Watermelon & Melon growing 2020


#21

ANdre,

Are you using black plastic w/irrigation or just on the bare ground?


#22

Just bare ground for me, no irrigation no plastic.


#23

Nothing new this year—just past winners: Strawberry and Janosik for watemelons; Kajari for honeydew. Usual procedure: central planting strip slightly raised for drainage, amended with kelp and fish and/or neem meal and a little compost, heavily mulched with rotted leaves; rest of bed weed-proofed with white plastic.

I am, however, taking a new approach to cucumber beetle control this year. Last year they decimated my Kajaris and cucumbers with bacterial wilt. Usually keep neem oil on cucurbits, and it seems to help with the beetles; it also keeps squash bugs at bay. I think I got a little lax about my spraying during a rainy spell last season, and the things took hold and I just wasn’t able to get their numbers back to manageable levels again. Or maybe it was just a bad year for cuke beetles? In any case, this year I’m using Surround (micronized kaolin) + spinosad (applied in the evenings, of course, to minimize impact on honeybees and other beneficials) in conjunction with milk jug traps. Can’t find a good source for the carbaryl “stun pills” described (and would rather use something organic if possible); so may just put soapy water in bottom, as suggested here. Maybe spraying a little Tanglefoot or something similar into the jug trap’s interior would help, too.

Happy melon growing, everyone!


#24

For Greenhouse watermelon it may be good to use those “bush” type short vine watermelon varieties. They will set at least one good size melon in a large pot or bed if pollinated and have sun. The ones I grew were not very sweet though. The bush Calsweet may be worth a try.


#25

I’ve not had much success with melons over the years, but finally got a few good ones last year. The Minnesota Midgets were not impressive. I got a few excellent crimson sweets, but many didn’t ripen by frost. Had a hard time picking muskmelons at the right time, but had several dandies out of a couple different varieties. I ran carpet between them, which helped against the beetles and worms boring into them. I also set ice cream lids and such under the developing fruits.


#26

Superphosphate


#27

Something got into my melons last year - I suspect the raccoons. If it happens again, I’ll give up on melons. No stopping those varmints.


#28

Just put my watermelon seeds in the pots to get them started. Last frost date is April 15th here so they should be ready to go. I am planting Orangeglo and Crimson Sweet. My first year try to grow watermelons here in TN. Battling clay soil but thought i would give it a try.


#29

We have clay soil as well, I have amended it with cow manure, composted well of course.


#30

Any recommendations of places to order watermelon seeds? I’d like to plant a few varieties.


#31

You can do soapy water and vegetable oil on the top and none will survive


#32

Here is one I like:
https://www.johnnyseeds.com/


#33

Willhite Seeds is a well-established purveyor of watermelon seeds going back decades. Here’s their website. This is where I buy seed these days.


#34

I will graft these red, White, and yellow watermelon plants to winter melon plants.
Graft Sweet melon plants to Gourd plants.


#35

How’s everyone growing this year so far? I had a few false starts with the weather but once we got heat into the ground over the past week the my watermelons are finally responding. Question from what I have read here they are heavy feeders for the first part of the growing season. What does everyone feed there plants/ I have using liquid fish so far. Suggestions?


#36

Sugar baby and Klondike watermelon doing well, apparently enjoying the 105 degree heat


#37

Ambrosia cantaloupe


#38


#39

Wow, yours are way ahead of mine. My Orangeglo are just about venturing out and set one male flower!


#40

These ones are transplants from the local nursery so they have a head start. The ones I’ve started from seed (including the orangglo - thanks!) are more like what you’re describing. Wanted to use a mix of transplants and seed (mostly from seed) to stagger the harvest. Planning on planting some more seeds this weekend.