Growing Minnesota Midget in Texas - Help!

syntria(8a - South DFW Area)June 6, 2013

Thanks ahead of time for any assistance!

I've been growing this guy from seed, started about two months ago. Finally got a melon! The flowers keep dropping off but one finally took.

How can I increase the productivity of this plant? I know I wouldn't want to many melons, but more than one!

The Texas Heat is about to arrive as well, with 100+ Temps. Anything I should do to protect this guy? Anything I should do in the way of Fertilizing? I'm fairly new to growing in general, usually I just stick to Tomatoes each year.

Thanks again :)

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syntria(8a - South DFW Area)

Follow up

Currently he's getting watered once every other day--going to once a day when the 100 temps hit. He gets around 8-10 hours of direct sunlight. He's in the old brown plastic container on the end there with the cage.

I'm really excited, I didn't expect the plant to be doing as well as it is since I've got no clue what I'm doing really. D:

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden Gallery on FB

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:21PM
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mrsg47(7)

Melons are tricky but not in your area. They love texas and Mexico. How many plants do you have growing per mound?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:23PM
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syntria(8a - South DFW Area)

No mound, I have it in an old tomato caged container, see second post. I do have some potatoes in the ground, but everything else I'm growing is in a container with a drip system.

There's currently 3-4 plants in that one pot. I started 6 of them in a container inside in I think April, and 3 thrived and I didn't really plan it out much when I stuck them all into the same container.

The board currently in the sun in the picture gets the most light, 10+ hours, while the further into the padio it goes, the less light it gets and the things I have under the padio get 4 hours of morning light and that's where all my herbs are.

included is a slightly older picture of the plant, before I had the shelving set up to get him off the concrete.

I didn't know they did good in Texas. I was worried it wouldn't enjoy the heat.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:29PM
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mrsg47(7)

Ok, you usually grow melons successfully in ground and not in a pot. But since you have one, yes, make a 'sling' out of cheese cloth to keep it away from the soil. They rest nicely on wood as well. The plant has male and female blossoms.. You can tell the female blossom as it has a tiny round ball at the plant end of the blossom. They have a mind of their own as to how many of each blossom they will produce. It is best to plant melons in the ground next year. Looks like you have a bit of lawn area! You'll find that it will grow more quickl later on in the summer, and produce more female blossom which you would want to have happen. Be happy with one melon on one plant. Melons usually do not like their leaves watered so keep the water near the soil. Next year plant more! Mrs G

I'm in RI and I plant melons every year. Moreso European cantelopes.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:33PM
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mrsg47(7)

google 'growing watermelon' that should really give you the scoop in your area!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:38PM
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syntria(8a - South DFW Area)

I have a 18-18-24 and 8-4-4 Plant Foods. Which one would be best for this guy?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:40PM
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syntria(8a - South DFW Area)

I've been reading different bits online and it's got me this far. I'm just scared I'm going to mess something up and lose my melon baby :

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:41PM
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mrsg47(7)

I don't know, google fertilizer for watermelons.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:41PM
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mrsg47(7)

They are fairly strong. Cantelopes are far more difficult. Just watch it closely. It will be fine.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:50PM
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ltilton

Minnesota Midget is a cantaloupe. One vine would set as many as a dozen fruits if it were in the ground, but with three in a small container like that none of them will be productive. Maybe one melon per vine.

I've seen the Japanese specialty melon growers put little paper hats on their fruits to keep them from sunscald. That might help. Also be sure to keep any fruits supported so they won't fall off the vine and splat.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:25PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Yeah, and the fact of trying to grow something named "Minnesota" in Texas, might be a problem. I like MMs here up north because they are early maturers. I've got some seeds planted now, but with all the cold and rain they won't even germinate. I'm also trying to grow a tomato named Hawaiian Pineapple here in NY.....that could be a problem :-)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 1:46AM
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MrClint

Most melons and cukes start with male flowers in the beginning. This may explain the flowers dropping off. Once you get both male and female flowers at the same time, you can hand pollinate with a paintbrush or q-tip. I wouldn't try muskmelons in pots in a hot locale, as you'll be watering like a madman. They also love to sprawl or climb.

Looking at your backyard, I would pick up about 3 bags of composted steer manure and dump it into a nice mound somewhere sunny right on the grass. Stick in about four or five seeds at the top middle of the mound. Thin out the seedlings leaving the 3 best. Water them as needed and let them sprawl. At the end of the season pull out the spent vines and rake out the mound to the rest of the yard. Reseed the grass as needed. I think there were directions for this method on the Burpee site a while back. I've tried this and harvested some really great melons.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 11:52AM
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syntria(8a - South DFW Area)

Thanks Clint. I'm reading more information on the male/female flower bits online. I totally wasn't aware of that.

I'm renting this property is why I haven't planted much of anythign in the ground. I can't wait until next year, when I plan to really garden hard. This summer's for learning for next year. :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:19AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

FWIW, I tried growing melons on grass before and it didn't work. Not sure how fast grass grows down there but up here the grass grew alot faster than the melons and was a foot tall before I knew it, and I had to work hard keeping the grass trimmed enough so the melons could breath. Never again on the grass for me.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 8:16AM
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DaveLindahl5432(4)

FYI I think its been hotter in MN this summer than Texas so I wonder how the MN midgets did this year and if they did good someone should be able to help this guy out. I would be curious to see how they did.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:53AM
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derbyka

I'm growing these in Florida and the first one is almost ripe. I wanted to add that contrary to what you would think, I'm learning that early varieties of things, if they are not heat sensitive, actually work really well in the warm climate. This is because they out race the rampant bugs and mildew. I'm basically always working with the goal of producing a crop before the plant dies off, which is the same goal far north with the short summer.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 6:28PM
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