Help me plan for cucurbits please

HiDelight

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something about my soil as compared to anyone else's I know is just not growing anything in this family! and I have no idea what to do

I grow pumpkins (and btw we have pumpkin farms all around me) if any at all the size of a golf ball ..winter squash for get it...nope on the cucumbers......for get melons and not even and I am so ashamed ...can I grow a single zucchini

how sad is that?
my plants are stunted and most never get fruits at all

I love what I can grow ..carrots....some beets but not the amt I would love ...lots of any type of greens, beans and peas...I grow fennel and all kinds of things but fail so much at the cucurbits I am just really wanting to fix this!!! and my fruits do wonderfully

I do know my soil is on the acidic side but not too bad I lime it every year to make a pH of about 6 something ..but other than the fact I do have raised beds and had to have all the soil trucked in from a wonderful place that has very clean mix of compost, sand and topsoil with pearlite mixed in for lightness

so I need help ..tell me please how to grow Cucurbits because next year I really want some of this family to grow!

thanks in advance for any and all advice on this matter I am planning my beds for next spring and really want to if I need to do some ammending
 

Greensage45

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This year's technique with a mound created with nothing but straw worked incredible!

I took the old straw from previous winter in the coop, and I just made a mound. I then took the smallest handful of soil and placed it on top every 2 feet. I planted my seeds (watermelon, cucumbers, and honeyloupes) They just thrived to no end and produced in abundance.

As the seeds sprouted and the roots began to spread the mound slowly decomposed into a nice mound of compost, which is now being put into my flower beds. I am really pleased with this technique! Previously the clay I have caused my watermelons to be tasteless, my cucumbers to be bitter, and my honeyloupes to be foul! This was definitely my answer!

Ron



 

lesa

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Oh my gosh, Ron, that garden is beautiful. What an inspired idea!! I never had any luck growing pumpkins, until I got bees. This year I grew tons of the little ones and a couple huge ones! Had to roll them out of the garden- 60-70 pounds!! Don't give up!!
 

journey11

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Have you had your soil tested for specific nutrient value? Your county extension can do this for you for a small fee. They are more accurate than the "at home" tests. This would be where I would start....
 

HiDelight

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well that would be nice Joe and I wish I could do that but for some reason when I use straw in the garden it grows! and it is a b#$$h to get out! I will think about this but wow I can not tell you how bad it gets

I have had the soil tested and it looked fine just a bit acidic so I use a little lime! that is what is making me nuts my friend owns an analytical lab and he checked it and it was fine he said it needed nothing to grow this type of plant

so I am baffled >I tried everything I could think of last year


Maybe I will try one of the beds with straw next year but argh I hate to think of pulling all that out again ..omg it really is bad you lay pure straw not hay down and voila you get a pasture in your beds here :p
 

Greensage45

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Firstly, my name is Ron (nice to meet you too), and I am not sure what other folks call straw, but out here straw is just that, straw.

We either get Hay (which is a mix of timothy grass and such things), Alfalfa (the green stuff), or Straw. Those are our only choices at the feedstore.

If you take a Hay ride in these parts you will be covered in Alfalfa and grass...very itchy. If you take a straw ride you can lay in it and fall asleep.

Ron
 

obsessed

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What about weather? These are a warm season crop so are you getting hot enough? If there are other around you growing maybe they are using started transplants to get an early start. I am so not sure but when I was in montana I was able to get a bounty of zukes with little over a 90 day growing season. Or how about nutrients? Squashes are usually used as a nitrogen mop. Or what about the vine borer. I could not figure out what kept killing my squashes this year till I figured out the vine borer. I wondered why the plants just seemed to wilt and die.
 

HiDelight

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Hi Ron ..LOL

well honestly we have feed stores and straw is SUPPOSED to be just straw not hay but for some reason maybe just because of how it is stored or some of the tops are left on or something they have over and over again sprouted into nice pasture material that is horrible to dig out
I have gone to various feed stores with the same results!

Obsessed I think the weather plays a HUGE role in how these things grow here ..but we have pumpkin and squash growing like crazy and folks are always bringing zukes in

I think it is just me :(
 

cwhit590

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HiDelight - hmm.....are you direct sowing your curcurbits or starting them and transplanting into the garden (or buying plants from a nursery)? I seem to have a lot better luck with the curcurbits that I sow directly in the garden vs. transplants. :idunno

Ron - beautiful garden...great idea on hilling the veggies w/ coop leftovers.

About the whole straw thing...
Straw is what is leftover after a cereal crop has been harvested...so if Mr. Farmer doesn't get every single grain harvested, then you're gonna end up with those extra grain seeds in the bale...that would explain why your straw is sproutin' stuff. :)
It sounds like the straw Ron is using comes from his chicken coop...I'm sure the chickens pick thru it to remove the seeds that may arrive in it...and they add little presents the plants like...lol ;)
 

obsessed

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Delight, so did you want me to include the curcubits?.... I am waiting for a response.. but no pressure... no pressure
 

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