Vegetable Garden

Identifying Squash Seedlings

May 23, 2013

The following post comes hot on the heels of the earlier one today following a twitter comment from Rachel where she was wondering about how to identify seedlings.

Cucumber, squash and courgette are all in the Cucurbitaceae family of vegetables and their seedlings look remarkably similar. I’m sure many of us have planted modules full of the flat seeds in multipurpose compost, labelled them, watched them grow, potted them on to individual larger pots, forgotten to add new labels and then completely lost track of what we’d sown.

If this has happened to you this year, here’s a few pics that may help you to name your seedlings: 

Cucumber Seedling

The leaves have an almost triangular shape with pointed lobes that aren’t as defined as the leaves in the courgettes pictured beneath.

Cucumber Seedling

Cucumber Seedling

cucumber seedling

cucumber seedling

Courgette seedlings

Much larger leaves with more defined shapes, usually has three or five lobes. If you love your courgettes you might like this RHS Publication which shares Ian Hodgson’s experience of growing 32 cultivars.

courgette seedling

courgette seedling

Butternut Squash Seedling

Squash seedlings more closely resemble cucumbers than courgettes. The serrated edges aren’t nearly as defined and the leaf shape is rounder.


Hope that helps!

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