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# per square for melons?

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# per square for melons?

Post  TheVickster on 2/22/2011, 1:15 pm

I noticed Mel's first book listed one per square for melons. However, in the All New SFG he recommends one per 2 squares. Currently I have allocated an 18"x 1' square for each of my melons/pumpkins. Anyone out there have much experience with this? Trellis space is maxed out in my garden plan . . . However, I am quite excited to try some melons/pumpkins this year, so if I absolutely need to make more room I probably could (tomatoes would most likely be banished to large pots, not sure about cukes . . .). Any input is greatly appreciated! :?:

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  elliephant on 2/22/2011, 3:35 pm

One thing I've done is to build trellises that extend 1 foot beyond my beds (8 foot beds, 10 foot trellis centered on the bed). Then I can use the outer squares for things that need some extra room. Might not be something you can do at this point, but wanted to throw the idea out there.

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# per square for melons?

Post  TheVickster on 2/22/2011, 5:21 pm

Aha, nice idea. Not all of my trellises are constructed - I just might try it. Thanks for the tip! flower

Do you think the main concern is the spreading of vines? I'm wondering if the roots would be happy in my slightly smaller area . . .

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  Megan on 2/22/2011, 5:26 pm

I think you will want much more room that that.... unless you are a VERY aggressive pruner! Pumpkins can get big. So can melons. (And squash. Shocked )

It is the vine space that is the concern.

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# per square for melons?

Post  TheVickster on 2/22/2011, 9:01 pm

OK, vines are the issue - got it. I think I can deal with that. I may relocate a few other things just to be safe . . . and read up on pruning! *ha* Thanks much!

The seeds I ordered from Baker Creek arrived today - woo-hoo! The ground hogs couldn't have picked a better year to predict an early spring. I am soooo ready.

Very Happy

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  kimbertangleknot on 2/22/2011, 9:11 pm

I grew a melon in a 1X16 planter. It did well, but not as well as it could have, due to a few lack of watering situations. My plan this year has 2 different pumpkins and 2 different melons, each of the taking up two squares. I'm not planning on letting more than a few flowers develop. My reason for this is I'm planing them in the front of my beds and I'm going to let them vine out to the ground. Given a chance, they will take over, best to make sure they are in a place that won't shade any square that NEEDS a lot of sun. However, if you have a crop that would benefit from a little shade plant it near them.

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Here's what I mean.

Post  Megan on 2/23/2011, 4:31 am

A vining squash plant that seems manageable in early July.....


...can be downright scary, come the end of September!

(It looks so leafy on the ground in front, because that vine is doubled back on itself 3 times. What you can't really see in the picture is that the vines got into the side landscaping and the back SFG box, all the way to the foundation. Had to pull a few sections out of the siding itself.)

Granted, it's a big squash plant...but some pumpkins can dwarf this. Please don't let this scare you into avoiding trying growing something you want. Just consider pruning. Very Happy

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  elliephant on 2/23/2011, 9:27 am

Megan,

I'm probably crazy, but I've planted Tromboncino Laughing
It's got 2 squares at the end of the bed (well, four, really, since the front square will be empty by the time it gets big), with a 7 foot trellis...then there's about 3-4 feet separating that from what I call a "weed tree"...some volunteer tree/bush thing that I've been pruning back as much as possible and would kill if I could...at this point it's a couple of 4-5 inch diameter sticks going up about 10 feet in the air...can't wait to see the vines climb it! And then there's just a narrow strip between the house and fence for a good 30 feet or so... hopefully plenty of space for it to run around and be all that it can be during our long season! Hoping to have good pics to share!

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  FarmerValerie on 2/23/2011, 9:34 am

Megan, if I could get a squash plant to live long enough to grow like that I would have videos of me doing the Happy Happy Joy Joy dance, Squash bugs kill mine before July is half over. BUT I am armed and ready this year, I have everything organic that I have read about in my arsenal except one, a cover crop that discourages them-ya right I had a picture somewhere of those darn things crawling all over my Marigolds last year and lost the picture. I am still contemplating a box not in my growing area just for squash plants and bugs with no maintenance, and burn them when the bugs get there.

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  Megan on 2/23/2011, 10:03 am

@elliephant wrote:Megan,

I'm probably crazy, but I've planted Tromboncino Laughing
Um, Ellie...you do realize those ARE photos of Tromboncino, aka Rampicante, right? ;-) Good luck!!

FarmerValerie, I feel your pain. I lost both my watermelon and my other squash plant to bugs and/or ??. I want to try again this year with a new variety of squash as well as the existing sorts. Last year I did break down and use Neem oil, but that was mostly as a rear-action battle to try to keep my cucumbers alive. All sorts of horrible things happened to the rampicante, but it seemed to just keep trucking.

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  elliephant on 2/23/2011, 10:20 am

@Megan wrote:
@elliephant wrote:Megan,

I'm probably crazy, but I've planted Tromboncino Laughing
Um, Ellie...you do realize those ARE photos of Tromboncino, aka Rampicante, right? ;-) Good luck!!

All sorts of horrible things happened to the rampicante, but it seemed to just keep trucking.

Yup! I figure that's just the plant I need for my conditions. I'm also planting Tatume, which one review described as "virtually bombproof." So far I just get my squash to the point that they start producing, then succumb to powdery mildew (despite neem oil) and/or viruses.

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  Megan on 2/23/2011, 10:23 am

@elliephant wrote:
Yup! I figure that's just the plant I need for my conditions. I'm also planting Tatume, which one review described as "virtually bombproof." So far I just get my squash to the point that they start producing, then succumb to powdery mildew (despite neem oil) and/or viruses.
I did have some powdery mildew, but it seemed fairly resistant. The biggest trouble I seemed to have was that the cuke beetles seemed to like to scrape off the very top layer of fruit skin to, I don't know, suck at the juice? (Rampicante fruit seeps liquid like you would not believe when it's nicked.) It doesn't seem to hurt it severely when the fruit are large enough, but I did lose some smaller ones that way. The good part is that if you can get the plant big enough, you can loose a dozen or more squash and never miss them.

