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Description of varieties of decorative pumpkin, its cultivation and use

Description of varieties of decorative pumpkin, its cultivation and use


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Often, when decorating a garden, ordinary flowers and other decorative elements are used. However, some gardeners use unusual vegetables for this, which include a decorative pumpkin. In the past few years, the plant has been gaining popularity among vegetable growers. Pumpkin bushes have rather strong shoots, on which large fruits with an unusual shape appear over time. They are also painted in bright colors, which will delight the eyes of not only the owners of the garden or vegetable garden, but also the guests.

Why is it worth growing it?

Before growing bizarre pumpkins, you should figure out why they are grown. There are several reasons why many people plant decorative pumpkin varieties:

  • The beauty. The main reason is the beauty of the pumpkin bushes. They have bright orange, green, yellow flowers, unique leaves and unusual fruits, the originality of which attracts people.
  • Growth rate. A feature of ornamental pumpkin varieties is the growth rate of the bushes. Within a month, they grow up to five meters in length, so many are used for vertical gardening of country yards or a garden.
  • Ease of maintenance. It is quite easy to care for such a plant, as it is unpretentious. It is enough to regularly water the bushes so that they do not fade from drought.

Miniature decorative pumpkin

There are quite a few decorative pumpkin varieties that anyone can purchase at the store. For example, growers often plant orange vegetable varieties as they differ from many other varieties in their bright orange color.

The fruits are round in shape and look like an orange. There are varieties that are completely different from the orange vegetable varieties. These include bottle varieties, the fruits of which are in the shape of a bottle. These vegetables have a mottled greenish color.

Despite the fact that the varieties of decorative pumpkins are different, they are all united by the miniature size of the fruit. Fruits of almost all varieties are small in size and weigh no more than 200-300 grams.

Can I eat it?

Many people who plan to grow ornamental varieties are interested in whether they can be eaten and used for cooking.

Some believe that ripe fruits are used only for decoration and this is partly true. These pumpkin varieties were bred specifically for use in design and therefore their taste is not very good. However, some types are still used for cooking.

For this, it is better to use only young fruits, since ripe ones are covered with a hard crust and have a bitter taste. Therefore, ripe pumpkin fruits are used for feeding livestock.

There are several decorative varieties that were bred specifically for human consumption. These include Baby Boo, Sweet Dumpling and Bee Little.

Growing

To grow a decorative pumpkin yourself, you should adhere to the basic rules for growing common pumpkin varieties.

The first half of June or the end of May is perfect for planting this vegetable, since night frosts will disappear by this time. In the southern regions of the country, planting of vegetables is carried out by seeds, and in the northern regions, the seedling method is used.

If you plant properly and properly care for the planted plants, the bushes will grow 5–8 meters in height.

How are small varieties grown?

Separately, mention should be made of the bush varieties of ornamental pumpkin, since they have certain growing characteristics. They are planted in the ground on June 5-10. For this, the site intended for planting a plant is pre-fertilized with dressings. Then small holes are made in it with a distance of about 40-50 cm from each other. 2-3 seeds are placed in each of the holes, after which they are sprinkled with soil.

These varieties are most often planted in small lawns or flower beds as a decorative decoration. In order for the plant to grow better, the soil is periodically poured with compost. Regular fertilization will improve yields and accelerate fruit ripening.

Place for a decorative pumpkin

Before growing any kind of pumpkin, choose the most suitable area for planting it. When choosing a site, take into account that pumpkin bushes need strong and reliable support, since at the end of the season a lot of green mass is growing on the bushes. Therefore, many recommend planting the vegetable in dense soils.

If the plant is planted in the garden, then well-heated areas are selected for this, on which beets, onions, carrots, legumes or cabbage were previously grown. It is not recommended to grow a vegetable crop in places where cucumbers, potatoes, melons or zucchini used to grow. In such a territory, it will not be possible to get a good harvest.

Also, when choosing, pay attention to the plants that will grow nearby. A pumpkin should not be planted if spinach, peas, beans or onions are planted near it. These plants attract pests that can harm pumpkin bushes.

Seed selection

The quality of the crop largely depends on the selected seeds for further planting. Therefore, it is recommended to pay attention to the choice of planting material.

If the pumpkin is eaten, then pay attention to the size of the variety. To make the fruits more tasty and sweet, varieties with small fruits are chosen for planting.

