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.
 
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