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Old March 23, 2008   #1
annecros
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Default Growing Melons and Squash Together?

Is this a horrible idea? I have read in some other forums where people are saying not to grow summer squash or cucumber close to melons, because it will have an effect on the taste of the melon. Is this true? Or is it a myth?

What about cantaloupes and watermelons in the same raised bed?

I'm not up enough on the cucurbits to know what I am doing, and any advice would be appreciated.

TIA.
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Old March 23, 2008   #2
pooklette
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I grow squash, cucumbers and melons in the same bed every year. I have never noticed an 'odd' flavor. I personally doubt the claims that cross polination between the species will readily occur (thus, creating yucky frankenstein fruits.)

This is how I understand things...Varieties of the same species (i.e. some summer squash, winter squash, pumpkins and gourds are part of the Curcubita Pepo species) will cross pollinate. Also, I've heard that some of the closely related Curcubita species (say, Hubbard squash which is C. Maxima and Sweetmeat squash, which is part of the C. Moschata species) can cross too. The only time this is a problem is if you intend to save seeds and grow the individual varieties again the next year. Crossed seeds will produce different/crossed varieties next year. The flavor and appearance of the squash and such in that first year will show no difference.

Most melons are in the Cucumis Melo (melons) or Citrullus Lanatus (watermelon) species. I am under the impression that C. Melo and C. Lanatus don't easily cross with each other or with squash/pumpkin species. In my garden, I have found that to be true and have never experienced any odd results when growing these guys together.
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Old March 23, 2008   #3
shelleybean
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I grow all three together too, for the sake of rotation, and I have never noticed anything wrong with the flavor. I'm kind of short on space so I don't really have a choice but to grow them together.
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Old March 23, 2008   #4
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I grow all three, if not together, but very close. I have never experienced a change in taste, but melons will cross pollinate with melons as will squash with squash.

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Old March 24, 2008   #5
annecros
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Thanks guys, that's what I thought. I also have limited space for them, and wanted them in a rotation on a raised bed that will take tomatoes this Winter.
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Old March 24, 2008   #6
Tomaat
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Hello Annecros,

every plant from the same species group can cross each other. You can tell from their latin name, for instance :
Red Kuri ( Cucurbita Maxima), it's species is Maxima, this means it can cross readily with other C.Maxima squash such as: Gold Nugget, Kabocha, Pottimaron, Chestnut,etc.
Same rule apply to the melon too .
You can grow single melon together with squash without crossing but make sure you only have one type of squash of each species (a C. pepo, a C. maxima, a C. Moschata, a C.Mixta, and a C. Ficifolia).

If you plan to grow more than 1 species of same squash, it is ok for eating but for seeds saving, you need to hand pollinate them for pure seeds purpose.
Hope this help .
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Old March 25, 2008   #7
annecros
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I'll be growing Sugar Baby watermelons, Yellow Straightneck Summer Squash, and Sierra Gold Cantaloupe. I should be fine, right? The only one I might be interested in saving seed from would probably be the Sugar Babies.

I'm new to melon patches - but if successful I have a large area on the east side of the house where the plumbers put in sand to fill after running a sewer line. I'll be looking for more interesting varieties then. I'm thinking some compost and melons, followed by beans, should condition that soil pretty well.
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Old March 25, 2008   #8
macmex
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Default Growing Melons and Squash together

Yes Anne, you shouldn't have any trouble. If you have the necessary isolation difference from others growing these three three crops you should even have pure seed for growing in the future.

George
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