By Agnes Kyotalengerire
Hajji Hasan Katurebe a renown pumpkin farmer based in Lwengo district notes that pumpkin when grown and well-taken care of, can provide sufficient food for the family, as well as income.
Katurebe is popular for growing the pumpkin variety locally named magoba.
Below e explains how to plant and care for pumpkin for better yield.
How to plant
After clearing your garden, Katurebe advises to dig small or swallow holes to saw the seeds. The seeds should be planted 10 feet apart for proper spacing.
The plant will start flowering at one and a half months. Shortly after, it starts to bear young marrows. It is at that stage that you should apply pest sides to fight pests such as waves that destroy the young marrows.
In a period of just three weeks following flowering, the plant will have pumpkin fruits weighing up to 30kgs.
Apart from spraying with pesticides, Katurebe notes that there is no need to apply fertilizers because the pumpkin variety grows naturally.
This variety can grow pumpkin can grow as big as 68kgs, the biggest size he has ever harvested. The smallest size can weigh as low as 15kgs.
Health and nutrition benefits of pumpkin
Jam packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, pumpkin is incredibly healthy, notes Mariam Alinawe a nutrition based in Kampala.
Alinawe further adds; the low calorie content makes it a weight-loss-friendly food. Worth noting, its nutrients and antioxidants may boost your immune system, protect your eyesight, lower your risk of certain cancers and promote heart and skin health, she notes.
For the men, pumpkin seeds have plenty of zinc, which is one of the most essential minerals for sexual health. Specifically, Omega-3 fatty acids found in the seeds create prostaglandins which is known to increase sexual desire, Alinawe explains