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2022 Midwest Vegetable Guide

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Cucurbit Crops – Horticulture Midwest Veg Guide 2022 121 Wayfarer) do not have stripes, but rather a pure dark green rind. A unique rind pattern called moon and star has golden- yellow spots on a deep green background. Seed companies have successfully bred both seedless and seeded watermelons with the moon and star patterns. The shapes of most large watermelons are blocky or oblong, while mini watermelons tend to be round. Although watermelons with red flesh are most familiar, yellow, orange and white-fleshed varieties are available. Varieties include Orange Crisp (orange, seedless), Amarillo (yellow, seedless) and Cream of Saskatchewan (white, seeded). Table of Watermelon Varieties Resistance to Fusarium Wilt Inclusion of the varieties in the table below does not imply endorsement of criticism of any variety or company. Refer to company literature for information on host resistance claims. The resistance ratings provided here are averages based on several years of greenhouse research. In that research, each watermelon variety was observed after receiving an artificial inoculation with a race 1 strain of the disease. ++++ = good resistance; +++ = moderate resistance; ++ = some resistance; + = little or no resistance. Variety Type Resistance Ace Pollenizer + Afternoon Delight Seedless +1/2 Companion Pollenizer +++1/2 Crunchy Red Seedless ++ Distinction Seedless ++++ Fascination Seedless ++++ Fiesta Regular ++1/2 Indiana Seedless ++ Jenny Pollenizer/ Regular ++1/2 Liberty Seedless ++ Palomar Seedless + Matrix Seedless +++1/2 Melody Seedless +++ Mickey Lee Pollenizer/ Regular ++1/2 Pinnacle Pollenizer +1/2 Polimax 6017 Pollenizer ++ Regency Pollenizer/ Regular ++++ Revolution Seedless + Royal Sweet Regular ++ Sidekick Pollenizer +++1/2 SP-5 Pollenizer ++++ Summer Sweet 5244 Seedless ++ Summer Sweet 7167 Seedless + SW 4502 Seedless +1/2 Trillion Seedless +1/2 Triple Threat Seedless +++ Tri-X 313 Seedless +1/2 Troubadour Seedless + Vagabond Seedless +++1/2 Planting and Spacing All cucurbits should be planted after the danger of frost is past, unless frost protection is used, because they are not frost-tolerant. Air temperatures below 50° F cause chilling injury and so it is best to wait until minimum temperatures are above that. For proper germination of direct-seeded crops, soil temperature must be above 60° F. Planting too early (when the soil is too cold and wet) results in poor seedling emergence. Cucumbers for fresh market: Rows 4 to 6 feet apart. Plants 15 to 18 inches apart in row. Cucumber pickles for machine harvest: Rows 18 to 20 inches apart. Plants 5 to 7 inches apart in row. Maximum cucumber yields and fruit quality result only if plants receive adequate and timely moisture. Depending on your soil type, obtaining high-quality cucumbers requires approximately 1 to 2 inches of water per week. An irregular water supply, particularly during blossoming and fruit development, can negatively affect fruit quality and result in increased nubs or hooked fruit. Melons: Rows 5 to 7 feet apart. Plants 3 to 5 feet apart in row. 1 to 2 plants per hill. Plastic mulch is recommended. Clear mulch is suggested only for earliest plantings in northern areas. Melons are moderately deep rooted and require adequate soil moisture with good drainage. Natural rainfall may not be adequate, so supplemental irrigation may be required, particularly in the early stages of growth. When irrigating, irrigate the soil in the effective root zone to field capacity. A good, steady moisture supply is critical for good melon production. After melons have attained a good size, it is best to reduce irrigation. Reduced irrigation at this time can, in some cases, increase the mature fruit's sugar content. Excessive moisture during fruit ripening can result in soft and split fruit. Pumpkins and Squash – bush types: Rows 4-6 feet apart. Plant 18-24 inches apart in row. Seed: 4-6 pounds per acre. Pumpkins and Squash – vining types: Rows 6-8 feet apart. Plant 2-5 feet apart in row. Seed: 2-3 pounds per acre. Watermelons: Rows 6 to 12 feet apart. Plants 3 to 6 feet apart in row. One plant per hill. Plastic mulch is recommended for all transplanted watermelons. Watermelons – mini or "personal-sized": Rows 6 to 10 feet apart. Plants 1.5 to 2 feet apart in row to allow 12 to 15 square feet per plant. Pumpkins, winter squash, and watermelons are deep-rooted plants, so natural rainfall often is adequate, and irrigation may not be cost effective on heavier soils. Adequate soil moisture in the early growth stages will help ensure vigorous growth. Soil moisture also is critical during blossoming and fruit development.

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