jal_ut wrote:I have long been of the opinion that squash does better planted from seed placed where the plant will grow. They don't seem to like their roots messed with. They also have a gigantic root system and starting them in pots gets their root all curled up. They could have an extensive root system when reaching the size of your transplants if started directly.
This morning I transplanted a cucumber that I purchased from Home Depot on Sunday. It was in a tiny little pot (3" diameter?), but the plant was nearly 6" tall already. When I tore off the pot I saw only white, as the roots had completely filled in the pot. I could barely see any soil through the root fabric.
I shook it out a little bit and tried to tease the roots out, but I didn't want to do too much trauma, so I just planted and soaked it. We'll see what happens.
I sowed my pumpkin seed son 5/7 last year, and they were wayyyyy early. In 2010 I sowed on 6/20, and that year they were late (all green on Hallowe'en), so I'm probably going to sow early-mid June this year.
If I can get the sites prepped before then I may take your suggestion and direct sow. This is not guaranteed to happen, as the sight of seedlings outgrowing their pots is usually the motivator that gets me out of bed to go prep the sites
. Practically speaking I am likely to get some of the sites prepped, but not all, which will default me into doing a controlled experiment in which some are direct sown and some are transplanted. Because, uh, I planned it that way.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!