Pumpkin Farming in Polyhouse (Gummadikaya) for Profit

A step by step guide to Pumpkin farming in polyhouse

Hello gardeners, how about learing Pumpkin farming in polyhouse? here we give you some basics of growing Pumpkins in polyhouse. Pumpkin is a popular vegetable crop in India and it belongs to Cucurbitaceae family. It is also known as “HalwaKaddu” or “Kaddu” in Hindi and India is the second-largest producer of Pumpkin. It is mainly used for cooking purpose and is used to make sweets. Pumpkin is a good source of Vitamin A and potassium.

Pumpkin Production in Polyhouse.
Pumpkin Production in Polyhouse.

Varieties of Pumpkin:

The basic types of Pumpkins are given below;

  1. American pumpkins – These Pumpkins are very long, soft and rounded. Some have trailing stems of 3 meters long while some are non-runners.

There are mainly three types of fruits are produced within this category;

  • Two-layered or turban type Pumpkins (mainly red, with green, yellow or orange markings). These pumpkins weigh up to 5 kg:
  • The yellow, white or red color and weighs up to 40 kg and
  • Hubbard green, squash-dark green and pear-shaped.
  1. Butternut pumpkin and neck pumpkin – These are annuals with soft leaves and stems 3-5 meters with branched tendrils. These fruits are orangish, ovoid or rounded and fruits weigh about 1 kg. The flesh is white without yellow or red. It is best suited for the tropics and it is hardy and disease resistant.
  2. Marrows – These pumpkins are variable species both in vegetative growth and fruit structure. These stems are elongated, thin and trailing or sometimes short and thick (non-runner type). These fruits are very large, green mottled, ovoid and non-ribbed. They can also be pear-shaped and rounded.

Requirements for Pumpkin farming in polyhouse:

Polyhouse technology is useful in improving the productivity of crops qualitatively and quantitatively by 3-5 times as compared to the open environment. This technology helps to facilitate round the year production of preferred crops. And also permits off-season production by way of controlling light, temperature, carbon dioxide level and nature of root medium.

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The most regular varieties of cucumber grown in polyhouse are:

  • Japanese Long Green Cucumber
  • Poinsett Cucumber
  • Poona Kheera
  • Balam Kheera

Soil requirement for Pumpkin farming:

This Pumpkin crop can thrive well on a wide variety of soils. Whatever, a soil with sandy loam along with good drainage power and all necessary organic matter is supposed to be the best soil for Pumpkins. Pumpkins prefer well-drained soils high in organic matter with a pH level of 6 to 6.5.

Method of Pumpkin propagation:

In polyhouse, Pumpkins are mainly propagated with the help of Pumpkins seed.

Seed rate of Pumpkin in Polyhouse:

In polyhouse, the seed rate of Pumpkin is 1 kg per acre.

Pumpkin seed treatment:

Soak the seeds in double the quantity of water for 30 minutes and incubate for 6 to 7 days. Treat the Pumpkin seeds with Azospirillum just before sowing.

Pumpkin planting by seed in polyhouse:

  • Pumpkins can grow all around the year, where there is a good source of water quantity is available.
  • Pumpkins seeds do not germinate in too cold temperatures. For planting Pumpkins, seeds must be sown directly on the main field. Planting seeds on the raised bed encourages drainage to avoid the problem of constant wetness of Pumpkins roots which invites numbers of insects, pest, and diseases.
  • Generally, this crop is cultivated mostly on polyhouses. So, for planting pumpkins in polyhouse, plant about 2 to 4 seeds. The seed must be sown at about 2.5 depths for best growth. Also, after seedling Pumpkins, they must be thin to 1 plant.
  • Pumpkins do best when the Pumpkin seeds are planted directly in the ground.
  • If your growing season is short, seed indoors in peat pots about 2 to 4 weeks before last spring frost. Be sure to harden off before seed transplanting.
  • Wait until the Pumpkin plant soil is 70ºF or more before sowing seeds. Optimum soil temperature range is 95ºF. Pumpkins are sensitive to the cold.
  • Plant Pumpkin seeds in rows or “pumpkin hills,” which are the size of small pitcher mounds. With hills, the soil will warm quickly and the seeds will germinate faster. This helps with drainage and pest control.
  • Prepare the pumpkin in poly houses in advance with an abundance of old manure dug deep into the ground (12 to 15 inches). If you don’t have manure, loosen the soil and then mix in a 2 to 4 – inch layer of compost.
  • Pumpkin plants should germinate in less than a week with the right soil temperature (70 degrees F) and emerge in 5 to 10 days.
  • In rows, sow Pumpkin seeds 6 to 12 inches apart 6 to 10 feet apart. Snip off plants to thin to one plant every 18 inches to 36 inches.

