Vegetables That Take Over Your Garden

Cucumber vines can spread 8 feet in every direction.
They are a warm weather vegetable that loves full sun.
Conserve space by training your vines to climb your fence or better yet build a decorative trellis.

Cucumber plants make two basic types of fruit, those for slicing and those for pickling. Pickling varieties seem to reach their peak faster than slicing varieties.
Depending on your variety, planting to your first harvest will be about 65 to 100 days.

Plant four or five cucumber seeds in 1 foot diameter circles(small hills) with hills 5 to 6 feet apart.
Keep soil evenly moist to prevent the fruit from becoming bitter.
Side dress cucumber plants about 4 weeks after planting. Use about one tablespoon of 5-10-10 or similar fertilizer per plant in a narrow band along each row or around hills.

Butternut squash, yellow summer squash and acorn squash. are warn season, full sun loving plants.
* Yellow summer squash will need 4 feet or more for its vine to spread for your best crop. Plant in hills spaced six feet apart.
* Butternut squash will spread 12 to 15 feet. Plant in hills 8 to 12 feet apart.
* Acorn squash squash will spread 10 to 12 feet. Plant in hills 6 to 10 feet apart.

Plant 5 or 6 seeds 1/2 – 3/4 inch deep in each hill. After seedlings set their first true leaves thin leaving your 3 best plants.
Keep soil evenly moist to produce large fruit.
Side dress plants about 4-6 weeks after planting. Use about one tablespoon of 5-10-10 or similar fertilizer per plant.

Home garden Pumpkin vineClick to enlarge picture Pumpkins come in many sizes and colors, however all of them are garden space hogs.
Pumpkins require a minimum of 50 to 100 square feet per hill. Plant seeds one inch deep, four or five seeds per hill. Allow 8 to 10 feet between hills or spaced in rows 10 to 15 feet apart. When the young plants are well established, thin each hill to the best two or three plants.

Water if a dry period occurs in early summer. Pumpkins tolerate short periods of hot, dry weather pretty well. However, to produce the largest fruits, water by applying at least 1 inch of water weekly.

To grow monster pumpkins that may weigh more than 100 pounds. Select one of the jumbo variety seed.
Plant in early June and allow 150 square feet or more per hill. Thin each hill to the best one or two plants.
Use about one tablespoon of 5-10-10 or similar fertilizer per plant every 4 weeks during your growing season.
High fertility, proper insect control and shallow cultivation are essential to grow monster pumpkins.

Remove the first two or three female flowers after the plants start to bloom so that the plants grow larger with more leaf surface before setting fruit.
Allow a single fruit to develop and pick off all female flowers that develop after this fruit has set on the plant.

Do not allow the vine to root down at the joints, developing fruit on these varieties develop so quickly and grow so large that they may actually break from the vine as they expand on a vine that is anchored to the ground.

Bees, that are necessary for pollinating squash and pumpkins, may be killed by insecticides. New blossoms open each day and bees land inside open blossoms, bees must be safe from contact with any insecticides.

Hint: How to Identify female from male pumpkin flowers.
Click to enlarge picture
pumpkin flowers

Melons like watermelon, cantaloupe, musk melon and honeydew are all space and water hungry plants.
All like full sun locations and warm weather. Soil temperatures should be 70F to 85F at planting time.
Plant 5 or 6 melon seed on hills 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep. Space hills 6 to 8 feet apart. Thin seedlings keeping 2 or 3 of your strongest plants.

Provide 1 inch or more of water weekly and side dress with about 1 tablespoon of NPK 5-10-10 fertilizer at about 40-45 day intervals throughout the growing season to produce an abundant crop of melons.

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5 responses to “Vegetables That Take Over Your Garden

  1. I would like to see pics of your trellises if you ever want to post them. We have a metal shop about 2 miles up the road if I have ideas, I can get him to make it. We get 100+ days in summer also, but only 2-3 weeks of them. Usually no higher than 115. The leaves on our exterior tomatoes will get droopy by mid-afternoon heat, but they pick back up by about 7pm (when temps are back to decent). We run drip lines everywhere so we can spot water as needed. Hate to waste anything-especially water! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t have a phone with camera, so I will get a set of AA batteries for my old digital camera and snap a picture or two of some of my portable trellises.
      With such a short growing season, starting your own seedling must be a real benefit.
      I have about 210-220 frost free days. Near 100 days when the temperatures are in the 90’s and 30 of those days can be in the low 100’s.
      More than the heat, our normally low humidity is a real killer. Days with 10-20 percent humidity, 95 degree temperatures and a 5-10 MPH wind can evaporate 3/4 – 1 inch of moisture from my garden soil everyday.
      Container plants must be watered 2 and some 3 times a day to survive.

      Happy Gardening


  2. Now I know how to keep my cucumbers from becoming bitter 🙂


  3. I love your blog info – do you do vertical gardening? If yes, would you share some of those with us? I am working on DIY trellising for a number of our veggies this year and would love to see how others do it – what works and what doesn’t. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a welder by trade, so most of my trellises have been metal. I have used common things like chain link fence wire, live stock panels and decorative ones I have made much like the 1900’s wrought iron.
      As for true vertical gardening, NO, considering the small amount of soil used and my normal dry air, 100+ degree summer days a vertical garden would need to be on an automatic or manual 2 or 3 times a day watering schedule.
      Good Luck and Happy Gardening


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