Author Topic: A watermellon question.....  (Read 1158 times)

Plantinyum

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A watermellon question.....
« on: May 13, 2022, 02:37:26 AM »
I want to try my hand again at watermellon, they are generally hard to grow here out of a greenhouse, problems like too much moisure and desease becouse of it are guaranteed. So i was thinking of making some planting pockets with regular white or black nylon bags, the ones that are maid of weaved strings. I have planted plants in the past in this and it has provided good drainage and also air. I will cut the bottoms of the bags and place them on open ground so they can root down readily, when they are ready to. The place i want to plant them is wetter then needed most of the rime ,so thats why i want to make them like raised beds from those cheap nylon bags.
I will also cover the whole bags with somethink when there is too much rain , so they do not get saturated.
The "pots " will not be moved ,so logistics is not an issue!
What soil are u using when growing watermellons, like not brands becouse i will have difficulty finding those, rather texture and general ingredients that u add etc ..?
What do u think , and thanks ?!



« Last Edit: May 13, 2022, 03:45:13 AM by Plantinyum »

pagnr

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2022, 05:21:13 AM »
There are many Youtube videos of people in SE Asia growing melons in grow bags.
Another alternative would be grafting the watermelon onto a stronger melon rootstock. Seed of the rootstock from Japan.
There are also different seed types of watermelon, such as smaller vine types, or short season types that fruit in less days.
It is also possible to grow melons on a trellis, not flat across the ground. Net bags can be used to support the hanging fruit.
If your bags have open bottoms, seived topsoil might be ok, maybe with addition of some coarser sand or pine bark chips ??

Plantinyum

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2022, 08:38:24 AM »
Yes this will be kind of a cheap grow bag method/ without purchasing real grow bags.
I already bought the plants, the lable looked like sugar baby or other small fruit variety, the person said they were a smaller fruit watermellon.
For the soil i am thinking of amending the bed below the bags with some sand to aid drainage . As for the real potting mix i will probably go for a forest top soil mixed with sand and some bought potting mix.
And yes i am thinking of growing them vertically to help with deseases and stuff..... will have to come up with a trellis system for them thought.
About the grafting i wanted to do it since i saw a video of a Belarusian girl ,growing watermellons grafted  onto a pumpkin rootstock, but i may be too late for this experimment now.

spaugh

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2022, 12:08:52 PM »
I put them right in the ground here, they like sandy well drained soil.
Brad Spaugh

Owen H

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2022, 01:43:29 PM »
Here they grow like weeds too. They like lots of fertilizer and well drained soil. If you use a grow bag or container use a really big one and give them lots of space. I recommend planting a very early maturing variety like blacktail mountain. That gives less possibility of something bad happening before the fruit matures.

Plantinyum

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2022, 05:16:16 PM »
Thanks for all the comments!! I will amend with lots of sand. My freestile grow bags wont have a bottom so they will be able to root into the ground once they feel like it.
Well i think i bought sugar baby variety, the seller said they were small fruited, the pic was of a small watermellon but i forgot to check the tag for the variety , as awlays ......

RodneyS

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2022, 02:55:40 AM »
I recommend Golden Midget watermelon.  The skin turns yellow when ready to pick

MasonG31

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2022, 01:33:48 PM »
I put them right in the ground here, they like sandy well drained soil.

Hi Brad. Do you mean you plant the seeds directly into the ground. If so, how deep do you plant them?  And if so, how much mulch do you cover them with?  Thanks

spaugh

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2022, 03:51:15 PM »
No i usually start them in small pots to germinate them and get them going but you can direct sow about 1/2" deep and keep it wet. 

I usually play tricks on the plants and get seeds started earlier than they would otherwise start germinating by keeping the pots inside my garage or in a greenhouse.  But they should sprout now if you start them in the ground.  I have some volunteer plants in the ground that are already pretty big.  Mid April is whn I start them in pots and thats still pretty early because watermelons love heat, the hotter the better.  They dont really get going strong until July in southern CA. 

To get it growing the quickest you can move the pots outside during the day if its sunny then move them inside at night.  Or use a heat mat to speed it up. 
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 03:56:34 PM by spaugh »
Brad Spaugh

Plantinyum

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2022, 04:32:42 PM »
I recommend Golden Midget watermelon.  The skin turns yellow when ready to pick
the variety looks very good ,i am doubtful  that i will be able to find it  to grow it this season,  i will look at the agro shop or any agro related place.
Most of whats here is crimson, sugar baby and other prolly ordinary ones that i am not familliar with...