During the selection, attention is paid to the appearance of the planting material. Its rind should be perfectly smooth and free from surface defects. If there are wavy stripes on the peel, then it is better not to choose such seeds, since they contain nitrates. Also, do not use seed with dark spots on the surface for planting.

Growing from seeds: agricultural techniques

When growing pumpkin from seeds, a seedless method is used, which is most often used by residents of the southern regions of the country. Seeds are planted in the soil only if the ground is well warmed up to a temperature of about 15 degrees.

All seeds are pre-processed before planting. To do this, they are heated for about 10 hours at a temperature of about 40-50 degrees, after which they are treated with an ash solution. This is done to speed up the appearance of the first shoots and ripening of fruits.

When the seed is prepared, they mark and make rows with holes for planting a vegetable on the site. The diameter of each hole should be at least 35 cm. After creating the rows, 2-4 seeds are placed in the holes, which are watered with warm water immediately after planting. All crops on the site are covered with a film to protect the seedlings from possible frost.

Seedling

Residents of the northern regions of the country are advised to plant pumpkin seedlings, since seeds planted in open ground will not germinate due to frost.

Before planting seeds for growing seedlings, they are engaged in preliminary preparation of the soil mixture. For its preparation, the soil is mixed with organic and mineral dressings, which will improve the germination of the planted seeds. The prepared soil is placed in small peat pots with a diameter of about 20 cm. No more than one seed is planted in each pot. If two or more seeds are planted, they will not grow well.

All containers with planted pumpkin seeds are covered with foil and transferred to a well-lit room.

How to prepare seedlings?

Before transplanting seedlings into open ground, you must first prepare and grow seedlings. Therefore, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the features of growing pumpkin seedlings.

After the first shoots appear, all the pots with the planted plants are placed on the windowsills so that direct rays of light fall on them. In the room where the seedlings are grown, the optimal temperature regime is maintained. In the daytime, the temperature should not drop below 20 degrees, and at night - below 15 degrees. When growing, all seedlings are periodically watered with warm water. In this case, watering is carried out in such a way that the soil does not become very waterlogged.

Also, the seedlings are regularly fed with fertilizers. To prepare the feeding mixture, 20 grams of potassium sulfate, a liter of mullein and 20 grams of superphosphate are added to 10 liters of water. Two weeks before transplanting seedlings into open ground, the plants are hardened. For this, containers with pumpkins are taken outside every day so that they get used to the new temperatures.

Correct planting of seedlings in open ground

The pumpkin needs an open air and therefore its seedlings will have to be transplanted outside. As with planting seeds, planting seedlings in the ground begins with the preparation of holes. For seedlings, the holes are made a little deeper than for seeds and therefore their depth should not be less than 10 cm. Fertilizers are added to each created hole in the form of 50 grams of ash, 40 grams of superphosphate mixed with water.

After applying top dressing, all the holes are moistened with warm water so that the soil is moist when planting a decorative pumpkin. After finishing with watering, the seedlings are taken out of the pots along with the root, placed in the ground and covered with earth. Then the site is mulched with peat and re-sprinkled with dry soil.

Planting seedlings in a greenhouse

Sometimes, due to the peculiarities of the climate, it is not possible to grow pumpkin bushes on the street and you have to plant them in greenhouses. Before planting seedlings, you should make sure that all vents are fully open.

Planted plants need good ventilation during flowering. You should also take care of lighting, as without enough light, the bushes will grow poorly.

After preparing the greenhouse, holes are created for planting seedlings. As with planting in the garden, the depth of the holes should be about 10-12 cm. All rows are pre-watered with warm water, after which the seedlings are planted.

Caring for decorative pumpkin

When growing ornamental pumpkin varieties, be sure to take care of them. The yield of plants depends on the quality of care for the planted seedlings. Caring for pumpkin bushes consists in regularly weeding the area from weeds, watering and feeding the planted bushes. Sometimes you have to do the pollination of the plants yourself. Most often this is done if the plant is grown in greenhouse conditions. However, sometimes incomplete fertilization of the ovaries occurs when grown outdoors.

Top dressing

It is recommended to regularly feed the bushes with fertilizers in order to increase the yield of the planted seedlings. For the first time, fertilizers are added to the plot 10-15 days after planting the seedlings in the garden. For this, manure and chicken droppings are added to the soil in a ratio of one to four. These organic feeds are added three times a month.

