This online guide has been created for you to successfully grow a variety of plants that thrive in the tropics, using native seeds and plants to get growing with wise advice from fellow backyard gardeners and farmers. You are welcome to add your wisdom and share growing and harvest tips and recipes. Send to


Welcome to Pro-Organic Belize

Tropical Garden Grow Guide

Where you are the student and the teacher.


Botanic name: Cucurbita pepo
Plant type: vegetable
Sun exposure:  full sun
Prefered soil type: rich moist soil with compost worked in
Seed depth: 1/2 – 1 inch deep, depending on the size of the seeds
Germination: 3 to 7 days (don't forget to water)
Maturity: approximately 2 months
Space: Pumpkins need a lot of space as they sprawl.  Four plants can take over a 10' x 10' garden space.


Pumpkin Squash overflowing from garden


Featured plant of the month June 2022


Pumpkin Squash
by Mary Loan

Pumpkin squash are a familiar vegetable found year-round in the open air markets of Belize.  The most common are recognized by their round, slightly domed, segmented shape; some varieties have scalloped edges.  They are similar to a squash known as patty pan. All varieties are generally from 4-8” across at maturity.  They are very green on the outside, with pale yellow to orangeish flesh.  There are many squash varieties that are called pumpkins in Belize.  Pumpkin squash grown in Belize are said to have originated in Guatemala and Belize.         

Growing tips:
Generally plant seeds at least twice as deep as the seed is long.  East-West seeds in Benque Viejo in Cayo may have seeds or you could ask a local farmer; then save the seeds from one of your own for the next planting.

Pumpkin plants are pollinated by insects, especially honey bees.  They grow year-round in Belize.   It is helpful to mulch the plants heavily to retain moisture and prevent weeds.  Keep seedlings moist, but not water logged. Water plants deeply at least once per week after they are established.  If other varieties of squash are planted close-by, they may cross pollinate. Whatever squash you grow is better harvested when small and the seeds are not developed.  Let some grow to full maturity to harvest, wash and dry the seeds for another crop.


Pumpkin squash is low in calories: I8 calories per cup raw, 38 calories per cup cooked.  They contain vitamins A and C, folate, potassium and manganese.


Recipes: Pumpkin squash can be used any way zucchini squash are used.  Grate or chop raw for salads or salsa.  Sliced squash can be cooked on the grill. It can be grated and baked into bread and muffins, added to ratatouille, stir fried, baked, or added to soups.  The blossoms and the tips of the vines can be chopped and eaten in salads or fried.


Happy growing and eating.  Please add recipes or growing information. Send to