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Botanical Features Of Pumpkin, Squash And Squash
Botanical Features Of Pumpkin, Squash And Squash

Video: Botanical Features Of Pumpkin, Squash And Squash

Video: Botanical Features Of Pumpkin, Squash And Squash
Video: Growing Different Types of Pumpkins and Squash in One Bed Successfully | Top Tips | Gardeners' World 2023, October

Read the previous part. ← A brief overview of cultivated pumpkin crops


Pumpkin is useful not only for sick, but also for healthy people. It protects against many diseases, including gout, atherosclerosis, and prevents aging of the body.

A common valuable feature of these cultures is the harmonious combination of vitamins, proteins, enzymes in them, due to which they are easily assimilated and quickly digested, therefore they serve as dietary food.

Pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious food. When feeding pumpkin, zucchini in cows and goats, milk yield increases and its quality improves, and in young animals, pigs and poultry, the daily weight gain increases.

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Botanical features


Pumpkin, squash, squash are annual plants from the pumpkin family. Their homeland is South and Central America. The diversity of all cultivated and wild species is concentrated here. These cultures are very ancient. The indigenous population highly valued them as food plants and used them widely. In Europe, pumpkin, squash, squash gained fame after the discovery of America by Columbus and in the 16th century they quickly entered the culture in all countries. Later they began to grow it in the south of Russia. The "Free Economic Society" and its prominent figures A. T. was engaged in promoting this valuable and fruitful culture to other regions of the country. Bolotov, V. A. Levshin, E. A. Grachev and others.

During the 19th century, these cultures spread quite widely throughout Russia and even penetrated into Siberia. Now on the territory of Russia they are grown almost everywhere. Breeders and experienced gardeners have developed many high-yielding varieties of pumpkin, squash, squash for most parts of the country.

Pumpkin, squash, squash are herbaceous long-leaved or short-leaved plants. The most powerful root system is in pumpkin, less developed in squash and even less in squash. Their main root is taproot, penetrates into the soil to a depth of 2-3 m (in pumpkin). From it the lateral roots of the first, then subsequent orders depart, on which suction roots are formed, covered with root hairs. The physiological part of the roots is located mainly on the lateral roots of the second and third orders, which are located in the topsoil. Due to the powerful development of the root system, pumpkin is more drought-resistant in the second half of the growing season.

The stem of the pumpkin can be creeping and erect, in the squash and squash - erect and bushy. In long-plaited forms, the lashes in the Leningrad region reach 2-5 m. These varieties are more productive than bush varieties. The leaves of the pumpkin are round, kidney-shaped, while the leaves of the squash and squash are triangular and pentagonal. The total leaf area of one plant is more than 30 m². Stem, leaf blade and petiole heavily covered with fine or coarse hairs or spiny thorns.

The flowers of pumpkin, squash and squash are dioecious, i.e. on the same plant, pistillate and staminate flowers coexist, and rather large (16-30 cm in diameter) - bright yellow, bell-shaped, spike-petal, single; placed on the main stem and side shoots. The pollen is coarse-grained, spherical, sticky. The first to bloom on the plant are male flowers, and a few days later - female flowers - on the 40-50th day after germination. Flowers with a strong scent, bloom early in the morning at 4-5 hours. By the end of the day, male flowers wither, female flowers persist for a longer time.

Pumpkin, squash, squash are monoecious, typical cross-pollinated plants. They are pollinated by bees, bumblebees, wasps, beetles and other insects. The best fertilization is obtained in the morning - from 7 to 12 o'clock - at a temperature not lower than 12 … 15 ° C.

The fruit of pumpkin crops is a multi-seeded false berry.

There is a wide variety of varieties in the shape and color of the fruit. Their formation begins 3-8 days after flowering. Flowering and fruiting are almost inseparable. When a certain number of fruits are formed, flowering stops, the ovaries, which lack nutrition and moisture, fall off. The more fruits there are on the plant, the slower they grow, the removal of some of the fruits contributes to the growth of the remaining ones, therefore the timely collection of fruits from squash and squash is of great importance.

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Attitude to environmental conditions


The origin of the pumpkin from the tropical zone of America also determines its relationship to environmental factors, in particular, to temperature, light, moisture and soil structure.


