cant hand pollinate cantaloupes and honeydews

darrytheprinceMay 31, 2014

This is my second year doing this and ive tried everything from rubbing the male on the femalr to the paintbrush and everything but it just never works out for me. Right now i only had 1 succesful pollination and there are no bees aroind so i dont know what the deal is. Does anyone have any tips? Im desperate at this point

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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Bees may come, and ants and other small creatures likely pollinate some too.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 12:34PM
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There's a blossom set spray, of doubtful efficacy, but you could give it a try if you're desperate.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 1:10PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I find the cantaloupes harder to hand pollinate than watermelons and I have a lot more experience on the later. What I've seen affect results with watermelon are time of day, temperature, sunshine, and humidity. The best time is early morning about an hour after sunrise as soon as the flowers open. If it was too cold at night the flowers may not open until later. Higher humidity and lack of wind keep the pollen damp enough to pick up on a small artist brush. If I can't see lots of pollen on the brush I've had no luck.

Even with the best of conditions I consider 10-20% a good rate of set fruit.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 2:36PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Not sure why the paint brush method isn't working. What kind of brush are you using? I use a very small soft brush, like the kind I used to paint plastic models as a kid. It works well. Melons are a bit fickle when it comes to pollinating but you should be able to get at least a few to set. Time of day is important. Afternoon is no good. I prefer morning after the sun has been up just long enough to dry things a little, maybe 9am or so when the pollen is fresh.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 2:39PM
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