Gardening Articles: Care :: Seeds & Propagation

Planting Vine Crops (page 2 of 2)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Seeds in Rows

Cucumber -- 6 to 8 inches apart

Summer Squash -- 8 to 10 inches apart

Winter Squash -- 10 to 12 inches apart

Pumpkins -- 10 to 12 inches apart

Cantaloupe -- 6 to 8 inches apart

Watermelon -- 6 to 8 inches apart

Transplants

Cucumber -- 8 to 10 inches apart

Summer Squash -- 10 to 12 inches apart

Winter Squash -- 12 to 14 inches apart

Pumpkins -- 12 to 14 inches apart

Cantaloupe -- 8 to 10 inches apart

Watermelon -- 10 to 12 inches apart

Rows or Hills

Cucumber -- 4 to 6 feet apart

Summer Squash -- 4 to 6 feet apart

Winter Squash -- 6 to 10 feet apart

Pumpkins -- 6 to 10 feet apart

Cantaloupe -- 4 to 6 feet apart

Watermelon -- 6 to 8 feet apart

To thin the rows or hills, allow the same spacing as for transplants. Sprouted seeds are spaced exactly like non-sprouted seeds.

Planting Tricks

Planted with vine crops radishes seem to repel some harmful insects, such as cucumber beetles and black flea beetles. Whether it's their sharp odor or because they exude some chemical that insects dislike, radishes work. Plus, they sprout quickly to mark the row, so you won't disturb the germinating seeds when you cultivate around the hills or rows to keep down weeds.

Sprinkle a few radish seeds in each planting spot. Any early maturing variety will do. Leave the radishes in place until they're way beyond the eating stage. Pull them up when you harvest the first small fruits from the vine. As you remove the radishes, you loosen the soil around the base of the plants, leaving good-sized cavities where the radish roots were. These holes become ducts for air and water, keeping the vine roots better supplied.

Radishes are most effective at warding off insects when vine crops are young. This is also when cucumber beetles can do the most damage, spreading disease that can knock out an entire young crop. By the time the radishes lose some of their potency, the vines are strong and well-established.

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