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Publication #HS725

Chapter 7. Cucurbit Production1

Josh H. Freeman, Eugene J. McAvoy, Nathan S. Boyd, Monica Ozores-Hampton, Mathews Paret, Qingren Wang, Christian F. Miller, Joseph W. Noling, and Xavier Martini2

This is Chapter 7 of the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida, 2017–2018 edition. The tables and most current version of this chapter may be found at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/cv/cv12300.pdf.

Botany and Planting

Angled luffa (silk squash) – Luffa acutangula

Bittermelon – (Chinese and Indian types) – Momordica charantia

Butternut squash - Cucurbita moschata.

Chayote Sechium edule

Chinese cucumber Trichosanthes kirilowii

Cucumber - Cucumis sativus, Cucurbitaceae.

Cantaloupe- Cucumis melo.

Fuzzy melon (immature fruit) and Winter melon Benincasa hispida

Long gourd (oopoh) – Lagenaria siceraria

Pumpkin (jack-o-lantern is C. pepo; some processing pumpkins are C. maxima and C. moschata).

Smooth luffa Luffa aegyptica (cylindrical)

Snake gourd Trichosanthes cucumerina Summer squash - Cucurbita pepo.

Tropical pumpkin (calabaza) - Cucurbita moschata.

Watermelon - Citrullus lanatus.

Winter squash - Cucurbita maxima

Asian Cucurbits

This group includes cucurbit fruits that can be eaten either immature or mature and several vegetables with edible tender stems and leaves. All can be grown on raised beds, with or without plastic mulch, and with drip, overhead or subsurface irrigation. Most of the crops are trellised, primarily to maximize space and sufficient sunlight, minimize bud drop and fruit rot caused by over shading and exposure to soil moisture and pathogens and to promote straight fruit. Winter melon is the exception since it is gener- ally too heavy to trellis. Fertilizer recommendations for cucumbers are applicable for fuzzy melon, long gourd, both luffas, Chinese cucumber, bittermelon and snake gourd. There are two types of bittermelon: Indian and Chinese. The Indian type has smaller fruit with dark green color and rough skin, and the Chinese type has larger fruit with light green color and smooth skin. Chinese cucumber, though rarely commercially available, similar to European cucumber, has fruit more than 1 foot long with dark green color, very thin and rough skin and crisp texture. Recommendations for water- melon should be followed for winter melon and chayote. With the exception of chayote, where the entire fruit is planted, these crops are started from seed and grown as transplants prior to being set in the field.

Tables

This is Chapter 7 of the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida, 2017–2018 edition. The tables and most current version of this chapter may be found at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/cv/cv12300.pdf.

Footnotes

1.

This document is HS725, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date June 1995. Revised July 2017. This is Chapter 7 of the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida, 2017–2018 edition. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Joshua H. Freeman, associate professor, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, FL 32351; Eugene McAvoy, Extension agent IV, UF/IFAS Extension Hendry County, Labelle, FL 33935; Nathan S. Boyd, associate professor, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Wimauma, FL 33598; Monica Ozores-Hampton, associate professor, UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee, FL 34142; Mathews Paret, assistant professor, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, FL 32351; Qingren Wang, Extension agent I, UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County, Homestead, FL 33030; Christian F. Miller, Extension agent I, UF/IFAS Extension Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, FL 33415; Joseph W. Noling, professor, UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL 33850; and Xavier Martini, assistant professor, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, FL 32351; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.