How to tell cantaloupe, cucumber and honey dew plants apart

I planted by seed this year and didn't do a good job of marking which was which. What I thought were watermelon plants, clearly aren't. They have leaves like cucumbers but seem to be in clusters, rather than alternate. They also have stronger points on the leaves than cucumbers.
My hope is that I'm growing something other than just cukes! Not a big deal as eventually I will know! It seems like there should be a cucurbit taxonomy reference, but I can't find it.
Jeff
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Jeff Thies wrote:

While your cucurbit seedlings may look slightly different (or not) it is very hard to say which is which unless you have a known exemplar to compare against, even then they may be so similar that you cannot be sure. There is no simple rule like 'all cucumbers have a ....." or 'all watermelons lack ....' You will probably have to wait until they grow up when the differences are clearer.
You should pay closer attention in future as they don't grow to the same size and you should allow for this when planting if you don't want your pumpkin to stomp on everything else.
David
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With grapes you need to see the flower, the cluster, and the seeds. A tall order in spring.
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wrote:

When we bought our last muscadines we got them in the fall. We asked the owner of the nursery about which were muscadines (purple) and which were scuppernongs (bronze). He said they are out in the side area and many have grapes on them. So we looked around and sampled some of the grapes and bought the ones we liked the taste of. Only way to buy them.
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Seems like you bit off a big one.
The book you want is Cucurbits (Crop Production Science in Horticulture) (Paperback) ~ D Decker-Walters (Author), R W Robinson (Author) <(Amazon.com product link shortened) />/ 0851991335>
My library doesn't have it, and at $60, Amazon is out of stock.
http://delta-intkey.com/angio/ looks like it could be useful, but I'm out of my league with it.
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Billy wrote:

It is an odd thing isn't it, I couldn't figure it out either.
I suppose the thing to do, as David suggested is to better mark them. Sharpie on peat pot was a bad idea, as was photographing the trays with the seed envelopes adjacent. I suppose those plastic sticks and a sharpie is the way to go.
It is remarkable how similar the leaves are, and looking at pics online is hopeless.
On another note, I just ran across this from UA:
http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/indexes/anrho.php
I mention that only as a resource that is extensive and readable. You seem to collect those!
Jeff
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wrote:

I finally figured out a way to mark plants. I always use separated trays and plant a row or more of 6. http://preview.tinyurl.com/265e7xe The row gets a label. The label is a popsickle stick written in dark pencil or ink. When I move the seedlings into a larger tray each plant gets a marker. I keep the markers with the plant at least until I get them into the ground. That way I do not plant all acorn squash instead of zucchini (green and yellow), butternut, cucumbers and watermelon. Once they are in the ground I don't worry about it. I will know for sure when they start fruiting. I plant my cucumbers around a 5' tomato cage.
I am somewhat obsessive about my tomatoes. I plant many varieties and it can be hard to tell the difference between the various Romas or the red slicers. I track the yield on each variety to see which ones do the best here and which ones we think taste best. I print out a plot and try to be very careful as I plant. I keep a copy of it in a plastic sleeve pinned to one of the cages. I do it on the computer so I can always make another copy if needed.
I said it was obsessive.
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<http://www.public.iastate.edu/~taber/Extension/Vegetable%20Seedling%20Id entification.pdf>
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
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Bill who putters wrote:

That's good thanks
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

I agree. Although it is is still damn hard to see the difference between cucumbers and musk melons! The article is well worth a hard copy.
Jeff

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