Bunched up watermelon leaves and small melon plants

brandon_the_random(7b)June 24, 2014

I planted a couple Stars and Moon seedlings back in May, and the big indoor leaves died but it grew a lot more smaller leaves. One vine is about a foot long with a 3 inch leaf every inch and another one has even more leaves at about the same length and size. A third seedling is only about 6 inches long, but has almost the same number of leaves clustered tightly around the center stem. Is there something wrong with it or is it natural? The sugarbabies are even tinier with 3 leaves. They get close to 12 hours of direct sun a day here.

Also, my honeydews are still small vines, with 1.5" ~ 2" leaves and although they're starting to grow leaves from the joints, the old leaves look pretty bad and beat up. They're closer to 6 inches long, with one about 2 ft, but pretty beat up. They've been that size for about a month.
I fertilized the soil when planting and apply miracle gro weekly with compost tea. The melons inside the greenhouse have leaves 3 times as big, way greener, and are several times longer. The outside temperature here is 60~80 during the day so it shouldn't be too cold.

This is a first year garden with crappy hard clay soil that I amended with plenty of leaves, horse manure, fertilizer, and covered with wood chips. The tomatoes and peppers seem okay, but the honeydews aren't growing very well overall. The ones in the greenhouse grow in pure horse manure.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Your plants sound terribly stunted. Melons need to be large and growing rapidly to produce decent fruits of any size. Also they need warm to hot temperatures. 60-80 by day is very marginal. 60 is an adequate night temperature but not daytime. Optimal would be 90-95 day and 65-70 at night.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 7:14AM
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Melons need loose soil. Ammended hard clay is the reason they aren't growing very well. You can feed them all you want, but it won't do much good.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 7:50AM
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I've grown both watermellon and cantelope in clay. It may not be ideal, but it can produce good fruits.

Any chance these struggling plants were transplants? I haven't had much success with any of the mellons I tried to start early and move out when the weather was right. Seeds directly sown after those transplants were moved are now three times the size of the transplants.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 10:19AM
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I just posted about this same issue, and posted a photo. Do your leaves look like the ones in the picture I posted?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 10:52AM
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Here in south louisiana,you have to grow watermelons in mostly sand.
they make vines in clay but no usable fruit.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 2:28PM
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