It depends to some extent on the cultivar because the problem is not so much
the spacing of the hills (about 5ft apart) which the seed supplier should
give you, but the fact that the vines ramble. Last summer I had three hills
of pumpkins so you might say they needed 5ft X 15 ft but the vines spread
over at least twice that area. In the end the extremities went under a wire
fence and were pruned by the horses.
Different types have different habits in their spreading and in the tendency
to put down extra roots along the vine. In general allow more space rather
than less or you could face the dilema of having them over-run the
neighbouring plants or having to be cut back.
Thanks for the info David. I have another question concerning
Fertilizer, How much and when. This is my first year with these and I
guess I should have done a bit more research before planting!!!!
They are fairly heavy feeders. How much fertiliser you add depends on how
well you prepared the plot. Even if you added lots of manure and organic
matter then some side dressings of rotted manure or all round fertiliser
every 4-6 weeks once they start to grow would still be good but don't go mad
and overdo each dose. If the soil is not well prepared then go a bit
heavier with compost or other organic material under the mulch, just don't
burn them with raw manure or too much chemical fertiliser. And mulch heavily
to keep down weeds and save water, once they start running they are a bugger
to weed in amongst. Every weed is using up nutrients and water that should
go to your crop. Mulch is also good as it keeps the fruit off the ground
which keeps them cleaner and reduces the chance of rot in wet weather.
How much room do you actually have for them?
Thanks for the pointers! I'm pretty much covered on the mulch and
compost part, just didn't know if I needed to compensate with other
liquid-based fertilizers or soil inserts.
Currently I'm growing them in between rows of Mammoth Grey-Stripes.
I've made sure to have a good size mound and plenty of sun. I'm not
that concerned if they stray too far out of bounds as this will only
give me an excuse for not mowing such parts this Summer!
I've not measured the area per say, but I estimate it at 14 ft long by
4 feet wide. Got 8 pumpkin seedlings and 8 congo watermelon seedlings,
which I plan to thin to about 3 of each variety as time progresses.
(Forgot to state I have two "areas" of such, this would be out front,
and in the back I got a slightly smaller version. Since my land
slants, the row of vines is at a higher level than the sunflowers,
giving them plenty of sun.)
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