Cucurbit plants, also known as the gourd family or Cucurbitaceae, are a plant family consisting of about 965 species. You probably have some of them growing in your backyard garden right now. They are native to North America and South America.
Today went by very quickly. I watered all of my outdoor plants. I pulled orders and waited on customers. It got extremely hot.
Watermelons were picked which some of the chickens enjoyed.
Cucurbit plants grow best in South Texas in early spring and in fall. It is just too hot in the summer with temperatures over 100° for them to do well. Back East, I know you can grow them in late spring and harvest them all summer long but Texas has its own growing rules.
Sow your cucurbit plants seeds in well drained soil. This means you may want to add some sand in your raised garden beds where you will plant them. Sand in the soil helps it drain well. They are supposed to be in full sun in normal places but in Texas, no. Full sun is too hot once it hits 100° plus. Shade cloth helps. They require low nitrogen and high potassium so keep that in mind as you fertilize once a month. Giving them too much nitrogen will cause them not to fruit. So do a soil test where you want to plant them before you sow the seed.
Mulching is important to keep the soil warm and to keep the moisture inside the soil.
Good morning. I am eating breakfast as I type this. It is a cool 70° right now but it will be 99° again today. It just won't cool down.
Matt and David went shopping and now we will have snacks and drinks in the store. I have to go price everything and put it all away. I have been filling orders all day long. It is 12:18pm, sunny and clear, and 91°. I just finished ramen noodles for lunch. They were super hot in a spicy way.
I spent most of the afternoon pricing sodas and snacks at the store. They are all priced and on display so if you come out to the farm and get hungry and thirsty, we are ready to serve you. A lady came in first thing yesterday morning and bought two dozen eggs. She was the only physical customer we had all day.
We are continuing to ship out a lot of garlic. We still have some boxes of garlic left that are not packed yet but it is going quickly. We will run out again but we will not get more in this time so if it is your intention to buy garlic for your garden, come get it while we still have all six varieties to choose from.
When you plant cucurbit plants, make sure you leave 30 to 36 inches in between plants and rows because all of the cucurbit family spreads out a lot. Yes, they are all vining plants and they really move. Some can be grown up trellises.
They need phosphate in order to fruit. Test your soil first before you sow your seed.
Good morning! I have three dozen eggs to take over to the Farm Store this morning. The girls are beginning to really lay again in this heat. I saw a report saying it will be 101° today and in the 90s the rest of this week and all of next week, even as autumn slips in on Saturday. It truly has been a miserable summer.
Nacho and his team are here this morning doing some projects for David. One of our customers from last year came for a few things today. It was a pleasure.
We opened the Etsy Store back up a few days ago and we already have had some orders. Those got shipped out this morning.
I am still feeling sore after bending down and opening and pricing so many drinks and snacks yesterday. I hurt. Honestly, younger people should have done all of that, but we just don't have anyone anymore.
When harvesting cucurbit plants, be sure you pick the fruits when they are fairly small. Don't expect a zucchini that is the size of a baseball bat to be tender. They are not. I speak from personal experience. I know I have mentioned on this blog before that a lady in our church in Michigan back in 1995 loved to garden. Every Sunday, she would bring us the fruits of her labor, squashes and zucchinis that were gigantic, 18 to 24 inches long. She would brag that no one could grow them as big as she could. What she failed to realize is that they were woody with a lot of large seeds when they get that big. They were plum nasty.
We had our own garden at the time and we were picking our squashes at the normal size, six or seven inches or so and they were tasty. The same rule applies to cucumbers and to edible gourds.
Good morning! It is now 10:53am. David and Matt have just returned from getting father/son makeovers and then going to Walmart. I just finished filling the overnight orders. One employee is out in the back 40. Another is counting seeds. Matt is now putting David's newest grill together. David loves grills. David is doing computer work. Our Thursday teen worker is not here as her family is on a vacation this week.
It is hot, sunny, and breezy at 85°. This morning, I watered all of my plants in the back and took care of the animals. Matt got here early and helped me with the chickens. I then dug up my peanut plant which finally turned brown. It was so disappointing that from four packages of peanut seeds, I got one peanut plant. Each peanut plant is supposed to yield about 100 peanuts. My peanut plant gave four and a half peanuts. Can you believe it?
By now, I think most people don't see it cooling down around here. The temperature today is supposed to be 100° again.
Right now, on David's Garden Seeds®, we are offering FREE shipping on orders of $17.01 or more. You also get a free pack of Mammoth Grey Stripe sunflowers with every order. If you order a pack of bluebonnets, you will get a free pack of bluebonnets with your order. No, not the maroon bluebonnets, the regular blue bluebonnets. Plant the bluebonnets and any other wildflowers that you get in the ground during October for spring blooms in Texas.
