Melons leaves drying up

jessejrJuly 1, 2010

What would make the leaves of my cantaloupes dry up?

I am growing Hale's melons and although I have had to do mostly hand pollination due to a lack of bees, I have obtained a few melons. I did plant the open pollinated seeds in well supplied soil (Miracle Gro Garden Soil). We have had arid periods here with temps in excess of 90 degrees F but I water my melons no less than once a week and often twice a week and give them Miracle Gro Liquid fertilizer via a wand and do try to keep the leaves from getting moisture or fertilizer on them. Why do these leaves turn, yellow, brown then dry....

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jellyman(6/7VA)

Jessejr:

Your mention of Miracle Grow Garden Soil compels me to ask this question: Are you by any chance trying to grow cantaloupes in small containers? All melons and other vine crops develop very large root systems when grown on the ground. When confined to containers, roots can develop only so much as the containers allow. Roots in containers also heat up in very warm weather, which can impair their ability to function. It is possible to grow melons in containers, but for a chance of even a couple of melons the containers must be adequately sized, and kept cool during the heat of the day. Black plastic containers are the worst in terms of heat absorption. If you are using Miracle Grow soil simply to add organic material to your garden, of course, it should cause no problems.

Application of fertilizers, or not, has nothing to do with your problem (unless you have seriously over-fertilized), and the fact the seeds are "open pollinated" even less. My best melons are always hybrid types, which grow bigger and better fruits, and usually have the advantage of some inbred disease resistance. I have grown many of the OP types in past years (including Hale's Best), and my favorite cantaloupe is "Primo" from Stokes Seeds. I leave the open pollinated melons to nostalgia buffs.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 5:49PM
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jessejr

Don,

I actually have them all planted in beds and made sure I used something to lower the alkaline pH then added the Miracle-Gro garden soil. Later I used Miracle Gro liquid feed.

I prefer the open pollinated seeds so that i can have a continual source of seeds. If there ever is to be a ban on OP seeds I will have mine. This is not too far from reality since they already have bans on such in Indonesia where you can go to jail, if they catch you with open pollinated seeds. One day they WILL take control of food production as they have health care and many other things. Just makes sense to me to use the Open Pollinated Seeds even though they do not have the same disease resistance. I will look for the "Primo" Seeds at Stokes. I wish I could show you pictures of my problem melons on here.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 7:06PM
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