Cultivation of Pumpkin

Cultivation of Pumpkin

Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata Poir.) Pumpkin is one of the most important cucurbitaceous vegetable crops. It is one of the most popular rainy season vegetable crops in India. India ranks second after the china in pumpkin production The ripe pumpkin is used as cooked. It is one of the main vegetables in any festival. It is round or long in shape.

Local Names of Pumpkin in India ; 
Gummadi Kaya in Telugu , Poosanikai in Tamil, Kumbalakai in Kannada, Mathanga in Malayalam, Lal bhopala in Marathi, and Kaddu in Hindi, Kollaano Velo in Gujrati 
 Origin ;
The word Pupkin is originated from the word “Pepon” a Greek word for the large melons. Pumpkin is a native of tropical America and it has been in cultivation since prehistoric times. (7500 – 5000 BC)
It is a warm-season crop. But it can withstand cool weather. The plant is also tolerant to partial shade. Pumpkin requires an 18-degree Celsius temperature for its early growth. The most suitable temperature range is 24 to 28-degree Celsius. Pumpkin is well adaptable to a wide range of rains and can tolerate low temperatures easily.
Soil & its preparation
Pumpkin is grown on all types of soil. But loam, sandy loam, and clay-loam soils are considered best for its cultivation. The soil should be thoroughly prepared. It does best at a pH of 6.0 or 6.5 
Most Popular Varieties of Pumpkin;



Arka Suryamukhi

High yielding variety released from the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore. Small-sized, flat-round fruits with orange color. Resistant to fruit fly attack. Suitable for growing in Kerala condition during September-January. 

Arka Chandan

A pure line selection released from the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore. Fruits are round with pressed blossom end. Rind colour green with white patches when immature which turns to light brown upon maturity. Fruits are with thick orange flesh and rich in carotene and have a solid cavity. Fruit weight is 2-3 kg. The average yield is 33 t/ha. Crop duration is 115-120 days. 


High yielding variety released from the Kerala Agricultural University. The average fruit weight is 4-6 kg. Medium sized flat round fruits


A medium-sized pumpkin variety with attractive flesh color and more flesh content, released from Kerala Agricultural University. The average yield is 39 t/ha. 


High yielding variety released from KAU. Small-sized flat round fruit with thick orange flesh. The average weight of fruit is about 3- 4 kgs

Sowing of seed
(a) Time of sowing. The seed is sown during January to March and June-July in the plains and March-April in hills. Sometimes they are also sown on ridges of potatoes or other crops during October November to catch early market
(b) Seed rate. The seed rate per acre is 2.5-3.0 kg.
(c) Method of sowing. The seeds are sown by a dibbling method at a spacing of 1.5 metres x 75 cm. Generally, three to four seeds arc sown in a pit at 2.5 to 3.0 cm. depth. 
Manuring ;
Pumpkin required about 24 kg of Nitrogen, 12 kg of Phosphoric acid, and 12 kg of Potassium per acre. The recommended application of 400 kg of N.P. & K Mixture (5:10: 10) over a basal application of 4 to 6 tonnes of F.Y.M. or compost per acre.
Intercultural operations;
One or two weedings may be done during early stages of growth.
Irrigation ;
No irrigation is given to rainy season crop. The summer season crop should be irrigated after every third or fourth day 
Pest and Diseases of Pumpkin ;
Pest of Pumpkin ;




Fruit flies

The fruit fly is the most destructive insect pest of pumpkin. Fruit fly maggots feed on the internal tissues of the fruit causing premature fruit drop and also yellowing and rotting of the affected fruits. This fly is difficult to control because its maggots feed inside the fruits, protected from direct contact with insecticides.


Bury any infested fruits to prevent the buildup of fruit fly population. In homestead gardens, covering the fruits in polythene/paper covers help to prevent flies from laying eggs inside the fruits. Breaking of soil to expose pupae, and burning the soil in pit by dried leaves are also effective. It can also be effectively controlled by the use of banana fruit traps.

Epilachna beetle

The yellowish coloured grubs and adults of the beetle feed voraciously on leaves and tender plant parts, and the leaves are completely skeletonized leaving only a network of veins. When in large number, the pest causes serious defoliation and reduces yield.


 Remove and destroy egg masses, grubs and adults occurring on leaves. Spray carbaryl 0.2%.


Pumpkin beetle

Adult beetles eat the leaves, makes the hole on foliage and causes damage on roots and leaves. Grubs cause damage by feeding on the root. It also feeds on flowers and bores into developing fruits that touch the soil.


Incorporate carbaryl 10% DP in pits before sowing the seeds to destroy grubs and pupae.


Aphids in large numbers congregate on tender parts of the plant and suck sap resulting in curling and crinkling of leaves. Ants carry aphids from one plant to another.

First, dissolve soap in hot water and then make up the volume. Alternatively, apply dimethoate 0.05%.

Diseases of Pumpkin;




Downy mildew

Cottony white mycelial growth is seen on the leaf surface. Chlorotic specks can be seen on the upper surface of the leaves. It is severe during rainy season.


Complete removal and destruction of the affected leaves. Spraying 10 % solution of neem or kiriyath preparation. If the disease incidence is severe spraying mancozeb 0.2% will be useful.


Powdery mildew

The disease appears as small, round, whitish spots on leaves and stems. The spots enlarge and coalesce rapidly and white powdery mass appears on the upper leaf surface. Heavily infected leaves become yellow, and later become dry and brown. Extensive premature defoliation of the older leaves resulting in yield reduction.


Control the disease by spraying Dinocap 0.05%.

Mosaic(Cucumber Mosaic Virus)

Mosaic disease is characterized by vein clearing and chlorosis of leaves. The yellow network of veins is very conspicuous and veins and veinlets are thickened. Growths of plants infected in the early stages remain stunted and yield of the plant get severely reduced. White fly (Bemisia tabaci) is the natural vector of this virus.


 Control the vectors by spraying dimethoate 0.05%. Uprooting and destruction of affected plants and collateral hosts should be done.

Pumpkin is harvested either in the green stage or mature stage according to the demand of the market. The fruits can be stored for a few months in a well-ventilated room.
The yield may range from 6000-10,000 kg per acre.

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