Planting Squash-will they cross with each other?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Lady TS, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. Lady TS

    Lady TS Well-Known Member

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    I'm working on my garden plan here since it's raining outside and too wet to do much today. :(

    I have a few varieties of squash I would like to plant this year, but I have a few questions. Here is what I want to plant:

    Dill's Atlantic Giant Pumpkins
    Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins
    Acorn Squash
    maybe Butternut Squash
    Zucchini
    Yellow Squash


    1)Will all of the above cross with each other if I plant them too close? If so, how far apart do I need to plant them from each other?

    2)Also, I want to grow cucumbers, watermelons, and cantaloupe. Any problems planting those close to each other?

    Thanks!
     
  2. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    I don't know if the winter squashes will cross with each other, but I had a yellow summer squah cross with a pumpkin and ended up with a HUGE yellow thing. Pickled it .....sold it at the farmers market. Not all mistakes are bad :)
     

  3. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

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    Your cucumbers, watermelons, and cantaloupes won't cross with each other, or with the squashes.

    Most (if not all) of your squashes are C. pepo, and probably will cross pollinate. Why do you care? Are you planning to save seeds?
     
  4. Lady TS

    Lady TS Well-Known Member

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    Last year I got a yellow squash that was very thick-skinned and hard like a pumpkin. The pumpkins were not far from it. I was wondering if this was a freak thing or if I should have expected it to happen because I planted them that close together. (I had planted a patch of some old seed to see what would come up.)

    As to saving seed-I would like to save seed if I know that they will make the same type squash next year. :)
     
  5. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Whether or not they cross won't affect what grows this season. Next year, if you've saved seed - yes.

    So - if you want to make sure you get pure type seed - bag the female flower before it opens, then hand-pollinate it from a male flower, and keep it bagged until the flower withers. Keep track of that flower/fruit, and save the seeds from it. If you want to be super-careful, bag the male flower as well, so a bee doesn't drop some off-type pollen on it before you use it for pollination.
     
  6. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Which types will mix? Will a summer squash mix with a winter one? I have some yellow summer squash, and some mommoth winter squash. I do want to save seeds. Will I have to cover the flowers on the fruits I save my seed from?
     
  7. violets

    violets Member

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  8. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Unless you bag the flowers as Don says, you have to assume that all squashes will crosss.

    Squash seed are about the cheapest things around, and most families only need a few hills. Why worry about saving seed?

    Of course if you are willing to do the work, you need only one of each type of squash to produce two or three years' worth of seed.
    Ox
     
  9. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    i plan on having my pickling cucumbers grow next to my long salad cucumbers... will these two cross? and if they do, will the fruits at least stay true to type for this season? i wont be saving seed so i don't care about next year.
     
  10. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    JgJ;
    Your cucumbers for this year will be whatever the seeds were. However, if you save seed from them you will have crossed up pickling x salad cukes next year. Yes, they will cross, but it makes no difference to you this year.
    Ox
     
  11. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    thanks ox, for the $1.70, i think i can buy new seeds from the store, in order to not have to worry about cross-breeding and harvesting the seed... i could sell one jar of pickles to pay for the seeds that provide me with the rest of the batch.
     
  12. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    So I gather from all your responses that the huge squash I ended up with came from a seed that was crossed the previous year. My mother never saved seed, she bought from Parks every year, but even back then I might have gotten them from Gurneys when she let me place my own order (I was a young teen when I made my garden monster :) )
     
  13. In short, yes.

    It can happen even with commercially grown seed.

    Or it could have been a really strange mutation which occurs sometimes. Do you have any seed from the squash in question?
     
  14. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    Goodness, no, that was over 20 years ago....but I have been futively trying to make the same mistake since. The recipe just isn't the same with either pumpkin or squash itself.

    So now I know to plant them together in the summer....but whose seed do I then save, the squash or the pumpkin??