Don't mistake the plant's natural marking for powdery mildew, by the way. My avatar is my rampicante with early leaves (maybe 2nd or 3rd true leaves); the silvery markings are normal. (It worried me at first.)

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# per square for melons?

Post  TheVickster on 2/23/2011, 5:55 pm



Granted, it's a big squash plant...but some pumpkins can dwarf this. Please don't let this scare you into avoiding trying growing something you want. Just consider pruning. Very Happy[/quote]

Thanks for the perspective . . . I think . . .

Just kidding. My melons and pumpkin are some of the things I am most excited for - my mouth is watering already. I don't think anything could dampen my enthusiasm. After seeing your pics I am less fearful of pruning; looks like it would be hard to harm the 'Cousin It' of the garden. *giggle*

My first attempt last year with 2 melons met with an early demise. One watermelon and one cantaloupe got to be about the size of softballs and then everything came to a screeching halt. I did some reading over the winter and my best guess is mosaic wilt. Last year my cukes, summer and winter squash, and tomatoes probably perished due to extreme heat (120F). Needless to say I have found a cooler spot for them this year.

So, I'll be quite happy if my stuff grows to be half the size of yours!

Wink

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  Megan on 2/23/2011, 6:47 pm

Best wishes, Vickster! Very Happy

I had an awful time with my cukes even though they were quite delicious. I was late in recognizing cucumber beetles and they met an early demise. And I didn't get nearly as many tomatoes as I wanted, but oh, boy, were they delicious. So, just trying again this year! Smile

I tried growing pumpkins last year, but I put them in too late (4th of July). They might have had a shot except I had to tear everything out by October 1. I want to try them again this year.

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  Odd Duck on 2/24/2011, 12:00 pm

I've had pretty decent luck with growing mini-melons. The vines tend to be a bit better behaved than some of the larger versions. I've also crowded mini-squash (Sweet Lightening is delish!) fairly close, but I think they would do better with more room. I'm starting to think that crowding them closer together made it easier for the the dreaded SVB to hit them all once they found them. I'm determined to beat the SVB this year!

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  elliephant on 2/24/2011, 12:26 pm

@Odd Duck wrote:I've had pretty decent luck with growing mini-melons. The vines tend to be a bit better behaved than some of the larger versions. I've also crowded mini-squash (Sweet Lightening is delish!) fairly close, but I think they would do better with more room. I'm starting to think that crowding them closer together made it easier for the the dreaded SVB to hit them all once they found them. I'm determined to beat the SVB this year!

This article on Tatume squash in Aggie Horticulture says that it "is hardy and productive, and usually almost immune to the squash borer insect (Melitta curcurbitae, a clear-wing moth), which makes it a reliable garden vegetable in infested areas. " Baker Creek has it, or I'd be happy to send you a few seeds if you want to give it a try.

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  Odd Duck on 2/24/2011, 12:40 pm

@elliephant wrote:This article on Tatume squash in Aggie Horticulture says that it "is hardy and productive, and usually almost immune to the squash borer insect (Melitta curcurbitae, a clear-wing moth), which makes it a reliable garden vegetable in infested areas. " Baker Creek has it, or I'd be happy to send you a few seeds if you want to give it a try.

That's getting ordered ASAP! Thanks for the tip!

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  Megan on 2/24/2011, 12:51 pm

@TheVickster wrote:After seeing your pics I am less fearful of pruning; looks like it would be hard to harm the 'Cousin It' of the garden. *giggle*

When my plants were little I was walking practically on eggshells around them. I grew up on a farm, but it's been a long, long time.... so when the wind broke off the top of my pole beans I nearly cried, and I was all freaked out when I stepped on part of my squash vine and heard it go "crunch" under my foot. But plants are extremely resilient critters, especially given good soil (you've got the best!) and some care. I've read stories here on the forum about how tomatoes in full vine were hit by severe T-storms and managed to come back from looking like a pile of shredded lettuce.

So, delight in those first seed leaves!, try not to fret if a leaf or branch snaps off, and prune wisely if you need to.... chances are you'll get somewhere with it, and if not, it's only seeds. Smile

Oh, and FarmerValerie, rampicante is supposed to be SVB immune also. When I finally pulled mine in October it had a hole straight through the stem so something had been at it, but whatever it was didn't stop it from reaching almost 300 feet of vine.

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Re: # per square for melons?

Post  FarmerValerie on 2/25/2011, 8:52 am

I just got my Pyola in the mail yesterday. I have a spray with Pyrethrins (sp) I got from Lowe's (noticed they don't have it this year), am going to get spray bottles for pepper spray, and dish washing liquid (watered down) spray, and going to get some Surround to spray also. I cannot spray the Pyola on days above 90 degrees (end of June thru Sept. here), so I need to have them under control by then so I can just maintain. I did not have SVB's but had Squash Bugs, and one has already been spotted this year and a Cucumber Beetle landed on my arm while I was planting my broccoli & cabbage as if to say THANK YOU, I just chuckled and thought "Just wait". It flew away before I could smash it though.

On a totally different note, I have discovered I am highly allergic to onions at any stage. I was almost over the attack of the allergens yesterday, and hubby encouragingly reminded me I needed to get the rest of the onions in the ground, I had to quit before they were all done, I could not see nor breath, so I went to bed. I hope they earn their keep and help keep the stupid squash bugs down to a minimum.

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