We have a convenience for you. You can order your seeds to be picked up. Most of the time, the people who order don't come to pick up the seeds for two or more weeks. Right now, I have two orders that have been sitting in the store for three weeks. We sent reminder emails and we still have the orders. There was only one time that an order was picked up within 24 hours and I was shocked! I know they can't do this with orders at Walmart or HEB. From now on, if they are not picked up within one week, they will automatically be placed up on a shelf where I do not have to look at them any longer.
After work, I weeded the two flowerbeds in front of the Farm Store. There are a few zinnias coming up but all the rest of it was weeds and grass. Then I planted new zinnias and calendula in the beds and in the empty pots. Now when it is all watered, it will be to grow new flowers, not weeds.
Cucurbit plants are easily grown from seed. I know some gardeners will only grow plants from seedlings they buy at the nursery or the store. We never do that. We sell the seeds and we plant the seeds. They come up easily and quickly. There is no need to start them early or buy plants that have already been grown by someone else.
Quit being afraid of seeds. It is much less expensive to buy a pack of 25 seeds at $4.25 instead of paying $4.25 per plant. Just follow our germination instructions and you should be fine.
We grow melons, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, gourds and pumpkins every year with no problem. We try to plant different varieties each year to see how they do.
Happy Friday. I had to leave the farm by 6:15am today to go get fasting blood work done at Quest. We arrived at 6:50am and no one was there but four people in line outside the door in Walmart. I went to the bathroom. My appointment was at 7:10am. I came back from the bathroom and my phone was counting down the seconds to when I could check in. I pushed the button on my phone to check in with all of those people still standing there. One worker unlocked the door and went inside. Another worker went inside yet none of the people in line did. I went in and sat down and waited.
About five minutes later, the people in line outside the door decided to come in and lined up to check in. Finally, at 7:10am, they called me first. No one else was even checked in. I went in. The door to go in or out was locked by a third employee and the first employee was trying to get it unlocked with the alarm code and could not. She came in to where I was and asked my phlebotomist for help. They could not get it. They called the supervisor. Finally unlocked the door. Meanwhile, I am starving. She brought up my file and printed the stickers for the vials. I gave her my debit card to pay. She swiped it and the screen went blank. She could not find me again. She drew my blood and told me I would be billed. I left.
We drove through McDonald's and got breakfast so I was happy. We pulled into the farm parking lot at 8:01am and one of our employees who is late or almost late every day was not there. I checked and Matt said she was there but was late again. He said he is talking to her. I have talked to her at least three times. David has talked to her. It is ridiculous.
I started some laundry and it is time to go unlock the store. We will do a whole employee revamp soon but right now we don't have money to hire others. We need to have someone else trained and ready to go before we get tough. This is a pattern that has been going on since we moved the business out here in 2020. The supervisors never did anything about being late but we will have to start.
One of our employees went home with an upset stomach around 10am.
We made a new product today, the Collection Set Doomsday Survival Pack FBA-9136 (Multi) 24 Varieties 300 Non-GMO, Heirloom Seeds. It contains vegetables in off colors like purple, yellow, white, and green. Check it out if you are into saving seeds.
I am working on pulling orders now. One of our guys has gone home sick so we have another day of skeleton crew which means David, Matt, and I do a lot more. I realize it is necessary when you have a business to do a lot, but it gets hard as you age. We work seven days a week most of the time. We don't get off at 5pm. We put in lots of hours early in the morning, late at night, and on weekends because the work has to get done and there are only so many of us. Even when we had a team of 25, only David, Matt, and I worked most weekends. It was like pulling teeth trying to get any of them to help us after hours, or on a Saturday.
After my Quest adventure this morning, I got online to look up my bill. Of course, there is no bill, no outstanding balance and no appointment shows for today at all so I am not sure what happened except that the phlebotomist took three vials of my blood.
With cucurbit plants, many folks say you should make a hill and plant several seeds on that hill. Others just plant the seeds for cucurbit plants in rows like everything else. Both ways work. Yes, we have done both multiple times and each time, we get plants that germinate and then grow into full sized plants that produce fruit. As mentioned above, all of these plants are going to produce vines that just go crazy and go all over the place. They take up way more room than you think they will. I said earlier not to let the fruits get big but if you are talking about pumpkins and watermelons, they can get huge.
As the cucurbit plants produce their fruits like watermelons and pumpkins, you may want to slip a thin piece of wood under the fruits that will grow to be large to protect them. If not, the ground may rot the fruit and it won't be any good. The vine attached to the fruit will turn brown when the fruit is ripe to make picking easy. It should come off without a struggle.
