Cucurbit Cheat Sheet

Here’s a Cucurbit cheat sheet for #seedsavingformarketgrowers

These are the 6 most common cucurbit species in market gardens.

If you grow two crops of the same species. They will cross pollinate together. For better or worse. (In the case of Squash – mostly for the worst.)

But if you grow two cucurbits of different species side by side, they will not cross.

So if you have these 6 cucurbits flowering in your garden at the same time:

  1. Golden Patty Pan  (Cucurbita pepo)
  2. Red Kuri (Cucurbita maxima)
  3. Waltham Butternut  (Cucurbita moschata)
  4. Marketmore 76 cucumber (Cucumis sativus)
  5. Petit Gris de Rennes melon (Cucumis melo) 
  6. Blacktail Mountain watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

They will not cross with each other.

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Cucurbits are some of the easiest seeds to get out of the fruit. And in most cases you can still eat the fruit after you’ve removed the seeds.

And yet crossed up cucurbits can be some of the most frustrating crops to harvest and sell at your market stall.

Each crossed up squash is unique. You don’t know how fibrous, bitter, or sweet it might be until you’ve tried it.

Melons and watermelons are a lot more forgiving – they are likely to still be sweet, even if you can’t vouch for the colour inside.

So, though I love crossing seeds up and seeing what you get, in the case of Cucurbits, I recommend you stick to one variety per species.

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And this wraps up cucurbits – let’s move on to a few more crossers …


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