Pumpkins are a member of the Cucurbitaceae or squash family. Pumkins originated in Central America thousands of years ago.
Pumpkin growing in the tropics is easy. Plant early in the dry season, water regularly, cheer on the bees and harvest the resulting pumpkin.
Location and Soil
Pumpkin grow over a large area, so make sure you have enough space from your pumpkin growing.
Pumpkin love a good enriched soil with plenty of well-rotted compost and manure. In the tropics, it is a good idea to plant into raised mounds, so the soil will not remain too wet.
How to grow pumpkin from seed.
- Collect seed.
Use the pumpkin seeds you have collected previously. If are a new grower, the simplest and cheapest way to grow pumpkin is from the seeds of a supermarket brought pumpkin.
- Confirm site.
When your seeds are ready to plant, you can start them out in potting mix in seed trays and transplant them later. However, we plant ours directly into prepped ground where we want them to grow.
Plant your pumpkin seeds 2 cm deep. One vine will cover around 3 metres, but always over-sow and if more seedlings come up thuan you need, simply thin them out.
Yes! Provided you have plenty of bees around and a number of flowering pumpkin plants, pollination will occur naturally.
You don’t prune pumpkin for the sake of it. You prune pumpkin for a purpose. That purpose may be encouraging growth, redirecting the plant, or removing disease or damage. Work out your objective and prune accordingly.
Watering regularly is important, as most of your pumpkin growing will take place during the ‘dry season’ in the tropics. However, pumpkins do not like sitting in a puddle.
Pests and Diseases
Hot and humid conditions make downy mildew a problem in the tropics. You can combat this by not overcrowding your pumpkins and by crop rotation.
Eating the Fruit
A number of studies have indicated that eating more plant foods such as pumpkin reduces the risk of obesity and obesity related diseases.
Pumpkin are a wonderful source of fibre.
Pumpkin contains beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that can help avoid some cancers and reduce the likelihood of some heart diseases.