Before planting a land to any of the cucurbits, you should kill off all broad-leaved weeds nearby, preferably well beforehand.
Aphids feed on these and then enter the land and introduce viruses. Once the virus is in a land it will usually spread. There is currently no cure.
Have a soil analysis done to get the nutrition correct before preparing the land. I’m constantly asked for a fertiliser programme for specific vegetables, but in fact you need to fertilise the soil to suit a wide range of vegetables.
THE EFFECTS OF A LOWER PH VALUE
The soil pH should be about 6,5, but can go a little lower or a fair amount higher.
If you have potatoes in the rotation, opt for a lower pH; this will reduce the risk of scab but still be suitable for the other crops grown.
Be warned, though; a lower pH will greatly increase the possibility of a molybdenum deficiency. As a precaution, soak the seed in 25g sodium molybdate per 5 water for a few hours.
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November 23, 2018