammophoska (15 g per 10 liters of water) or make a solution of humus.
Spaghetti is harvested later than all vegetables - starting in mid-October, already before frosts. A sign of ripened pumpkin is the death of the stalk and its transformation into a hard tail. The peel of a ripe vegetable becomes hard, it is even difficult to cut it.
The vegetable needs to be cleaned to frost, otherwise it will begin to deteriorate. You need to store the fruits in a dark, cool place.
Diseases and Pests
Pumpkin Squash, like all crops, is exposed to disease and pests. The main ones include:
- bacteriosis - brown and yellow spots on the leaves, which lead to the drying of the plant, you can fight it with a solution of copper sulfate;
- white rot - covering the fruit with a white coating, this is due to a fungus that appears due to excessive moisture - you need to treat the fruit with activated carbon powder (treat the areas) and copper sulfate;
- powdery mildew - white spots on the leaves and embryos of the fruits that lead to the death of the plant: these are spores of fungi that must be eliminated by treating the leaves with a 70% colloidal sulfur solution;
- the spider mite infects the leaves from the inside, which leads to their drying out - spraying with tincture from the husks of onions and garlic several times a day will help in the fight.
Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable. For its preparation, there are different ways:
- cooking. To do this, peel the pumpkin from the skin and seeds, dip in boiling water and cook for about 30 minutes. It will make tasty and healthy mashed potatoes;
- baking. Traditionally, this is done with honey. Peel the vegetable, cut it into pieces, spread it on a baking sheet with a small amount of water, bake at 180 ° for half an hour until the liquid evaporates, then pour over honey and bake for another 5-8 minutes;
- grill. You need to clean and cut the culture into pieces, marinate in olive oil, salt and spices - grill until soft;
- candied fruit. Peel the pumpkin and cut into thin slices, dry, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
According to gardeners - the Spaghetti variety does not require special care when grown. If it is stored correctly, useful qualities are not lost. The product is indispensable in the diet for those who follow the figure and the state of their health, because this vegetable is a storehouse of vitamins, minerals and nutrients both in raw and in cooked form.