Pumpkins do require a lot of food and a long growing season (generally from 75 to 100 frost-free days) so you need to plant them by late May in northern locations to early July in extremely southern states.
Pumpkins can be made into sweet or savoury dishes, their seeds are healthy and fun to roast, and they serve as beautiful, bright fall decorations. Growing pumpkins is easy and inexpensive, since they thrive in many different regions.
Pumpkin is an annual plant with short cycle grown commonly in the tropics between March and June.
Planting by Seed
Pumpkins do best when the seeds are directly planted in the ground. If your growing season is very short, seed indoors in peat pots about 2 to 4 weeks before last spring frost. Be sure to harden off before transplanting.
Wait until the plant soil is 70ÂºF or more before sowing seeds. Optimum soil temperature is 95ÂºF. Pumpkins are very sensitive to the cold.
Plant seeds in rows or â€œpumpkin hillsâ€ which are the size of small pitcher mounds. With hills, the soil will warm more quickly and the seeds will germinate faster. This also helps with drainage and pest control.
Prepare the hills in advance with an abundance of old manure dug deep into the ground (12 to 15 inches). If you donâ€™t have manure, loosen the soil and mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost
Plant the seeds 1 inch deep into the hills (4 to 5 seeds per hill). Space hills 4 to 8 feet apart.
Your plants should germinate in less than a week with the right soil temperautre (70 degrees F) and emerge in 5 to 10 days. When the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill by snipping off unwanted plants without disturbing the roots of the remaining ones.
In rows, sow seeds 6 to 12 inches apart in rows 6 to 10 feet apart. Snip off plants to thin to one plant every 18 to 36 inches.
Medicinal use: 1. Heart Healthy Magnesium
One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP , the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function.
Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
2. Zinc for Immune Support
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc (one ounce contains more than 2 mg of this beneficial mineral). Zinc is important to your body in many ways, including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.
Many are deficient in zinc due to mineral-depleted soils, drug effects, plant-based diets, and other diets high in grain. This deficiency is associated with increased colds and flu, chronic fatigue, depression, acne, low birth weight babies, learning problems and poor school performance in children, among others.
3. Plant-Based Omega-3 Fats
Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)). We all need ALA, however, ALA has to be converted by your body into the far more essential omega-3 fats EPA and DHA â€” by an enzyme in which the vast majority of us have impaired by high insulin levels. So, while pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of ALA, I believe it is essential to get some of your omega-3 fats from animal sources, such as krill oil, as well.
4. Prostate Health
Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as an important natural food for menâ€™s health. This is in part because of their high zinc content, which is important for prostate health (where it is found in the highest concentrations in the body), and also because pumpkin seed extracts and oils may play a role in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Research suggests that both pumpkin seeds,2 and pumpkin seed oil used in combination with saw palmetto may be particularly beneficial in supporting prostate health.
5. Anti-Diabetic Effects
Animal studies suggest that pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation and help prevent diabetic complications by decreasing oxidative stress.
6. Benefits for Postmenopausal Women
Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it may lead to a significant increase in good â€œHDLâ€ cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.
7. Heart and Liver Health
Pumpkin seeds, rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may provide benefits for heart and liver health, particularly when mixed with flax seeds.
8. Tryptophan for Restful Sleep
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the â€œsleep hormone.â€ Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate like a small piece of fruit, may be especially beneficial for providing your body the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production to help promote a restful nightâ€™s sleep.
9. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Pumpkin seed oil has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. One animal study even found it worked as well as the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in treating arthritis, but without the side effects.
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Good quality seeds, sprouted in couple of weeks
Came on time... and the plant seems to be growing really fast. Hope I get a vegetable soon.
Great Seeds. I got 100 % success germination , that too in 2 days itself instead of 7days that usually is the duration. Awesome
Good but after two moths i will see the result