Galatians522

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2022, 11:31:33 PM »
I had a local watermelon grower tell me that crimson sweet is more disease resistant. If disease is a problem, maybe that would be a good one to try (especially since you mention that it is available there).

Plantinyum

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2022, 12:40:46 AM »
I had a local watermelon grower tell me that crimson sweet is more disease resistant. If disease is a problem, maybe that would be a good one to try (especially since you mention that it is available there).


Ive grown crimson 3-4 years before, and i had the best success with watermellons exactly with this variety.  I think back then the summer was quite dry thought ,so this way have helped.
I want to grow them vertical this year so to not have the foliage on the ground , crimson makes big ones, dunno how i will suspend those in the air..i think i may do another small patch of watermellon and i may plant crimson there, wonder thought if it will have the time to ripen, since its a long season variety. Anyway, i'll see what other variety i can find in monday as a starter, and can also buy seeds , esp interested now in the suggested Golden Mitjet variety, looks kool and easy to id when ready...

I am thinking of making greenhouses for them from nylon, sure this will help in alot of ways...
« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 12:50:17 AM by Plantinyum »

MasonG31

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2022, 03:52:58 PM »
No i usually start them in small pots to germinate them and get them going but you can direct sow about 1/2" deep and keep it wet. 

I usually play tricks on the plants and get seeds started earlier than they would otherwise start germinating by keeping the pots inside my garage or in a greenhouse.  But they should sprout now if you start them in the ground.  I have some volunteer plants in the ground that are already pretty big.  Mid April is whn I start them in pots and thats still pretty early because watermelons love heat, the hotter the better.  They dont really get going strong until July in southern CA. 

To get it growing the quickest you can move the pots outside during the day if its sunny then move them inside at night.  Or use a heat mat to speed it up.

Thanks for the info Brad. Iíve been going the heat mat route, and planting the seeds in grow cups, then putting them on a tray and onto the mat. They sprout fast, but their stems eventually snap and they slowly wilt and die. I canít figure out why.  Iíll be trying the direct sow next.

Plantinyum

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2022, 02:27:09 AM »
Two days after i bought the plants, first casualty, the plant willted and leaves were dried up. I uppotted them into small pots with well drainable soil. One plants still left in the same pot. They are in my gr till i prepare the beds...

spaugh

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2022, 10:08:46 AM »
They wilt and die if its not hot enough and and soil is too wet.

They need bigger pots than a cup.  Try 1 gallong pots.  And you may need to wait longer to start at your location.  Needs to be summer for thrm to get growing. 
Brad Spaugh

Plantinyum

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2022, 11:01:13 AM »
They wilt and die if its not hot enough and and soil is too wet.

They need bigger pots than a cup.  Try 1 gallong pots.  And you may need to wait longer to start at your location.  Needs to be summer for thrm to get growing.
well they were in small cups and i transplanted them into pots, the soil is def not saturated or wet. Maybe it was the transplanting that did it, with one of the cups i kunda loosened the soil too much and this may be the one . . The others were fine. I dont think it was the cold that killed it' its not cold now here and i have previous years planted watermellons outside whille we were still having frosts 'in a nylon greenhouse of corse ' but still way colder compared to presents weather.

Didnt find the variety golden midjet as seeds, doubtfull ill find it as a starter plants also , nevermind i'll work with what i have   whille keeping my eyes open for seeds of it' for next season' it may be too late for starting seeds anyway this year...
I will keep the ones i have it pots for now and upgrade them as needed till i have some time to prepare the bed and collect the soil for it. This is my bysiest spring and year till now gardenwise, i hardly get any sleep....

spaugh

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2022, 12:02:29 PM »
Sorry I was replying the the post before yours.  The weather here is hot then cold.  Its not really warm enough yet near the coast to grow watermelons.  The cool weather stunts them.
Brad Spaugh

MasonG31

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2022, 12:05:07 PM »
They wilt and die if its not hot enough and and soil is too wet.

They need bigger pots than a cup.  Try 1 gallong pots.  And you may need to wait longer to start at your location.  Needs to be summer for thrm to get growing.

