Zucchini and pumpkin are annual herbaceous plants that are highly prized in dietary nutrition. They are very close botanically and suggest similar growing conditions.
Optimal conditions for growing zucchini
All types of zucchini are demanding on light and soil fertility. Lack of light significantly reduces yield indicators - up to 10 times.
Sandstone or loam is best suited for this culture. The acidity index is neutral. In the spring, organic and mineral fertilizers are applied to the area set aside for zucchini. Then the landing site is dug up.
Zucchini do not tolerate self-shading well, so it is necessary to leave enough free space between the plants. They cannot be grown in the same area more often than once every 5 years. The optimal predecessors are tomatoes, cabbage, onions and legumes, the worst are any pumpkin crops.
Optimal conditions for growing pumpkin
Pumpkin is demanding on light, heat and moisture. She does not like thickened crops and shaded areas. For her, a fertile area rich in organic matter should be allocated, but protected from the wind. The plant is recommended to be planted after potatoes, cabbage, onions and legumes.
The pumpkin can grow in almost any soil, but it must be well drained. You should choose an open area that is sufficiently well lit by the sun. The culture does not develop well on wet and clayey soils. If the soil is acidic, liming is carried out or wood ash is added.
The planting site is preliminarily (10-15 days) fertilized. For this, humus or compost, wood ash and minerals are added. Then the site is dug to a depth of 50 cm.
When to plant squash and pumpkin
One of the main questions, the answer to which every gardener should know is when to plant squash and pumpkin seedlings in open ground.
Both crops can be grown in 2 ways:
The specific planting time for both squash and pumpkin depends on the territorial location of the site. In central Russia, pumpkin seeds are placed in open ground from May 10 to 15, insulated and covered with foil; June 10-16, the film is removed. According to the lunar calendar in May 2019, the best days for a pumpkin are from 8th to 10th and from 15th to 18th, in June - 5-6, from 11th to 16th.
To accelerate the germination of pumpkin seeds on April 20-25, they begin pre-sowing preparation. To do this, they are soaked in one of the following solutions:
- full mineral fertilizer (nitrophoska, nitroammofosk, azofoska) - 1 tsp. for 1 liter of water;
- dark red potassium permanganate with the addition of 0.5 tablets of microelements;
- wood ash - 1 tbsp. l. for 1 liter of water.
The seeds are left in solution for 2-3 days, after which they are washed and wrapped in a damp cloth for 2-3 days.
Seed germination is observed at a temperature of + 10 ... + 13 ° C. Normal growth occurs at + 25 ... + 27 ° C. In areas with cold climates, the landing is postponed to a later time - late May - early June.
To grow seedlings, seeds are sown 25-30 days before placing them in the ground.You can't keep her at home any longer, otherwise they will stretch out a lot. It is better to plant seedlings in paper cups or peat pots. Sprouted seeds are placed at a depth of about 6 cm. Shoots can be planted in open ground when the threat of spring frosts has passed - that is, around June 1-10.
They start growing squash seedlings on April 15-25 or May 1-5 using peat pots. When the soil warms up to 12-13 ° C, the shoots are moved to the beds.
In open ground, seeds are sown on May 20-25. But the exact time depends on the climatic conditions. In the northern regions, planting can be postponed even to June. According to the lunar calendar in April, favorable days are 6-8, 11-13, 17-18, in May - 5, 8-10, 15-18 (before noon).
Approximate landing dates for some regions of Russia:
- The central part - from May 10, under cover;
- Voronezh, Saratov regions - from April 10;
- Sverdlovsk and Perm regions - starting from May 15 for shelter;
- Rostov, Krasnodar, Volgograd regions - from March 10.
Seeds germinate at + 12 ... 15 ° С. Plants die at lower temperatures. Optimal conditions for growth and development are + 22 ... + 26 ° С during the day, + 18 ... + 19 ° С at night.
Knowing when to plant squash and pumpkin outdoors allows you to get a bountiful harvest.
How to plant squash and pumpkin outdoors
For planting zucchini, beds are formed:
- length - 4 m;
- width 70 cm.
Then they dig up the earth and dig holes every 60-70 cm. Then the plants will develop well and bring a bountiful harvest. The shoots are buried to the cotyledon leaves, and the stem is slightly tilted. The surrounding soil is lightly compacted and watered.
Planting seeds is carried out to a depth of 3-4 cm on heavy soil, 5-7 cm on light soil. The distance between plants is the same as when placing seedlings. You can put 2-3 seeds in 1 hole. After the emergence of seedlings, thinning is carried out, leaving the most powerful and developed seedlings.
A well-lit area is also set aside for the pumpkin. The seedlings are moved into the ground when 3-4 true leaves are formed on the shoots. A suitable soil temperature is 14 ° C.
Climbing varieties are planted every 1.5 meters, and bush varieties - after 90 cm. Cups are placed in holes, watered, mulched with peat and covered with glass jars. They can be removed during the day, and put back at night - and so on until there is a possibility of night frost.
Seeds are placed in pre-prepared holes.
What scheme to plant:
- diameter - 30 cm;
- depth - 6 cm;
- the distance between the holes depends on the variety. The minimum is 90 cm.
2-3 germinated seeds are placed in each cavity. Then the holes are covered with earth. If the soil is dry, then watering is carried out.
Recommendations for further care
It is enough to follow simple recommendations to get a good harvest of squash and pumpkin.
Caring for a pumpkin involves feeding, watering and proper forming of climbing plant species:
- Fertilizers are applied at intervals of 15-16 days. Use a diluted (1 in 10) mullein, to which add 2 tbsp. l. complete mineral fertilizer. An alternative is a weak solution of poultry manure (1 in 20). During fruiting, the culture is fertilized every 8-10 days.
- During the growth period, abundant watering is carried out - 1 time in 7 days.
- In climbing varieties, the main stem is pinched upon reaching a length of 1.3-1.5 m and 2 lateral shoots of 60-70 cm are left.
- During flowering, pumpkin requires additional artificial pollination. This measure is especially useful in cool or rainy weather.
Ripe fruits are cut together with a 5-6 cm long stalk. Harvesting is carried out until the onset of frost.
Zucchini need fertilization and watering. During the growing season, top dressing is applied 3 times:
- Before flowering - mullein solution (1 to 10) with 1 tbsp. l. nitrophosphate for 10 liters of water.Watered at the rate of 1 liter per plant.
- During the flowering period - in 10 liters of water, dilute 1 tbsp. l. wood ash and complete mineral fertilizer.
- During fruiting - for 10 liters of water you need to put 1 tbsp. l. urea, potassium sulfate and superphosphate. For 1 sq. m. pour 3 liters of solution.
The culture is watered at the root according to the following scheme:
- Before flowering, once a week (8-10 liters per sq. M.).
- During the period of fruit formation - after 2-3 days (10-12 liters per sq. M.).
Watered with warm water - + 22 ... + 25 ° С. Young ovaries rot from the cold liquid. For better fruit setting, manual pollination is recommended.
Compliance with the terms and recommendations for planting will allow every gardener to grow tasty and healthy pumpkins and zucchini.