Also, experienced gardeners recommend adding a solution of wood ash to the soil where the pumpkin is grown. It enriches the soil with nutrients and protects the leaves of bushes from yellowing. For its preparation, 10 liters of water is mixed with 100 grams of ash.

To take advantage of such fertilizer, small pits are made around each bush, into which the prepared mixture is poured. After the completion of feeding, all pits with fertilizers are covered with soil.

Pollination

It often happens that when growing pumpkin plants, part of the ovaries rots and falls off. It seems to many that this happens due to a lack of nutrients in the soil. However, this problem is associated with poor plant pollination. Therefore, in order to get a good harvest in the future, it is recommended to independently pollinate the plants.

Pollination should be done before 11 o'clock in the morning, as this is the most appropriate time. To do this, you will have to pluck a male flower from one bush, pull out the petals from it and touch the anthers of the plant to the pistil of one of the female flowers. The procedure is repeated until all female flowers are pollinated.

Varieties of decorative pumpkin

The pumpkin vegetable crop belongs to melons and gourds and is the most common plant among other representatives. It is no secret that there are three main types of pumpkins, which include hard-bore, large-fruited and nutmeg varieties. Ornamental pumpkins are considered by many to be a separate plant species, but they are not. Ornamental pumpkins are slightly modified varieties of hard-growing plants.

Ornamental pumpkin plants also come in many different types. Therefore, before planting, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the most common decorative representatives.

Leginaria

The Lagenaria pumpkin is popular with vegetable growers. The plant differs from other ornamental varieties in the length of its bushes, which grow by 10-12 meters. The fruits of the plant have a bizarre shape that looks like a nesting doll. In our country, this variety is usually called a serpentine pumpkin or gourd.

This type of pumpkin plant is planted not only to decorate the site, but also for food. It is also often used in folk medicine and is used to prepare remedies for the treatment of diseases of the heart, stomach and kidneys.

Crown or star gourd

A feature of this variety is the unique shape of the fruit, which can be umbrella-shaped, star-shaped or crown-shaped. The plant is considered to be undersized, as it grows up to 1–2 meters in height. Most often it is used to decorate the walls of buildings, arches or gazebos.

The star-shaped variety loves warmth and therefore it is recommended to plant it in the second half of May.

Warty

The warty variety is considered one of the most unique, as it has a wide range of colors. Fruits can be yellow, white, black and orange. Sometimes spotted and striped pumpkins are found, which are immediately painted in two colors.

It is customary to plant bushes in April or early May. With proper care, the plant grows up to three meters.

Pear-shaped

The decorative curly gourd in the shape of a pear attracts the attention of many growers. This plant is used to decorate summer cottages and for eating.

The peculiarities of the variety include pear-shaped fruits that can be painted in different colors. Some varieties of pear-shaped gourds are striped in two colors.

Calabash

Another common ornamental pumpkin plant is bottle gourd. Bottle-type pumpkin vines are quite long and grow up to 15 meters. Plants have beneficial properties, which is why it is often used for the preparation of medicines. Also, the fruits of the variety are used to create dishes. In India, China and Africa, dishes made from this plant are still used.

Mandarin Mandarin

By the name of the variety, it becomes clear that the fruit of the vegetable looks like a tangerine. They are colored orange and have a rounded shape. Also, the fruits are not very large and weigh only 300 grams.

Orange

This ornamental variety is similar in appearance to an orange, as its fruits are bright orange in color and their shape resembles that of a fruit. Each pumpkin fruit weighs about 250 grams.

Turban or pumpkin fungus chump

This variety differs from many ornamental pumpkin plants as it has rather large fruits. Another difference between the turban pumpkin is that the vegetable consists of two parts. Its upper part is slightly convex and stands out against the background of the lower one. Because of this, the shape of the fruit resembles a fungus.

The plant is not classified as a tall pumpkin variety, as it grows up to one and a half meters.

Jack be little

This type of pumpkin resembles the Orange variety, since the fruits are also painted in bright orange colors and have a diameter of about 10 cm. The bushes are highly productive, since each of them grows about 10-15 fruits weighing 100-120 grams. The variety is used to decorate the site and prepare vegetable dishes.

