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Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

Posted by mike1970 5B (My Page) on
Fri, May 1, 09 at 11:01

Hello. I've always seeded squash, cukes, and melons directly into the garden. But they germinate very slowly due to my cool climate (June can be cool here, depending on the wind direction). This year I'd like to germinate them inside under lights and transplant them. I have a heat mat and have started my own tomato plants for the last 3 years. But I know that some vine plants, like cukes, don't like to be confined in pots at a certain stage in their growth.

So I ask, how long before I plan to plant them should I start the seeds? Any other tips you have for those veggies would be helpful. Thanks!

Mike


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

It's almost too late for starting them indoors this year. It'll take a week or two to germinate depending on your seeds, which puts them a quarter to halfway into May before they're even out of the ground. And you want the roots to be filling whatever pot they're in and the plant to have at least two sets of true leaves before you put them in the ground. So I think the earliest you could plant them if you started indoors today would be roughly the start of June, possibly a week or two into the month. And as you note, they have sensitive roots, so transplanting is risky (tip: in addition to making sure they have a nice root ball, soak them well before transplanting)


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

I started sugar baby water melons, container cucumber, regular cucumber and bitter melon indoor on 28th April 2009. I have heating pad under them. Surprisingly, I see that they all have germinated today! Hope they will be ready by mothers day to go outdoor.


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

Wow, seriously? 3 day germination? That's crazy fast!


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

My sugar baby watermelon and cantaloupe seeds germinated in 6 days without any heating pad; another week later they have true leaves


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

I started mine in the greenhouse mid April last year and they became HUGE and unrulely before I could get them outside mid-May. Once planted out, they did ok, but not as well as the direct sown ones years before.
This year I am planting in pots outside (just started this today). They are in an area that will get daily water. The soil in the pots is much warmer than the ground soil so I expect them to sprout faster than in the soil. Planting them in the pots first gives me a little more control, so I don't have to "wait and see" as long if I have an empty spot in the garden.


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

My melons and squash always take at least a week, and sometimes several weeks, to germinate. Perhaps I should give them more heat next time...


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

Yes, this is crazy. Yesterday morning I see them just sprouted, by evening after coming back I see them standing straight about 2 inches. I should have taken pictures. Surprisingly, seeds from the same pack did not germinate at all when planted 4 weeks ago but this time around just 3 days!!! I even posted on this forum on 29th checking the germination time. This time around I guess it is heat. I am all exited, because this is my first time growing WM.


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

Crazy. Yeah, when they want to grow, they can grow fast! :)


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

I just purchased a couple heat mats through eBay and am looking forward to much speedier germination next year. Sometimes the seeds are so pokey that I think maybe they won't come up so I tuck in a couple more. Of course then they ALL come up in the same pot. Geesh. Then good seed goes to waste and some seed is more expensive than others. And it will be a real bonus for those slow-poke peppers!


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

A lot of vegetables you can just put the seed directly into the Garden soil. Most my squash seedling died they needed to get out and still too cold. All my tomatoes seedling died and I have no idea why. I bought very healthy 12 Tomato plants for under $8. I feel foolish wasting all this time and cost on seedlings. The egg plant anf peppers are doing fine. When it comes to seedlings let the professionals do it. It is cheaper and more efficient. Once I wasted $60 of tools and materials not to mention my time and aggrevation to fix a leaky facet and still leaks. A plumper is cheaper. I should listed to my grandmother who said if you have a carpentry job hire a carpenter.


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

FoolishP - sorry you has such a bad experience with your seedlings. This is my 3rd year trying, the first two were not so good. This year with a better light set up I am amazed at the results.Two dozen, foot high heirloom tomato plants, 12 peppers that are flowering, 40 cucumbers that are bigger and healthier than any I have seen at the nursery, 8 healthy eggplant, Snap Peas, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Lettuce and Arugula (that have all be in the ground for 3 weeks) 40 petunia plants that are starting to bloom. And at least a dozen other kinds of vegetables and flowers. I had a few things that didn't germinate well, but all of these plants would definitely cost more than I paid for the lights and seed - and I have loved taking care of them and watching them grow.


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

Mandolls-Thanks for your post. This was my second year starting seeds inside.
The first year, I used a fan on my seedlings at least 15 minutes daily, but forgot this year. We are in a very windy area. I set my pretty plants out for a few hours a few weeks ago and killed off all of them! I then had to go spend a lot of money on plants so that I would have a complete garden this year. What a devastating way to start the garden season ;(
But what a payoff like you had this year it will be to master being self-sufficient and not relying on the nurseries to decide which varieties I should plant in my garden. Plus, at 30, I have a lot of years to benefit from figuring this out.


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RE: Squash, Cucumbers and Melon. When to Start?

How do I post my own question about melons? I just joined this sight today and I do not know much about how to use it. I want to know what kind of melon Cindy Crawford uses in her Meaningful Beauty products. It is a melon found in Europe or some other country, she has said the name of it on TV, but don't remember the name or where it is grown. I would LOVE to grow them myself. Anyone know?


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