Looking for your pumpkin, melon, and cantaloupe tips...

heirloomgal

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I've often considered growing Cream of Saskatchewan. Did you have any cracking issues?
Yup. Just picking the first one up cracked it. But I was extremely careful after that and didn't crack any more of them. From an eating point of view, though, I loved the almost nonexistent rind , the whole slice is juicy flesh ☺.
 

Ridgerunner

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I haven't seen anyone specifically mention how much room these can take. The vines can run many feet, some maybe 15' to 20' depending on variety. If you step on a vine and crush it you can kill that section of the plant. Weeding can be extremely challenging when they run. To me, mulching where they are going to run is a really good idea to keep weeds and grass down.

Alasgun mentioned trellises. Pumpkins and melons are OK on a trellis but not cantaloupe. The weight of the pumpkin or melon may pull the vine loose but the stem should stay attached. One way you can tell a cantaloupe is ripe is that the stem pulls out clean. If a cantaloupe is hanging by the stem it could separate and fall when it gets ripe.
 

Zeedman

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Alasgun mentioned trellises. Pumpkins and melons are OK on a trellis but not cantaloupe. The weight of the pumpkin or melon may pull the vine loose but the stem should stay attached. One way you can tell a cantaloupe is ripe is that the stem pulls out clean. If a cantaloupe is hanging by the stem it could separate and fall when it gets ripe.
Any vining member of the gourd family can be trellised, if it has strong enough tendrils to support the vines. Cucumbers grow very well trellised, with no additional support (unless the cukes are allowed to ripen). Larger fruits though - such as squashes & melons - will need additional support, or they will pull down the vines as they get heavier. Slings are probably the easiest method... I did that with Tromboncino last year, wish I had photos that showed the slings. :( I ran lengths of 1/2" rebar across the top of the trellis, to support the weight of the slings. You can use old nylon stockings, pieces of old t-shirts or sheets, or any light breathable material that will both provide support, and expand as the fruit grows. Smaller pumpkins & squashes can be supported by tying up their stems, but melons & larger squashes will need to be fully supported around the bottom... especially the full-slip melons mentioned by @Ridgerunner .
 

flowerbug

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I haven't seen anyone specifically mention how much room these can take. The vines can run many feet, some maybe 15' to 20' depending on variety. If you step on a vine and crush it you can kill that section of the plant. Weeding can be extremely challenging when they run. To me, mulching where they are going to run is a really good idea to keep weeds and grass down.

Alasgun mentioned trellises. Pumpkins and melons are OK on a trellis but not cantaloupe. The weight of the pumpkin or melon may pull the vine loose but the stem should stay attached. One way you can tell a cantaloupe is ripe is that the stem pulls out clean. If a cantaloupe is hanging by the stem it could separate and fall when it gets ripe.

several of us did mention space requirements, but not in great emphasis. :)

what happened here last year was that the plants were in small gardens that are surrounded by rocks and gravel so they could run all over those without any weeding problems.

the biggest problem i had with those was the melons that ended up trying to hide between rocks. i had some very strange looking melons, but they were edible and delicious during the prime of the season. only later on did they fade out, but we ate them anyways with a bit of honey on them and they were good like that too. i hated the idea of composting a perfectly good fruit just because it wasn't perfect.

as a first season for growing melons that actually made it to ripeness in time i considered it a great success and i hope to repeat it this coming season.
 

WildBird

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What specifically have your problems been growing them?
We just get super tiny fruits. After reading through everyone's posts, I think it may be because of heavy soil and not starting them early enough. But I started them a month or so early and they are in loose soil right now!

Thanks every one for the tips and advice! Good luck in your own gardens this year!
 

ducks4you

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You should start them indoors NOW and transplant next month. They ARE native, but you probably are planting them directly late. I am putting in pumpkin seeds in the next week outdoors.
ALSO, amend your soil. The easiest way is to rake up and rake IN grass clippings.
If you have Any leftover leaves that need to be cleaned up, please use those, too.
Leaves are one of the best soil amenders.
Darwin observed that earthworms create about an inch of soil/year from leaves left alone sitting on top of rock/soil/undisturbed.
One of the BEST ways to fix your soil, especially if you or a friend has a truck, is to buy "rained on hay." Hay grown for horses cannot be easily sold if it has been rained on, and other livestock owners don't care for it, either, so it's a waste.
Still, a hay grower may search for a buyer, and it breaks down very easily.
Don't be concerned right now about seeds, bc it won't be going to seed until July/August.
You won't need more than 4 bales for a good sized garden area, and you can plant potatoes and squash directly in it.
 
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flowerbug

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We just get super tiny fruits. After reading through everyone's posts, I think it may be because of heavy soil and not starting them early enough. But I started them a month or so early and they are in loose soil right now!

Thanks every one for the tips and advice! Good luck in your own gardens this year!

heavy soils you must be sure to water enough to keep the moisture levels up high enough. we have mostly clay where we normally grow some of our squash and they do much better when given regular watering (about every two or three days) if it hasn't rained enough. melons the same. i had them planted last year in fairly compact garden soil here of mostly clay and they did great. just made sure they got watered enough. :)

thanks! hope you get some good squash and melons this year.
 
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