Lagenariya is a grassy vine that belongs to the pumpkin family. Today there are 7 subspecies of this plant, which have the same name. As a rule, pumpkin grows in areas where the tropical climate prevails. However, today you can find laginaria in our latitudes.
Lagenariya: what is it?
Externally, the lagenaria is similar to the simplest vine, while the length of its stem can be more than 15 m. Characterized by pumpkin with sufficiently large rectangular leaves, slightly corrugated. Plant blooms white small inflorescences. Fully ripened fruits can have the most diverse forms, most often oval and round, can be slightly elongated or pear-shaped. It is possible to eat not only ripe, but also unmatched fruits.
For many years, the fruits of the plant are not only used in cooking, but they are also used for other purposes. For example, pipes are made of them, various dishes, children's toys, various musical instruments. Can even be used stems, as they are strong enough and are used for weaving ropes.
Lagenaria seeds are used to produce oils with high fat content. It can be used not only in cooking, but also in cosmetology, as well as medicine. To taste, the pulp of the ripened fruit is most similar to a simple pumpkin; it is one of the dietary, medicinal products. Fruits are characterized by a minimum number of calories - 100 g contains 14 Kcal.
Like a simple pumpkin, lagenaria fruits are useful in containing a large amount of valuable minerals and vitamins. They contain vitamins, as well as phosphorus, iron, calcium, manganese, zinc, sodium, selenium and potassium. Widely useful properties of the plant are used by the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, where lagenaria is used for medicinal purposes.
Exotic pumpkin has excellent nutritional and dietary qualities, so it is recommended to add to the diet for people suffering from obesity, as well as diabetes and other diseases that are associated with metabolic disorders.
African pumpkin has a positive effect on the condition of the kidneys and bladder, improves liver function. Quite often used during the complex treatment of these organs. Lagenariya contains indispensable vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the body's natural protective function. In addition, African pumpkin is among the products containing a large amount of natural antioxidants.
Unripe young fruits about 30 cm long, 4 cm wide in diameter should be used for food. Lagenaria grows very quickly, fruits can reach 2 m, and their weight is 7 kg. You can cut the desired part of the fruit, but not tearing it completely. The cut will not rot, and the lagenaria will continue to grow.
You can cook delicious pancakes, salads from the fruits of lagenaria, use them for stuffing, fry, pickle, cook caviar from fruits, which is not only tastier than simple squash, but also much healthier. Unripe fruits have a rather thin crust, it is very soft and may not be removed during pickling. If the fruit has ripened, the rind becomes woody and sawing may be necessary for its sawing, inside this period there is no pulp, as it dries slightly during growth.
One of the most common types is also Lagenaria bottle, which is most often used for decorative purposes.
Lagenaria: growing from seed
- For growing lagenaria need a fairly long growing season, which can vary from 120 to 150 days. In the harsh climate this is possible only with the help of seedlings, otherwise the fruits simply do not have time to ripen. Approximately 1.5 months before the planned planting of seedlings in the ground should be sown seeds.
- The seeds of the plant are flat, large, have a dense and fairly hard shell. In order for them to sprout, you first need to steam them. If you skip this item, some seeds may not stumble. To steam the seed, it is placed in a thermos and filled with water (about 40 degrees, but not more), left exactly for a day. Then the seeds are removed from a thermos and transferred to wet cotton or a piece of cloth, placed in a clean bag. Then they are shifted to a warm place and left until they begin to germinate.
- When the seeds begin to spit up, they are transferred to pots, which are pre-filled with soil (you need to use the nutrient earthen mixture sold in any garden store). The volume of the pot should not be less than 1 l.
- In the ground, the seeds are placed at a depth of about 3 cm, sprinkled with earth mixture on top and slightly taken by hand, but not tamped down very much. To speed up the seedling process, a miniature greenhouse can be made above the pot by simply covering it with plastic wrap.
- After about 2 weeks, seeds germinate, and if covered with a greenhouse, this process is accelerated by several days. It is advisable to leave the pots with seeds in the premises where approximately the same temperature is maintained (at least 25 degrees).
- It is very easy to care for the seeds - it is enough to water the seedlings periodically and make sure that the temperature does not drop. In no case can not flood the plants, as they can get sick. After the late spring frosts pass, you can transplant seedlings to the ground. Until this time, seedlings must be kept indoors. If the lagenaria is transplanted very early, it may simply freeze.
- It is necessary to transplant seedlings after the heat is fully established, and frosts will pass. The site for planting seedlings is prepared in advance - lagenenyat requires a fairly large space. To save land, it is possible to grow on a trellis.
- Before planting plants, you need to dig holes, the distance between them is about a meter. Any nitrogen (2 tbsp. L.), Potash fertilizer (1 tbsp. L.) Can be poured into the wells, it can be replaced with a simple ash (1 tbsp.). Compost is also added to the wells. Transplanted seedlings are well watered. Lagenariya loves heat, light, water, but does not tolerate waterlogging and may die. Grows and bears fruit until frost.
Lagenariya - an amazing plant, which is not so often found in the middle lane. African pumpkin has not only a pleasant taste and a wide range of useful properties, but also is the basis for the manufacture of dishes, decor items, pipes and even children's toys.