Turkish turban

This edible variety differs from other species in its growth rate. In a few weeks, the plant grows up to six meters. This allows the use of bushes when organizing vertical gardening of the site. The Turkish turban is considered a light-loving variety and therefore it is planted only in areas with good lighting. The fruits of the ornamental vegetable are not very large and only grow up to 15 cm in diameter.

Baby Boo Baby

Kroshka Boo is considered a unique pumpkin variety, as its fruits are ideally white in color. The weight of each pumpkin does not exceed 200 grams, and the diameter is 10-15 cm. The surface of the vegetable is perfectly flat and smooth. A ripe plant is often used not for decorating areas, but for preparing food.

Sweet Dumpling Sweet Dumpling

This type of pumpkin plant is considered the most beautiful. Its fruits are green and covered with small orange stripes. The variety is used for interior decoration.

Kleine bicolor

The variety belongs to the pear-shaped varieties of pumpkins, since their fruits are pear-shaped. The color of ripe vegetables varies, but green pumpkins are more common.

Bischofsmutzen

Less common are vegetables belonging to the Bischofsmutzen variety. A characteristic feature of such plants is considered to be ripe pumpkins, which consist of hemispheres of different sizes. Half of the vegetable turns white, and the other half turns green or red.

Cou-Tors Hative

The plant belongs to the varieties of torticollis. The fruit has an original shape that distinguishes it from other types of vegetables. They are shaped like swans and are covered with orange bumps all over the surface.

Goose in apples

A feature of the pumpkin variety goose in apples is its fertility. About five kilograms of the crop are harvested from one bush. The collected fruits are used for the preparation of pumpkin porridge and mashed potatoes.

Diseases and pests

The bushes of this vegetable crop often suffer from fungal diseases. Many shrubs die from black mold, which stops plant growth. When the disease appears, the leaves are covered with small specks. Over time, the spots begin to dry and cavities appear in their places.

Powdery mildew is also a common disease. A whitish bloom appears on the leaves of plants with a disease, which outwardly resembles flour. Leaves with bloom gradually dry and fall off.

Among the dangerous insects, slugs should be distinguished, which feed on leaves of bushes. Most often, these pests appear on plants after prolonged rains. It is recommended to immediately get rid of slugs, as they take root on the site for several years.

The use of ripe fruits

Sometimes people who grow ornamental pumpkin varieties just don't know what to do with it. Of course, many people try to use the fruits in cooking.

Some varieties are great for preserving and preparing vegetable salads or dishes. However, decorative pumpkin is most often used to decorate rooms or gardens. Dried fruits are used to make excellent handicrafts, which include lanterns, vases, boxes and even candle holders.

Creative people use the vegetable to create artistic painting and burn pictures.

How are pumpkins dried?

Particular attention is paid to the peculiarities of drying the harvested fruits, since dried pumpkin is often used for decoration. The entire harvested crop is carefully sorted out in order to weed out unripe pumpkins. To distinguish ripe fruits from unripe ones, pay attention to their dried stalk. It is also almost impossible to leave scratches on a fully ripened pumpkin.

All selected ripe pumpkins are washed from dirt with warm water, wiped dry and treated with an alcohol solution. Then the vegetables are transferred to a warm room with good ventilation for further drying. It is necessary to regularly inspect the harvested crop, as some of them rot during drying. Rotten fruits are disposed of immediately so that rot does not spread to neighboring pumpkins.

Also, when examining vegetables, they pay attention to the presence of mold on their surface. If there are signs of mold on the peel, the vegetables are immediately treated with antiseptic agents. Sometimes they get rid of it with rags and bleach.

To make sure that the pumpkin is well dried, it is thrown into a container of water. If it drowns, then the crop has not yet completely dried up.

How are finished pumpkins processed?

When using dried pumpkins to decorate the interior of the house, you will have to pre-process the vegetable. First, all fruits are polished with sandpaper to get rid of the husks on the surface. Then a drawing is cut out on the walls and painted. Some wax the surface of the fruit to make it stronger.

When making dishes, pumpkins are drilled with a drill with various drills in order to make holes of the required diameters in them. Before starting drilling, the vegetable is opened and all seeds and pulp are removed from it.

Conclusion

Many vegetable lovers are engaged in the cultivation of decorative pumpkin varieties. Before you start planting such a plant, you should familiarize yourself with the known varieties and the features of their cultivation in a vegetable garden or greenhouse.


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