On the crossing of cucurbits
Is Version Of
In 1891 the writer read a paper before one of the Horticultural Societies of Iowa,1 in which the statement was made that melons and cucumbers do not “mix,” nor do pumpkins and melons. He was vigorously assailed by horticulturists for teaching such doctrines. I quote from several horticulturists. 3 Hon. Geo. Van Houten remarked: “I must correct the statement in regard to the crossing of melons and pumpkins and squashes. They will mix.,) Mr. Elmer Reeves related his experience when a boy “in having his melons spoiled by sowing seed from those planted near squashes.” In discussing this question with many horticulturists in the State and out, the opinion seems to be almost universal that “mixing” does occur. My brother, .who grows many cucurbits in Western Wisconsin, believes that pumpkins and squashes will “mix,” and that melons and cucumbers will “mix.” While I have not endeavored to get the opinion of seedsmen on this question, I believe, as a general thing they caution those who grow cucurbit seeds for them, not to plant the different species too closely. In a discussion of this subject before the American Association of Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations, Dr. Neale stated that watermelons were affected by the Calabash (Lagenaria vulgaris) in such a way that the melons had an extremely bitter taste, so much so, that it served as a warning to keep away such as desired to take melons. I am inclined to discredit these general statements and the experiments made elsewhere and here at Ames confirm the position I have taken on this question.