Production and Management
Cucurbit crop production in the U.S. is broken down into seven major classes of crops: cucumber-fresh, cucumber-processing, cantaloupe, honeydew, pumpkin, squash, and watermelon. The bulk of cucurbit production is centered in a few states, such as Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Texas, California, and Georgia. Florida has been the leader in the fresh market production of cucumber, squash, and watermelon, while Michigan leads the production of processed cucumbers, and California and Arizona lead production of honeydews and cantaloupe. In recent years, some competition has begun on the production of fresh market cucumbers from greenhouse sources. Mexico and Canada lead the countries importing fresh market cucurbits into the U.S.
A comprehensive resource for cucurbit producers is the Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook. This manual was developed from research and Extension projects conducted at 12 land-grant universities, including N.C. State. The handbook contains everything cucurbit growers need, including which variety to plant, planting dates, fertilizer recommendations, cover crops selection and conservation tillage options, pesticide selection, fertigation, plasticulture, postharvest handling, alternative pest management tools and more. More information is available in the following factsheets.