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 9th March 2017.
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.
For best results they need well structured, rich, moist organic soil.
Clear a space for pumpkins in August and add a 60mm layer of thermal compost. Cover with 50mm of fresh straw mulch.
Leave the bed for 4
weeks to build up worm and microbial activity.
In August, sow 2 pairs of pumpkin seeds in jiffy pots, soak them thoroughly in dilute seaweed extract and bury them up to there rim in an EcoPropagator.
Once the seeds germinate and become established snip off the weakest seedling in each pair
Transplant the two remaining vines in their jiffy pots into the end row of an Ecobed.
Support the vines on trellis as they grow. This maximises their "sprawl" space and allows space for other plants in the growing area of the bed.
Control growth by snipping unwanted leaders and side shoots. Aim to grow 4 or 5 mature pumpkins per plant.
Apply a foliar spray of aerated compost tea every 4 weeks when all the other edible plants are sprayed.
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.
Pumpkins should be protected against slugs and snails using self adhesive copper
tape bonded around the base of your Ecobin.
these molluscs get into your Ecobin as eggs laid in your compost, kill
them with organically acceptable iron based snail pellets as soon as you
discover them. You should only need to use a small number of pellets.
monthly foliar spray of aerated compost tea inhibits the establishment of powdery mildew on your plants.
solution of 1 part cows milk to 9 parts water makes a reasonably
effective alternative organic deterrent against powdery mildew. However, it needs
to be applied early before the fungi gets well established, and
frequently to keep the mildew in check.
As a last resort use Eco-oil to remove the mildew.