How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Planting cucurbits

Cucurbits can be seeded directly or transplanted into the garden. It is ideal to plant on raised beds made by adding large amounts of soil amendments so that a bed is established above the previous level of soil. If seeding, plant more seeds than necessary so as to make up for any losses. Plant seeds in rows 4 to 6 feet apart depending on which crop you are planting. Push them into the soil 1 to 1.5 inch deep. Fill these holes by scratching the surface, firm the soil lightly, and cover with a thin mulch of organic material in order to hold soil moisture. Keep moist during the germination period. When the plants are about 3 inches high, thin plants.

For transplants, use young plants with 4 to 6 true leaves, wider than tall, stocky, succulent, and slightly hardened to outdoor conditions. Make sure the planting site is level. Spread and mix organic amendments and a good granular phosphorus fertilizer over the area. Mark where you want each plant and make the hole deep enough to bury the stem as far as the first leaf. Place the plant deep into the hole. Press the soil firmly around the plant and water thoroughly to remove any air pockets. If transplanting in the summer, shade the plants in the middle of the day for the first week or use floating row cover.

Planting tips

Distance in inches
Between plants in rows
Between rows


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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