Pumpkin, squash, squash are heat-loving plants. They require a period with a temperature of at least 20 ° C for 3-4 months of growing season. The most thermophilic squash and a variety of butternut squash. The optimum temperature for seed germination is + 25 … + 27 ° С. Seedlings appear on the 6-7th day. At low temperatures, germination is delayed. The minimum temperature at which seeds of all species did not germinate was + 7 ° С.

In the Leningrad region, where early and mid-ripening varieties of large-fruited and hard-bore pumpkin, zucchini and squash are cultivated, there is only enough heat to produce fruits, but not enough to ripen the seeds.

At the beginning of growth, pumpkin crops withstand short-term cold snaps up to 10 … 12 ° C. A decrease in temperature during the fruiting period to + 14 ° C and below, especially at night, has a dramatic effect on fruiting, since fruits grow mainly at night - at this time there is an increased outflow of organic matter from the leaves to the fruits.

Prolonged cold snap and damp weather observed in the Leningrad Region damage plants to a greater extent than drought. Nighttime cold snaps in summer and early autumn sharply reduce the growing season of pumpkin crops. Even small frosts destroy plants.


Pumpkin, squash, squash are short-day plants. They are light-requiring and react negatively to shading. Light is the most difficult to regulate factor in the complex of conditions that determine growth and development. These crops are most demanding on light after germination in the cotyledon phase. When the nutrients of the seed have already been used up, the lack of light also affects the root system: it is much weaker in shaded plants than in plants grown in light. Plants need the most intense light during flowering and ripening.


Pumpkin, zucchini and squash contain 77-95% water, therefore they especially need water. Pumpkin has a high water consumption. Due to the high sucking power of the roots, it extracts water even from relatively poor soils and is the most drought-resistant crop. Zucchini and squash, in which the root system is less developed, need watering, but cannot tolerate excessive moisture. Of pumpkins, nutmeg is especially moisture-loving. Patisson is more demanding on moisture than squash. The maximum water consumption of these crops falls on July-August - the period of fruit formation

Soil Nutrition

Pumpkin, squash and squash are very responsive to organic fertilizers. The soils on which most of the garden plots are located are poor in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, which are required by plants in large quantities, especially potassium. In addition, the soils should be well aerated. When there is a lack of oxygen in the soil, the root system is delayed in growth. Its presence in the soil depends to a large extent on the mechanical composition: in sandy soil it contains more, in clayey - less, so it must be loosened more often, especially after watering or rain.

For squash, pumpkin, squash, a neutral or slightly acidic medium (pH 6.5-7.5) is needed. With increased acidity, they grow poorly. Acidic soils are limy. Lime is applied once every 3-4 years, no later than 2-3 weeks before sowing.

Thus, it is possible to grow a good crop of pumpkin seeds only on well-cultivated soils. These crops require a good fertilization with organic fertilizers - 4-6 kg / m² of manure or compost. Plants are responsive to the application of mineral fertilizers - nitrogen, phosphorus and especially potassium, as well as trace elements: boron, copper, molybdenum, zinc and others.

Growing pumpkin seeds in the open field


Choosing a site

For pumpkin crops in the Leningrad region, it is very important to choose the right site. It should warm up well. The soil needs to be rich in humus with a large supply of nutrients. For this, it is necessary to apply 10-12 kg / m² of organic fertilizers. Peaty soils should be improved by applying lime and phosphorus-potassium fertilizers.

In low swampy areas, drainage is arranged, ditches for water drainage, any soil is poured, even garbage, while the top layer, 20-25 cm thick, should be fertile. Pumpkin seeds grow well on garbage heaps, where there are enough nutrients. The best predecessors for them are: cabbage, onions, potatoes, carrots, legumes. In the same place, pumpkin seeds can be sown no earlier than after 4 years.


One of the most important techniques for obtaining a sustainable and high yield of pumpkin. In autumn, deep digging is done to a depth of 25-25 cm, which contributes to the accumulation of moisture, the fight against pests and diseases, since in this case the wintering stages of pests and diseases fall into unfavorable anaerobic conditions and die.

In low garden plots, where spring waters are retained, the soil is dug up shallowly. Here, for growing pumpkins, high ridges or ridges are arranged, which provide better aeration of the soil and in spring make it possible to start cultivating it at an earlier date. After the spring digging, the ridges are again cut. Following the digging, the site is harrowed with a rake.

Pumpkin, squash, squash are late sowing crops. The area intended for them has time to be overgrown with weeds. If radishes, lettuce, green onions are not sown on it before the main crop, then periodically loosening is carried out and the site is kept clean from weeds.


