Pumpkins have a number of health benefits that I will make a list later. The biggest benefit of pumpkin is the fun we have during carving it with our families in the Halloween season. You can have more fun this year by growing your own pumpkin at home. You can cook your own grown pumpkin and make pies or you can carve them.
Here are a few health benefits of pumpkin that make you wanna grow them at home.
Health Benefits Of Pumpkins And Pumpkin Seeds
- Pumpkin has great numbers of fibers in it. One mashed cup of pumpkin contains 2.5g of fibers. These fibers will make you feel full and eat less.
- Potassium, magnesium, and iron in pumpkin help your body to regulate high blood pressure. These minerals are also great for red blood cells to provide oxygen to body parts.
- Pumpkin seeds can reduce inflammation in the body because they contain antioxidants like carotene and vitamin E.
- Different studies on pumpkin seeds have suggested that they can help in stopping cancers like stomach cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. Seeds contain lignans in them, which helps in breast cancer.
- Pumpkin seeds powder can help with type 2 diabetes condition. Studies suggest that magnesium part of seeds may help in reducing blood sugar levels.
- Pumpkin seeds are a good source of Zinc and deficiency of zinc can cause infertility in men. So pumpkin seeds can increase the number of sperms by improving the quality of sperms.
- An amino acid named tryptophan is great for sleep. If you have some kind of sleep problem, you can use pumpkin seeds to get tryptophan and improve your sleep.
- Antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C are also present in pumpkins and these antioxidants are great for your eyes.
- Pumpkins can support your immune system because they have vitamin A which helps in improving the immune system.
- Pumpkins also have beta-carotene and other carotenoids. They are great for liver tissues and liver detoxification.
How To Grow Pumpkins In Containers From Seeds
Yes you can grow pumpkins in containers and the method to grow is very easy and this is great if you have some kind of space problem in your home garden. Pumpkin plants can cover a lot of space so you should grow them in your balcony or roof, so the vine of pumpkin can crawl with the wall. Or you can use some kind of support like a trellis.
Best Times To Sow The Seeds Of Pumpkins
You can sow the seeds of pumpkins in March – April or in the monsoon season. If you want to get a heads up, you can sow their seeds indoors at the last of February but you cannot transplant them outdoor unless there is no chance of frost at all.
You can either buy pumpkin seeds from a plant source or you can extract seeds from a pumpkin fruit. Both of these methods are great.
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I always encourage people to try different varieties of every vegetable so you can find your favorite one.
If you have a pumpkin fruit, you can cut it up and extract the seeds from it. After extraction, clean your seeds from the pulp and let them dry. Select bigger seeds as they grow more than smaller ones. You can sow them right away or you can store them in a refrigerator for next season.
Dry Seeds Vs Soaked Seeds
After collecting or buying seeds, you can soak them in clean water for a couple of hours or sow them directly in the soil. Soaked seeds tend to germinate at a faster rate as compared to dry seeds. So, soak them in clean water (lukewarm water not hot) for 7 to 10 hours and then sow them.
Prepare Soil For Seed Germination
Pumpkin seeds are very hardy, they can grow in the topsoil of the garden if the soil is fertile. But I think you should make soil for your seeds. You can always buy the soil if you don’t want to make it.
50% coco coir or coco peat and 50% organic compost will do the trick. Mix these two ingredients well and put them in small containers like seed tray.
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Sow The Seeds Indoor
As I mentioned before, if there is any chance of frost outside or you want to get a heads up, you should sow the seeds indoors in a seed tray.
Fill your seed tray with the soil we make and sow the seeds in it. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Give them water and put them near a window for sunlight or you can use LED grow light.
Seeds will germinate in just 5-8 days. Keep the moisture level of soil a little high during the seedling stage. You can transplant them outdoors in their final location in 15 days when they produce true sets of leaves.
Transparent Seedlings Outdoors Or Sow Seeds Outdoors
If there is no frost outside, you can sow the seeds directly in a bigger container. Before sowing seeds in bigger containers or transplanting seedlings in them, you should make potting soil and select bigger containers.
Pumpkin cannot grow well in small containers, so choose some bigger pots. A 5-gallon bucket for one pumpkin plant is enough. You can also raise bed planter for growing pumpkins.
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Fill your container with the potting soil. Sow the seeds directly in the soil and give them water or pull your seedlings from the seed tray carefully and plant them in the soil.
Take Care Of Pumpkin Plants In Containers
- Pumpkin plants are sun-loving plants, so keep your container away from shade and at a location that receives plenty of sunlight.
- Always check the soil before giving your plants water. Because overwatering or less watering can cause a number of problems.
- When plants start flowering, give your plants fertilizer like organic compost or organic manure and organic multiple purpose fertilizer.
- Give your plants a lot of space because vines need space or you can use trellises to support the plants and the fruits.
- Bees will do the work of pollination. But if you have less number of bees, you should pollinate the flowers by hand. Here is a video that explains the difference between male and female flowers and how to perform hand pollination.
Harvest The Fruits
Different varieties of pumpkin have different growth times. Usually, pumpkins take 75 to 100 days to get fully mature. You can harvest the fruit and use in pies or use it in carving Jack – o – Lantern.