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do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

Posted by michelelc 6B, MA (My Page) on
Thu, May 10, 12 at 9:40

I'm curious what people do? I haven't started any seedlings this year for cucumbers or butternut squash. I am wondering if I should start some seedlings inside, or just wait and direct sow them. I was also thinking of trying direct sowing them sooner than usual, and putting a plastic milk bottle with the bottom cut out over them, to heat the soil up and speed things along. Anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks!
Michele


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

I always start mine outside directly. The plants get leggy really quick indoors.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

Sometimes I sprout mine indoors in 4-inch pots and then move them into the cold frame. Other times I plant directly into the soil with plastic protection of some sort to retain heat and make them sprout.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

outside direct sow. Tried a few years indoors not successful.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

If you transplant them, start them and transplant them out 10-14 days after they germinate. Much longer and you will get leggy plants.

I do it both ways, it just depends on the time of year.

Jay


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

I experimented one year. I started some seeds indoors a few weeks prior to last frost. After last frost, on exactly the same day, I transplanted those seedlings and also direct seeded some seeds. The direct seeded plants very quickly caught up to the transplanted seedlings. I think the shock of being transplanted stunt those types of plants so much there isn't much point.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

In ca I always started in ground. In North Carolina I do both for squash. They probably don't do much better from transplant but I am trying to avoid the squash borer problem we have here. I have never used seedlings for cucs. They go in the ground a little later when the ground is warmer anyway.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

We have a very short season, so I do often start these things inside. I presprout in damp paper towel and then they go into large pots, not cell packs. The giant pumpkins are in three-gallon pots, to give you an idea of what I use. The cukes go into 4" pots. Neither are inside for very long. Once they've broken the soil in the pots, I put them out in the cold frame. From sprouting indoors to transplanting into the ground is no more than three or four weeks, which isn't long, but sometimes it's all I need. I'd warm soil in the garden and direct plant earlier, but often my soil is not workable at that time, so I make do sprouting inside.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

I direct sow. It's still a little early here. I won't start mine until at least Memorial Day. They germinate and grow fast when the soil is warm enough.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

I do both, and like snowgardner, I find the direct seeded plants usually overtake the transplants.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

I start indoors in containers but transplant within a few days of sprouting. Just indoors long enough to make sure they germinate properly, then its off to the garden in a full soil block so that I never touch the roots, and I get no transplant shock at all.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

I do both right next to each other. Like others the direct seeded ones almost always do better. Not sure why I still buy transplants.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

Not cucurbits, but this January I started two flats of onions from seed: Candy and red Bulls Eye. In March, while they were still almost thread-sized, I put them outside to harden off, and some varmint tore through the flat of Candy. So I placed an order for replacement plants, which didn't arrive until later in April.

In the meantime, I had planted out the tiny, tiny seedling red onions. When the Candy transplants arrived, they were much larger than the seedlings. But today, looking at the two rows, I see that my seedlings have overtaken them in size and look healthier.

Makes me think that if I could seed them in the ground, they'd be better yet, except I don't think the season is long enough.


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

Last year I planted 50 cucumbers seeds 50! I had like 100% germination. And almost every single one was eaten. This year I started them in my greenhouse. They now have their second set of leaves and are ready to go out. When new cukes and squash are bug candy so beware!


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RE: do you start cucumbers and squash inside, or direct seed?

Thanks everyone for posting! It was really great to get so many people's different experiences. I think the consensus is to start outside, for the most part. I don't have much room left in my small greenhouse, or much time before direct sowing outside, so I think I'll just wait and direct sow.


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