Cucumber & melon grafting


#1

I got hit HARD by Fusarium wilt on my melons. While planning my 2019 gardening schedule I was planning on direct seeding my melons but then got the idea that it might be worth trialing grafting my desired variety onto fusarium wilt resistant rootstock. Anyone have any experience with this?

Admittedly I didn’t do much research into this topic before posting (and will update this post as I do) but I did come across a few research papers on the subject that I have yet to skim: paper 1, paper 2, paper 3

Calling @ross because I know he has plans to go all out on growing melons next year.


#2

That’s one method people use. Another is heating the soil to kill the disease.

"The two most common rootstocks used for grafting
watermelon are cultivars of an interspecific hybrid squash (Cucurbita
moschata × C. maxima) and cultivars of bottle gourd (Lagenaria
siceraria) that were bred specifically for use as rootstocks
(19,43). "

I’d also be interested to hear if anyone has first hand experience using rootstock.


#3

Alright, so I’m really stepping up my plans for melon grafting. Here are the rootstocks I am considering:

Bottle gourd (seed source) - most articles suggest this species but not any particular variety so I might just go with a generic variety. This is also a good alternative and is reported to have very high vigor

Thai Bottle gourd (seed source) - an edible variety that is supposedly extremely vigorous and resistant to squash vine borer (not sure if that matters)

Tetsukabuto squash (seed source) - a new edible variety on Johnny’s seeds, the first one that I found specifically recommended for use as rootstock; produces eye-popping yields in harsh conditions [...] Can also be used as a rootstock for enhancing vigor and soil disease resistance in melon, watermelon, and cucumber

Going to be ordering very soon. If anyone wants to participate in a community trial I can send you some seeds as long as you post your grafting results here.

Still need to figure out how I will run this trial as I only have space for 3-5 upright trellised melons depending on how aggressively I train/prune them.

Also posting this here for future use:


#4

Lot of info from forum members here.


#5

As a side note, does anyone know what the terminology is for finding cucumbers that continue to fruit on their existing stems versus ones that only fruit at the tips?

I grow mine vertically and prune them back heavily mid-late season but last year I learned that some varieties only fruit on the tips.

Lastly, not sure if I already linked it but this paper is the best technical guide I have found so far about melon grafting: https://journals.ashs.org/hortsci/view/journals/hortsci/43/6/article-p1677.xml

Also this video that popped up in my recommendations:


#6

I don’t know if heating soil or grafting will help. This disease is usually spread by cucumber beetles:

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/diseases/bacterial-spots/bacterial-wilt-of-cucumber.aspx

The plants get infected by the beetles on the tops, I’m not sure if the disease then moves to the roots where a better stock would help or not.