Sowing Pumpkin seed:

Pumpkin seeds can be sown on mounds (creating raised area) or on the level bed. Mounding allows for the better drainage system. Excessive moisture can promote bacterial development, damping off disease or “drowning” of the roots by depriving the root of oxygen. Plant seeds 3 centimeters (one inch) deep. Allow 2 meters (six feet) between hills, spaced in rows three meters (ten feet) to four meters (fifteen feet) apart.

Irrigation requirement for Pumpkin farming in polyhouse:

  • Proper irrigation at proper intervals of time is required in polyhouse. Immediate irrigation is necessary after seed sowing. Depending upon the season, subsequent irrigations at the interval of 6 to 7 days is required. In total 8 to 10 irrigation are required.
  • Pumpkins want to be watered regularly throughout the growing season.
  • Pumpkins need lots of indirect water, and the soil of the mound must be kept well moist but not wet, at all times and remember not to water the Pumpkin foliage.
  • To achieve a consistent maximum yield of high-quality Pumpkins, growers want to irrigate their crops. Furrow irrigation of Pumpkins is the preferred choice for most inland growers.
  • Furrow irrigation wants an even, gentle slope and a soil type that allows water to spread laterally, without penetrating too deep into the soil. The drip irrigation system is used in NSW in permanent bed systems and is often used in conjunction with plastic mulch, which helps to minimize weed infestation in fields. Overhead irrigation is another choice in the undulating country and can be applied by traveling irrigators, center pivots, lateral moves or fixed sprinkler systems.

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Application of Manures and Fertilizers in Pumpkin farming:

Timely application of appropriate manure and fertilizers directly enhance the production. In Pumpkin farming, apply manure and fertilizers in balance doses to get a higher yield. For this, about 50 tonnes of ordinary manure is to be useful while soil preparation, generally in the last plow to the topmost soil.

Application of Nitrogen and Potassium helps increase yield. So, apply about 50 to 60 kg of Nitrogen along with 30 kg of Potash at land preparation in Pumpkin farming. Take care while application of Nitrogen and it should be applied in two equal doses; 1/2 at land preparation, and another one at about one month o the plantation.

Weed control:

To control the weeds, frequent weeding or earthing up action is necessary. Weeding is done with the help of hoe or by the help of hands. First weeding is done after 2 to 3 weeks of seed sowing. In total 3 to 4 weedings are required to make the field weed-free.

Weed control in Pumpkins can be achieved with herbicides and a good crop-rotation system. Several preplant and postemergence herbicides are obtainable for Pumpkins, depending on the specific weed problem and pumpkin growth stage. If infestation levels are mild, early cultivation stage (before vine running) can help minimize weed problems.

Pest and diseases control in Pumpkin in polyhouse:

In polyhouse, insects can be the main problem in Pumpkin production. For example, cucumber beetle, aphids, squash vine borer, seed corn maggot, leaf miners, and rind worms (cucumber beetle larvae) all can cause crop losses. Monitoring insect populations with traps or by scouting will help you determine when you must use pesticides and how often you should spray.

Several Pumpkin diseases can cause crop losses, including bacterial wilt and viruses, for example, powdery mildew, downy mildew, and scab. These diseases can be controlled by using disease-resistant varieties and by having a good crop-rotation method and soils with good air and water infiltration rates.

Pumpkin harvesting:

Harvesting is mainly done when the skin of the Pumpkin fruits turns pale brown and the inner flesh becomes golden yellow. Mature fruits having good storage capacity then they can be used for long-distance transportation. Harvesting of immature fruits is done for sale purpose. That’s all folks about farming pumpkin in polyhouse, if you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to drop in comment section.

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