How to sow the cucurbitaceae - 27. March 2019

April is one of the busiest months in the garden. 

After having sowed aubergines, peppers and tomatoes, it's now the best time to start growing all vegetables belonging to the cucurbitaceae family, that is to say: 

- Pumpkins and squashes
- Zucchini
- Cucumbers
- Melons and watermelons

All the members of the cucurbit family can be planted directly outdoors, but they need a minimum temperature of at least 10ºC to grow healthily. Therefore if you think that the temperature might still be falling below 10ºC, it is best to plant them in small pots and to keep them indoors. 

PLANTING INDOORS

To plant indoors, use pots of about 10cm diameter, fill them with seed starting mix and water them, you can then place one seed at the center of the pot, press it down lightly and cover it with about 5mm of soil. 

Place the pots in the greenhouse or behind a window and in 4/5 days you should see the first shoots. 

Once the first leaf appears and the temperature outside allows it (no lower than 10ºC) they can be planted outside. Make sure to protect the young shoots from predators such as birds, slugs and insects by covering them with a fleece. 

Do not sow these seeds any eralier than 3 weeks before you expect to plant them outside or they will grow too much and they will suffer from being transplanted. 

 

SOWING OUTDOORS

If you prefer to sow directy outside, make sure to wait until the temperature are milder (no lower than 10ºC), usually around mid-may. 

Choose your planting site, these plants love the sun and should be protected from wind as they leaves are fairly fragile. As for the soil, choose a place where the soil is rich, or make sure to add compost. 

Keep a distance of 100cm between each plant for pumpkins, zucchini and melons plants and of 50cm for cucumbers plants. 

Once you've sowed, protect the plants from birds, slugs and other critters by covering them with a fleece.

 

Take a look of our video to the the best planting practices