Pumpkin crops are high-yielding and carry a lot of nutrients with the crop, so they need high doses of fertilizers. The best fertilizer for them is manure, but rotted. Fresh manure can be applied as an exception only in autumn. The application rate for pumpkin seeds is 8-10 kg / m². Fertilizer is embedded to a depth of 15-20 cm. Since manure is mineralized very slowly, it must be combined with mineral fertilizers.

Depending on the fertility of the soil, 30-40 g of ekofoski are applied. For pumpkin crops, the combined application of organic and mineral fertilizers is effective.

On poor soils, one bucket of organic fertilizers, 50 g of ekofoski and 2 glasses of ash are poured into each hole, which are mixed well with the top layer of soil to a depth of 15-20 cm.

On fertile soils, it is enough to apply 1.5-2 kg of organic fertilizers and 20 g of ekofoski. On soils with high acidity, in addition to the introduction of organic and mineral fertilizers, liming must be carried out, which improves the physical properties of the soil and increases its fertility.

Seed preparation for sowing Pre-sowing seed preparation is an

important factor in obtaining early and high yields of pumpkin crops. Full-weight large seeds are selected. To reduce the damage to plants by fungal and bacterial diseases and increase the yield, they are treated with physiologically active substances (microelements, growth stimulants, etc.). Solutions of the following concentrations are recommended: 0.05-0.1% manganese sulfate or 0.1-0.5% potassium permanganate, or 0.002% potassium alum, or 0.03% boric acid. Duration of processing is 12-24 hours, the seeds are mixed every 3-5 hours. Cover the moistened seeds with wet burlap. After processing, they are dried and sown only in moist soil.

Growing seedlings of pumpkin crops

It is grown on well-lit apartment windowsills or in greenhouses. The seeds are planted one by one sprouting down in peat pots or cups with a diameter of 15 cm, half filled with earth and humus (1: 1). First, the pots are kept in a warm room (20 … 22 ° C), and after the emergence of seedlings, they are transferred to a cooler place so that the temperature does not exceed 20 ° C during the day, 13 ° C at night. This prevents the seedlings from pulling out. Seedlings are watered sparingly and infrequently. Moderate air humidity (70-80%) and optimal temperature - during the day at the level of 17 … 22 ° С, at night 15 … 18 ° С - contribute to the production of strong plants.

Seedlings of pumpkin, zucchini, squash are fed twice. The first feeding is carried out 8-10 days after the emergence of shoots - 5 g of ecofosca per 1 liter of water. The second feeding is done 1-2 days before planting in the ground - 4 g of double superphosphate per 1 liter of water.

A few days before planting, the seedlings are hardened, reducing the temperature in the room by airing, i.e. stand in conditions close to open ground. The optimum age for seedlings is 25-30 days. The second way of growing pumpkin seeds is by sowing seeds in open ground, when the soil at a depth of 10 cm warms up to 10 … 12 ° C. In the conditions of the Leningrad region - this is the first decade of June. With these sowing dates, the seedlings will not damage the frost.

On light soils, seeds are sealed to a depth of 5-8 cm, on more connected ones - to a depth of 3-5 cm. The feeding area for bush pumpkin, squash and squash is 0.7x1 m (one plant per nest) or 1.4x0, 7 m (two plants per nest); for climbing pumpkin varieties - 1.4x2.1 m or 2.1x2.1 m (one plant per nest). Sow with dry or spiked seeds.

To obtain friendly seedlings, a polymer film is used, which, as a mulch, has a positive effect on the water, air and thermal conditions of the soil. If there are no special holes in the film for plants, then after germination it is removed. On excessively moistened soils, mulching with a film is not carried out, since it can impair soil aeration and cause rotting of seedlings. Seedlings of squash, squash and pumpkin are planted in the ground after spring frosts.

You can also get an early harvest by planting seedlings in the phase of cotyledon leaves in open ground. Such seedlings are prepared in sowing boxes on peat soil or in sawdust. The soil or sawdust is pre-watered with a mullein solution (1:10). After sowing, the boxes are watered with warm water and installed in a greenhouse, and when shoots appear, they are transferred to a cool place. After 2-4 days, the seedlings are planted in the ground. This method, in comparison with sowing seeds in open ground, accelerates the arrival of the first crop by 10-12 days.

Read the next part. Growing pumpkin, zucchini, squash →