Happy First Day of Fall in most states but here it is 100° plus again as usual since June. It is way too hot to be fall.
I got up this morning at 5:45am to take my thyroid pill. I had it in my hand and somehow the pill did not make it into my mouth. I turned on the light and looked all over but could not find it. I had to get another so that is one pill down. I think the doctor will have to up the dosage anyway because I don't think this dose is doing the trick.
Yesterday was not a very good day. I wonder what today will hold. I will soon be going out to unlock everything and feed the animals. Someone from Austin is supposed to come at 9am to pick up a lot of older seeds that David is donating to them. I don't know much about it.
The Farm Store will open at 10am today and I will close it at 2pm so I can eat lunch and get some housework done.
We had a good day in the store. Lots of visitors and lots of online orders as well. One was for $369! today so we sure appreciate that! We appreciate every order and we thank all of you.
My lab results are in and my thyroid is fine. Everything else isn't. I do not want to hear what the doctor has to say to me!
I am roasting a chicken with vegetables for tonight's movie. Time to go and collect eggs. It is miserably hot and it is hard to believe that this is the first day of fall.
The chicken was fantastic but San Antonio had local football on so no Svengoolie again. We watched Murder She Wrote.
Let's talk about the cucurbit plants called winter squashes. You grow winter squashes in spring, summer, and fall, not winter. Their rinds are thick so you can store them through the winter, unlike summer squash. That is why they are called winter squash. Many of our customers who come into the Farm Store say they will come back and grow the winter squash when it gets cool in the fall but if they do that, they won't have time to grow them. Like pumpkins, which are also winter squash, they can take 90 to 120 days to mature. That means you have to start them in spring or summer or they won't have enough time before the first frost hits your area in the fall.
If you don't know how to tell when the first frost will hit your area in the fall, you can type in your zip code at The Old Farmer's Almanac and they will tell you the first frost in the fall as well as the last frost in early spring. This is a useful, free tool to help you with gardening. Then you count back from the first frost day in fall to know when you have to plant your pumpkins or whatever else you are wanting to plant.
Good morning. Happy Sunday. I need to get outside and feed everyone. I woke up all through the night. I finally took my thyroid pill and then slept for 90 minutes so I got up late. It is now 7:40am so I am late and, of course, Matt is not here today so I have to do all of the animals by myself. I had better get going before it gets too hot. The high is supposed to be 104°. Fall? What is that?
Harvesting cucurbit plants is fun and gives you a chance to eat fresh vegetables and fruits. There is nothing better than fresh melon in the spring and summer. Then after you eat as many delicious cucumbers as possible, you can preserve them by making incredible pickles, dill and sweet. Learn how to can.
Squash and zucchini are incredible when they are fresh. You can fry them up or roast them in the oven or on the grill. They are so good with olive oil and salt and pepper. Once you are tired of them, you can blanch and freeze them to eat during the cold months. We have been doing this for years.
Winter squash and pumpkins can be enjoyed after roasting in the oven. You can process pumpkin flesh and freeze it for use during the holiday season. You will find the directions for how to process a pumpkin about halfway down the page of the link in the previous sentence.
There are so many things you need pumpkin for like pies, cakes, breads, muffins, cookies, and even soup. I love pumpkin. Do you? Not all pumpkin is good for making pies and baking. You want one with a thick layer of flesh like the Sugar Pie or the New England Pie pumpkins. The Jarrahdale, pictured above, is also an excellent pumpkin for baking.
Since 2009, over 1,500,000 home gardeners, all across the USA, have relied on David's Garden Seeds® to grow beautiful gardens. Trust is at the heart of it. Our customers know David's Garden Seeds® stocks only the highest quality seeds available. Our mission is to become your lifetime supplier of quality seeds. It isn't just to serve you once; we want to earn your trust as your primary supplier.
♪♫♪♪ ♫ ♪ ♫♪♫♫
Peppers and peas
And lots of yummy greens
You can't go wrong
With Squash This Long
At David's Garden Seeds
♪ ♫ ♪ ♫
Please like and subscribe on YouTube and come visit us at our Farm Store! The music on our TV ad was written, played, and sung by our son, Matthew Schulze. You can meet him when you come to the farm. He just might give you a tour. Ask him to grab a guitar and sing our jingle that he wrote.
We are David's Garden Seeds®. If you need great seeds, we've got over 1200 varieties to choose from.
Find out what is going on down on the farm by reading our blog and by subscribing to our free newsletter for all of the information going down at David's Garden Seeds® and on the farm. I love to share helpful information with you. Please let your friends know and y'all come on down for a visit when you get the chance. We would love to meet you!