In the last few months I have learned quite a bit about the Cucurbitaceae family of plants. Consisting of nearly a thousand plant species, this family includes, but is not limited to, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, and gourds…to name a few.
While I have been growing my fair share of zucchini and cucumbers, I still have much to learn about this amazing group of plants. With that being said, I have opened the door of curiosity about the other members of this family, especially pumpkins. This fall, I plan to try my hand at growing some and see what I can learn from the experience.
Growing and Care Tips
- Most Cucurbits produce both male and female flowers on the same plant. Cucumbers and zucchini, for example, rely on bees or other pollinators to produce fruit. Be sure to not plant anything to deter them from your garden!
- They are generally prolific producers. So if you are planting a family garden, 1-2 plants would be sufficient, depending on your family’s consumption.
- Harvest fruit regularly to ensure a more productive harvest season. The fruits take a lot of water and nutrients from the plant. Once you start seeing fruit production, focus on regular watering.
- It is possible to over-water this plant family. Watch for signs of over-watering, such as yellowing leaves. Also, take good measure and track the weather to make sure you are watering in accordance with rainfall patterns.
These are only a few tips I have learned to be beneficial to Cucurbits. However, my current knowledge is mostly limited to cucumber and zucchini plants since they are summer crops. Later on this year, I hope to have more information to share, focusing on pumpkins and gourds that will be harvested in the fall.