Watermelons and Cantaloupe are going nuts

s10sleeper(5b)July 10, 2013

I have never had alot of luck with my watermelons and cantaloupe, but each year continue trying. Last year, they just wouldn't ripen at all and we had a horrible drought all summer. Even when it came to the first frost, I went ahead and took out the last 10 melons and only one was somewhat ripe.

This year I took a different approach, started some by plant and a bunch by seed. I then took a barrel and connected a number of 1/4 inch hoses to it and started drip irrigating them, and at first just made sure there was water in the barrel, slowing down as the vines spread. I went to water last night and found a whole bunch of baseball size watermelons and a couple grapefruit size cantaloupe, they just appeared from nowhere it seemed. We got a heavy rain today and when I went back out there, the plants had shot out over a foot.

I also decided to use weedblock and landscaper cloth under the vines so I didn't have to fight the bermudagrass. I want to make sure and have a good crop this year, are there any suggestions? I can't really rely on the rain as we have been in a drought for 10 years.

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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Once the vines hit a certain point, a critical mass they just explode with growth. Here in FL mine are just finished. I picked the last 10 watermelons the other day and tore out the vines. While they still had small fruit on them they would not have ripened them anyway. It does not take the melons long to get big once they start.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:56AM
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I use weedblock under my loupes, too. It helps warm the soil in the spring, keeps the moisture in, keeps the weeds down, and keeps the melons out of the soil where things gnaw on them.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:45PM
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I got real cheap for awhile where they were vining out, spent 85 cents at the grocery store for a roll of black trash bags, figured it was far enough away from the mounds there would be no problem, turned out to be right so far, except whenever I step on the bags, guess I should have gone for something heftier. The problem I always have with weedblock is that bermuda grass pops through too easily, then the darn bindweed

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 2:55AM
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