Pumpkin-Inter cultivation

Seeds are sown @ four to five per pit. Remove unhealthy and diseases plants and retain 2-3 healthy plants per pit after 2 weeks.

Mulching is also practiced in pumpkin to control weeds. Use organic or plastic mulch depending on availability. Mulches can be laid down before or after trans­planting and after sowing.

The second dose of fertilizer has to be applied in veining stage. The third dose has to be applied at full blooming stage.

The fertilizers have to be applied around the plant after removing the weeds. While applying fertilizers, care should be taken to avoid fertilizer touching the vines. The fertilizer application should be followed with earthing up operations.

For trailing pumpkin, spreading of dried twigs and coconut fronds on the ground is essential.

To improve yield, remove lateral branches until the runner reaches the top of the trellis. Leave 4-6 laterals and cut the tip of the main runner to induce early cropping. Removal of lat­eral branches in the first 10 nodes has a positive effect on total yield.

Pumpkin is a cross pollinated crops; insects, especially bees being the main pollinators. Intro­duction of beehives ensures good pollination and avoid the need for hand pollination especially dur­ing overcast conditions.

During the initial stages of growth, irrigate the crop at 3-4 days interval, and on alternate days during flowering/fruiting. During rainy season, drainage is essential for plant survival and growth.