Well that is good to know.  I've watched about 15 Orangeglo Watermelon seeds sprout, grow out a few inches, and then wilt back and die these last few months.  I've been soaking the soil, thinking the 'water' in watermelon means they want super soaked soil.  I've already got a few seeds now planted in 1 gallon pots and back on the heat mat.  Fingers crossed.   

spaugh

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2022, 02:20:09 PM »
I bet they will start to take off in about 4 or 5 weeks once we get some real heat.  My little starter plants are looking pretty slow still too.  I started some about 3 weeks ago that havent taken off yet and more a few days ago that are just now sprouting.  You want to sow more seeds every 2 or 3 weeks for a month or 2 so that you have plants going and not all the melons at once. 

Once the plant starts growing good in ground and gets some vigor then tney can use the water.
Brad Spaugh

simon_grow

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2022, 11:59:26 PM »
I started my Orangeglo and Hime Kansen seeds indoors about a month ago and brought them outdoors two weeks ago. I have some male and female flower forming but I will be removing any pollinated fruit until the vines get larger.

Iíve have an old thread somewhere here on this forum about grafted watermelons which can be more disease resistant but that was a lot of work and I had many failed grafts.

With each passing year you grow watermelons, there is a good possibility that your vines become more difficult to grow because of increased diseases that accumulates and becomes ubiquitous in your garden. If you have a large yard and can plant at different locations or if you rotate your crops, you may not face as many of these potential issues.

This year, Iím going to try growing watermelons in large ~45 gallon containers. Iíve already had some success growing smaller watermelons vertically on a trellis but it was a lot of work.

Hereís my small Orangeglo and Hime Kansen plants. They got beat up a bit by the winds and heat wave last week.



Simon

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2022, 02:34:11 AM »
Did Blacktail Mountain in a 40gal, next to a couple in-ground.  It's already a small melon, but the potted one came pretty close in size, but only 1 almost full size one, compared to 3 or so from the grounders.  Don't remember the bark-based substrate, but wasn't really trying to pre-optimize it when I started.  It just ended up taking too much patio space with the sprawl.  I've dreamt of vertical, but it does sound like a bit of work.

Epicatt2

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2022, 07:46:29 PM »
I've dreamt of vertical, but it does sound like a bit of work.

I saw a watermelon vine growing up into a small citrus tree in the garden of a pensiůn I was staying at in Cunťn, a small village in an enclosed valley in the northern mountains of Guatemala.

The owner of the pensiůn explained to me that the garden had been his wife's purview but that she had passed away in an earthquake the previous year, so the garden had been left untended after that.

I was startled to see half a dozen half-grown watermelons hanging from the citrus tree in the garden there.

It then dawned on me that that was the method watermelons developed to distribute their seeds, since when the fruits ripened and fell they would break open and animals would come eat the pulp and seeds, later distributing the seeds in their droppings.

So mbmango and Simon, if you maybe have a chainlink (or other sturdy) fence, why not let your watermelon vine run up and along the fence.  The vine will hold onto the fence with its tendrils.  And allowing the vine to grow above the ground may likely minimize infection by powdery mildew.

Just my two cents' worth . . . .

Paul M.
==

simon_grow

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2022, 08:28:59 PM »
Hey Paul, thanks for the great story! Iíve successfully grown watermelons and Cantaloupes on my South facing wire trellis but I made cradles to hold the melons. I believe the melons will fall off from their own weight without the added support, at least for the varieties I was growing.

By growing melons on a wire trellis on the South facing side of my house, the vines shade the hottest side of my house and can help reduce my energy needs.

Simon

simon_grow

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2022, 02:15:55 PM »
The weather has been really cloudy lately and relatively cool with nightly lows around 55 and daily highs around 75 but my seedlings are starting to grow and even set some fruit which Iíve been removing.

Iím going to let the plants get big before allowing them to hold fruit.









Simon

Plantinyum

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Re: A watermellon question.....
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2022, 02:45:03 PM »
The weather has been really cloudy lately and relatively cool with nightly lows around 55 and daily highs around 75 but my seedlings are starting to grow and even set some fruit which Iíve been removing.

Iím going to let the plants get big before allowing them to hold fruit.









Simon nice, arent they a seasonal plant for u? Will they have the time to ripen if you let them set later ?



nice, arent they a seasonal plant for u? Will they have the time to ripen if you let them set later ?

I still havent had the time to do the bed for mine, i have to at least transplant them into bigger pots tomorrow ...

 

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