Cantaloupes and Cucumbers Growing Together

Q.  I have just started my first veggie and fruit garden this year and unfortunatly I guess I underestimated the spacing needed for the plants. What can I do, if anything, about my cantaloupes growing onto my cucumber hill. (I planted way too many cantaloupes) Should I pull some up so that the cucumbers have room to grow, or can they just intertwine?? I am just really worried about the cantaloupes smothering out the cucumbers. Help??

A.  If you can, put 8′-tall stakes near all your plants, then tie your plants to the stakes and have them grow UP, instead of OUT.  Do this for both cucumbers and cantaloupe.  You can have many more plants in the same space this way.  You’ll need to place nails in the stakes every 6″ or so, to hold the plants up.

You will also need to prune some of your stems, so you don’t have so many.  Don’t worry this is a positive thing for the plants, and for your harvest.  Too much greenery reduces your harvest.

Once you have done the initial pruning and staking I recommend you prune off the sucker stems that continue to try and grow.  Let the sucker stem grow to the first female blossom and leaf.  Remove the stem beyond that point.  This will assure you receive the maximum fruit in the least space.