Growing Pumpkin: Cucurbita moschata

Pumpkins, also known as Cucurbita moschata Poir., are a type of winter squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. These large, round fruits are known for their bright orange colour and are often associated with the fall season. Pumpkins are not only a popular decorative item during Halloween, but they also have a variety of culinary uses and offer a range of health benefits.


Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America and have been cultivated for thousands of years. They were a staple food for many indigenous cultures and were used for both their flesh and seeds. The pumpkin was brought to Europe by early explorers and has since spread to other parts of the world, becoming a popular crop in many countries.

One of the most well-known uses of pumpkins is in pumpkin pie, a dessert that is traditionally served during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in the United States. The flesh of the pumpkin is cooked and pureed and is then combined with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to make the filling for the pie. Pumpkin can also be used in a variety of other sweet and savoury dishes such as soups, bread, muffins, and pancakes.

Health Benefit

In addition to their culinary uses, pumpkins also offer a range of health benefits. They are a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy vision. Pumpkin is also a good source of fibre, which can help to promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. The seeds of the pumpkin are also a good source of protein and healthy fats, making them a healthy snack option.

Pumpkins are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and may be beneficial in the management of certain health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. The high levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants in pumpkins can also help to boost the immune system and protect against infections.

Planting Conditions & Texture

When it comes to growing pumpkins, they are a relatively easy crop to cultivate. They are typically planted in the spring, after the last frost date, and require a warm, sunny location with well-drained soil. Pumpkins need a lot of space to grow, as the vines can spread out quite far, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of room to spread out.

Pumpkins are also known for their hardiness and can tolerate a wide range of weather conditions. They are typically harvested in the fall when the skin is hard and the colour is a deep, rich orange. After the pumpkin is harvested, it can be stored for several months in a cool, dry place, making it a convenient food to have on hand during the winter months.

In conclusion, pumpkins are a versatile and nutritious food that offers a range of health benefits. They are a delicious ingredient in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes and can be enjoyed in many different ways. They are also easy to grow and can be stored for several months, making them a convenient food to have on hand throughout the year. Pumpkin is not only a food but also a symbol of harvest and good luck, it is widely used in the decoration of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It is a symbol of the good life, happiness and prosperity.

Growing Pumpkin Cucurbita Moschata

Varieties: CO 1, CO 2, Arka suryamuki and Arka Chandan.

Soil: Sandy loam is rich in organic matter and with good drainage. The pH range from 6.5-7.5 is found ideal.

Season and sowing: June- July and December-January.

Soak the seeds in double the quantity of water for 30 minutes and incubate for 6 days. Sow the seeds (5 seeds/pit) treated with Azospirillum just before sowing and thin the seedlings to two per pit after 15 days.
Seed rate: 1.0 kg /ha.

Spacing: 2 m x 2 m. Pit size 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm.

Application of fertilizers: Apply 10 kg of FYM (20 t/ha) and 100 g of NPK 6:12:12 g as basal and 10 g of N per pit after 30 days of planting.

After cultivation: Hoe and weed thrice. Spray Ethrel 250 ppm (2.5 ml per 10 lit of water) four times at weekly intervals commencing from 10 to 15 days after sowing.

Plant Protection (PEST & DISEASES)


Beetles and caterpillars: Spray malathion 50 EC 1 ml/lit. or dimethoate 30 EC 1 ml/lit. or methyl demeton 25 EC 1 ml/lit. or fenthion 1000 EC 1 ml/lit.

Fruit fly
1) Collect the damaged fruits and destroy them.

2) The fly population is low in hot day conditions and it is peak in the rainy season. Hence adjust the sowing time accordingly.

1) Plough the field to expose the pupae.

2) Use polythene bags fish meal trap with 5 gm of wet fish meal + 1 ml. dichlorvos in cotton. 50 traps are required per ha, and fish meal + dichlorvos-soaked cotton is to be renewed once in 20 and 7 days respectively.

Do not use DDT, lindane 1.3% dust, copper and sulphur dust. These are phytotoxic


Powdery mildew: Spray Dinocap 1 ml/lit or Carbendazim 0.5 g/lit.

Downy mildew: Spray Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil 2 g/lit twice at 10 days intervals.

Yield & Harvest

Yield: 18-20 t/ha in 140 days.


The University of Agriculture in Tamil Nadu, India has researched growing the Pumpkin Cucurbita Moschata variety. The varieties used in the research are CO 1, CO 2, Arka suryamuki and Arka Chandan.

The ideal soil for growing pumpkins is a sandy loam that is rich in organic matter and has good drainage, with a pH range of 6.5-7.5, followed by The best seasons for sowing which are June-July and December-January.

The recommended method for planting is to soak the seeds in double the quantity of water for 30 minutes and incubate them for 6 days before sowing, treating the seeds with Azospirillum. The seed rate is 1.0 kg/ha, with a spacing of 2m x 2m and a pit size of 30cm x 30cm x 30cm.

Fertilizers should be applied as 10kg of FYM (20 t/ha) and 100g of NPK 6:12:12 as basal and 10g of N per pit after 30 days of planting. Hoeing and weeding should be done thrice, and Ethrel 250ppm should be sprayed four times at weekly intervals starting 10-15 days after sowing.

Pest control measures include spraying malathion 50 EC, dimethoate 30 EC, methyl demeton 25 EC, or fenthion 1000 EC to combat beetles and caterpillars, and using polythene bags with fish meal and dichlorvos-soaked cotton to control fruit flies. Disease control measures include spraying Dinocap 1ml/lit or Carbendazim 0.5g/lit for powdery mildew, and Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil 2g/lit twice at 10 days intervals for downy mildew. The expected yield is 18-20 t/ha in 140 days.

(This research was carried out directly at the Tamil Nadu University of Agriculture in India).