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Melons, Squash and Pumpkins

Posted by stuffradio SW 8a BC (My Page) on
Sun, May 6, 12 at 14:54

My Watermelon and cantaloupe plants are a couple inches tall now. My Dill's Atlantic Giant pumpkin just sprouted today. How soon should I start hardening to plant at the end of the month or beginning of next?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Melons, Squash and Pumpkins

In zone 8 you can plant them outside now, so harden them off immediately. Squash don't transplant well once they have more than just their seed leaves. Leaving them in pots for a months is far too long. I'm in zone 7 and planted a lot of squash today.

RE: Melons, Squash and Pumpkins

Yeah, I'm in zone 7 and I planted my pumpkins and watermelons out in the yard weeks ago. These things root like crazy, so you can't keep them in pots for more than about how long it takes them to sprout.

RE: Melons, Squash and Pumpkins

My zone 8 is different. Temperatures are still dipping below 50, and we are only just starting to get to about 70F from time to time.

RE: Melons, Squash and Pumpkins

I don't know where in BC you are but in Langley, BC the Farmer's Almanac suggests that you direct seed squash Apr 26-May 3 and a week later for the melons. This area is also in zone 8. Temps below 50, while not ideal, won't kill your plants. Below 40 is when I start worrying. You just need warm soil for the seeds to germinate.

Whatever the case you shouldn't leave a squash transplant in a pot for a month is all I am saying. You should plant the seed 10 - 12 days before you expect to be able to plant outside, if you can't direct seed which is preferred. Leaving them in a pot too long can stunt their growth and negate the effects of transplanting. If you know you won't be planting outside for a month I encourage you to keep the plant you have now going, start another 10 - 12 days before you intend to plant, and direct seed a third and observe the differences in growth, consider it a fun experiment.

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