Welcome to my website. This website handles the overflow from 'Growing Organic Vegetables'. Both sites help you grow fabulous organic vegetables in a warm temperate climate using water saving methods. Both link to "Gardening with Ecobeds" providing detailed instructions on how to build your own sustainable Garden Ecobed and explaining how to get excellent results............John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Growing Butternut Pumpkin
Latest update 3rd August 2018.
Butternut Pumpkin. (Squash)
We love butternut pumpkin, its easy to grow, and is delicious in soups, roasted and even steamed with other veggies.
Grown organically its rich in vitamins, micro-nutrients and dietary fibre.
In an urban environment, where its sometimes hard to attract enough bees for pollination, you can hand pollinate them. They carry both male and female flowers, but its best to grow 2 plants to increase the chance of both male and female flowers maturing at the same time.
They occupy a lot of space and I have been having problems finding the right spot for them. This year I plan to try them in one of my small 900mm x 900mm x 600mm high Ecobeds .
Pumpkins will store for a few months, but are best used soon after harvest.
This food is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol and sodium.
It is also a
good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin K, thiamin, niacin,
phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fibre, vitamin
C, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese.
Check out my blogpage
which explains how I maintain productivity in my Ecobeds. It describes
how soil is prepared prior to planting, the importance of rainwater in
Ecobeds, how to regulate the sun's intensity and how to feed plants
through their leaves.
Check out my blogpage which tells you when to sow seeds.
In August, soak finely sieved compost in 6 cells in a seed tray. After it has settled down a little, sow a single pumpkin seed in each cell. Place the tray in an EcoPropagator.
Once the seeds germinate and become established, transplant the strongest 4 of them into the Mini Ecobed.
Carefully remove the plugs of compost containing the seedlings so the plug is not disturbed. Use a large dibber to make the planting holes and water the plants in.
Allow the growing plants to trail over the edges of the mini Ecobeds, but select a few vines to climb the supporting frame.
Control growth by snipping unwanted leaders and side shoots. Aim to grow 4 or 5 mature pumpkins per plant.
Pumpkins produce both male and female flowers on the same plant. They are
dependent on bees to pollinate them, and will not set fruit if bees are
not regular visitors to your garden. Herbs and other plants flowering
at the same time as your pumpkin and grown nearby will encourage bees
to visit and pollinate your crop.
warm climates you should grow Pumpkin as early as possible in the
season because pollination is affected by high temperatures, and the
balance of male to female flowers swings towards all male flowers when
temperatures rise above 30 deg C.
compensate for poor pollination by bees, you can hand pollinate your Pumpkin using the same method used for cucumbers see video. Pollen is taken from the male flower using a small paintbrush
and deposited on the stamen of the female flower.
Harvesting and storage.
Pumpkins as they start to die back. Their stalks should be dry when removing them from the vine with a
short piece left on the pumpkin. This helps
protect it from disease in storage.
You can store the Pumpkin for months in this state in a cool dry place like your shed provided there is plenty of air circulating.
Organic Pest Control.
like most vegetables, are vulnerable to attack from certain pests in my
garden. My blog "Controlling Garden Pests" explains a
little about these pests and what to do to protect plants from them. For details click on the appropriate link below.