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Pumpkin Seedlings

Why Commercial Farming from Pumpkin Seedlings Benefits the Farmer

Pumpkins are traditionally propagated directly from seeds. However, farmers now have the option to propagate their crops from pumpkin seedlings as available from reputable nurseries in South Africa. These are grown in greenhouses where the plants are protected from pests and the elements. When they are ready to be transplanted, the supplier delivers them in bulk to commercial farmers. Growing from pumpkin seedlings bought in bulk from trusted nurseries has several benefits for the farmer, some of which are briefly discussed below. Fewer Losses During the Early Plant Stages

Not all seeds germinate and this means that the farmer loses a percentage of the crop even before the plants have reached the early growth stages. With uneven spacing of seeds, the farmer also has to thin out the plants. This means even more plant losses in the early stages. Growing from pumpkin seedlings helps to reduce losses during these early propagation stages. These are transplanted according to sound spacing guidelines. There is thus no need to thin out plants and because they are already at seedling level, the risk of plant losses in the early stages is significantly reduced. The period of exposure to the weather, pests, and diseases is also shorter, since the plants are on the field for a shorter period. This translates into a lower risk for the farmer.

Reduced Resource Usage

With less time on the field, pumpkins grown from seedlings need less water, fertiliser, and chemical treatments. With water resource management now an even bigger priority for South African farmers, reduced resource usage helps the grower to farm more sustainably. It also means lower input costs and thus higher profits.

Improved Uniformity

One of the problems frequently encountered when growing from seed is that the plants do not germinate at the same level. Some of the plants struggle, whilst others flourish. Propagating from seedlings with uniform characteristics when transplanted provides the benefit of uniformity in growth, fruits, and stand. These plants have the same resistance to disease, frost, drought, and pathogens in the soil. The plants are stronger because they have been chemically treated before delivery, ensuring protection until the farmer starts with their regular chemical treatment programme.

An improved final field stand enables easier and faster harvesting. This, in turn, means lower costs related to harvesting and thus more money in the farmer’s pocket. Fewer losses are suffered during harvesting, since the plants are the same height and the fruits the same size. Fewer losses translate into higher profits for the farmer.

Early Yield Potential

The period from planting to harvesting is shorter. As such, the farmer uses fewer chemicals and can harvest earlier. Being early to the market means higher prices for the products and a competitive edge for the farmer.

Where to Get Quality Pumpkin Seedlings

Crop success is dependent on several factors, one of which being the seed or seedling quality. To this end, it is imperative to invest in quality pumpkin seedlings. Hishtil SA offers an extensive range of grafted and ungrafted vegetable seedlings grown in greenhouse facilities. The plants have superb characteristics and are pest-free.

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