How To Grow Pumpkins And Their Benefits

Pumpkins are easy to grow, and add a wonderful, warm look to your garden. Not only will you enjoy the delicious taste of your organic, homegrown pumpkins, you will also enjoy the sight of pumpkins ripening I’m autumn. In this article, we will share how to grow pumpkins, the nutrients, and the health benefits that can be gained from eating them.

Pumpkin Varieties

There are over 70 different pumpkin varieties. We all recognise the round, orange pumpkin, although pumpkins come in many different shapes, sizes, colours, etc. You can find green, red, blue, white, and yellow pumpkins. Pumpkins can also grow very big, the heaviest pumpkin was recorded on the 9th, October 2016 in Belgium, weighing an astonishing 1,190.49 kg(2,624.6 lb), now that is a lot of pumpkin soup and pancakes.

Here are some recommended varieties to grow: ‘Atlantic Giant’- Large, orange pumpkin, ‘Autumn Gold’,- well-rounded, medium-sized, orange pumpkin, and ‘Cotton Candy’- small, white, round pumpkin.

How To Grow Pumpkins

Plant pumpkins in full sun, even though they will tolerate partial shade. Pumpkins prefer slightly acidic. loose, well-worked, well-drained soil full of organic matter with a pH of 6.0-6.8. Pumpkins seeds can be sown indoors, and out.

Sow pumpkins indoors at around mid-late April, and late May-early June if chosen to sow directly outdoors. Sow seed around 2.5cm(1in) deep, around 1.5m(5ft) apart if sowing outdoors. If you want to sow indoors, sow 2.5cm(1in) deep in a container or pot on a sunny window seal.

Pumpkin seeds will germinate in 4-10 days in temperatures between 18°C-29°C(66°F-85°F). However, the seeds will not germinate if temperatures below 18°C(66°F).Once seeds have germinated and the plant reaches around 9cm(3in) tall, if started off indoors, transplant the plant outdoors 1.8m(6ft) apart, roots grow around 1.8m(6ft) deep so make sure you have enough space.

Pumpkin plants need plenty of water, water regularly and keep the soil evenly moist. Fertilisers are optional, but if you want the best results, feed with a multi purpose fertiliser.

Nutrients And Health Benefits

Pumpkins are packed with nutrients, they contain vitamins- K, C, E, B-2, B-9, B-3, B-6, and B-1. Minerals- potassium, copper, manganese, and iron. Pumpkins also contain powerful antioxidant such as beta-carotene, that turns into vitamin A in the body.

Pumpkins can provide major health benefits such a good immunity, eye health, healthy heart and skin, and can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.

How To Add Pumpkin To Your Diet

Pumpkins are delicious, therefore can be easily added to your diet, here are some ways to add pumpkin to your diet: Make a pumpkin puree and add to spaghetti or make you own spaghetti from pumpkin, dry pumpkin seeds and add them to your favourite nuts as a snack, crush up pumpkin seed and sprinkle over your oatmeal, make pumpkin pies, pancakes, add cubes of pumpkin to your soup, stew, try roast pumpkin, pumpkin smoothie, salads, etc.