The Q&A Archives: Avoiding Cross-Pollination in Winter Sqash, Pumpkin

Question: I have read that winter squash, pumpkin and cucumber plants are all related to each other. How far apart do I need to plant different species so they don't cross polinate? Can I start them inside in peat pots? What would be the best time to start for my area? Sandy Aul El Paso, TX

Answer: Winter squash and pumpkins can cross pollinate each other but don't worry about the cucumbers. Unless you're saving seed, you can plant these crops right next to each other. This cross pollination will only effect next year's crop grown from this year's saved seed. If you're saving seed, you'll need 1/2 mile separation between groups or to hand pollinate the fruits. You can start winter squash, pumpkins and cucumber indoors 4 weeks before your last frost date (around April 1st in El Paso), so get planting!

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