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General information and discussion about cultivating melons, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and gourds.

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Old April 14, 2022   #1
tam91
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Default Talk to me about viney things please

So this year, I am getting a new garden area just for growing viney stuff that people want that I won't put in my main garden haha.

I'm planning to plant:

Watermelons (Sangria, and a seedless variety)
Honeyrock Melons
Zucchini
Summer squash
Various winter squash
Straight 8 cucumber

I'm feeling a bit clueless here. How does one space this stuff out? Do I just let these vines sort of overlap each other? There will be nothing else there, so I guess they're free to make a vine jungle.

They do have to stay within their plot or they will end up getting mowed. I find comflicting info on how long vines get.

Can anyone give me some general advice?

I might put down ground cloth - this area gets a LOT of weeds and I cannot weed the jungle. Or would straw blanket or something work?

Oh and specific question - how many watermelons might I expect to get from one Sangria watermelon plant?

Thanks!
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Old April 14, 2022   #2
MrsJustice
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I will make some notes for you as I grow all of these on my 3rd mini Farm. Do you have high hills or a ditch anywhere in this area?
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Old April 14, 2022   #3
gardenmermaid
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I would space items that make big vines, like squash at least a couple of feet apart. I space zucchini hills about 3 feet because they are too hard to reach the fruit without stepping on vines. 2 plants per hill. After trying to harvest sprawled cucumbers once, I now always provide something for them to climb on. They are just to hard to harvest without stepping on plants and fruit, and it is too easy to miss a fruit, then it gets too ripe and the vines stop producing. In a pinch I will use those small tomato cages, but my favorite supports are teepee-style sticks with string or more sticks going across the support sticks every 6 or 8 inches. I can build these supports quickly and for free with any sticks pruned off my own trees or I have also foraged through neighbor's trimming piles. I get compliments on how they look once the cucumber vines get going. I space 3 or 4 support legs for the supports about a foot apart, pushing the sticks a few inches into the ground, then I tie the tops together. I plant one cucumber by each pole and one more in the middle. Sometimes I plant nasturtium between the cucumber plants, but only one per teepee so things don't get too crowded.
As for winter squash, I like to use them as living mulch in areas I don't want to weed or water much. You can use them 3 sisters style with sunflowers or corn. I planted them in an unused RV pad full of rocks that grows lots of weeds and a few blackberry and currant plants. I raked back the rocks to make a few 2 foot diameter circles and made piles of aged manure and compost, planted the squash and then mulched with grass clippings and wood chips. I watered daily until the plants were established and then only twice a week after that. The squash plants got huge and vines out several feet in all directions which helped with water retention and weed reduction.
I have used squash around trees before and ended up with Cinderella pumpkins hanging from tree branches, which made unusual but amusing decorations. The vines will climb whatever they can.
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Old April 15, 2022   #4
paradajky
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Depending on the size of your space, you might want to consider growing the vines vertically using lower and lean system. It's actually fairly simple to build, cost can be minimal and is determined by size, what you have at hand, which type you build (I spent $115 to build three 20ft long rows for all the material except some scrap wood). Sadly my garden failed last year so I couldn't see the trellis in action. In theory this would work really well for your cucumbers. Melons and such may need something sturdier?



There are a ton of variations of this method, videos and how-to's on the internet, I sort of combined them all into one that worked for me regarding area, budget and ease. It took about two weeks research, an hour to get what I needed, no more than 3 hours to build (most of the time was spent hammering in the rebar). Finally, 2 hours spent making the hooks because the internet was out of the pre-made ones (cost was almost identical, too, which was a bummer).



If you are interested, I'm happy to share my steps and provide a materials list.
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Old April 19, 2022   #5
MrsJustice
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Thank you for the good advice and methods.
I just want to add; that my watermelons 'Moons and Star " grow uphill because water drains at the bottom of the small ditch which gives my Watermelon good strength, shape, and taste. Also, my Winter Squashes change shape growing on a trellis. My Zucchini & Summer squash needs an upright position.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tam91 View Post
So this year, I am getting a new garden area just for growing viney stuff that people want that I won't put in my main garden haha.



Can anyone give me some general advice?

I might put down ground cloth - this area gets a LOT of weeds and I cannot weed the jungle. Or would straw blanket or something work?

Oh and specific question - how many watermelons might I expect to get from one Sangria watermelon plant?

Thanks!
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Old April 27, 2022   #6
tam91
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Thanks everyone!
I haven't been given my space yet, so don't know exactly what it will look like - but 99% sure it will just be flat.

This is a secondary garden, and kind of out in a field, so I will not be building fancy supports for these - there should be lots of room to sprawl, at least I hope so.

I have Sangria watermelon, some seedless variety, Honeyrock melon, zucchini, summer squash, straight 8 cucumbers, and squash going. squash, hmm trying to remember - honeynut, butternut, buttercup, turks turban, celebration, and 1 of some sort of wierd blue pumpkin

Jungle LOL
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Old April 27, 2022   #7
MrsJustice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tam91 View Post
Thanks everyone!
I haven't been given my space yet, so don't know exactly what it will look like - but 99% sure it will just be flat.

This is a secondary garden, and kind of out in a field, so I will not be building fancy supports for these - there should be lots of room to sprawl, at least I hope so.

I have Sangria watermelon, some seedless variety, Honeyrock melon, zucchini, summer squash, straight 8 cucumbers, and squash going. squash, hmm trying to remember - honeynut, butternut, buttercup, turks turban, celebration, and 1 of some sort of wierd blue pumpkin

Jungle LOL
If you have a very large flat area: using landscaping material on both sides will be good without cutting the fabric with your Viney Vegetables growing in the middle. A year down the road, remember to rotate to keep your soil healthy. Depending on your soil maybe 2 years. I will be planting my Green Strip Cushaw at the bottom of a hill to grow upwards today following my planned rotation. Believe it or not: the Rain helped me plant my corn transplants yesterday.
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