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Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Posted by SouthCountryGuy SE BC 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 11, 13 at 20:16

I am sitting here contemplating my stokes order and am seriously considering ordering the Muskmelon/cantaloupe 'Dutchess' and the watermelons 'Sweet Favorite' and 'New Yellow Baby'. Anybody else considering melons?

If my seeds come quickly I am hoping to try them under grow lights over the winter. Anyone have some bees I can borrow? LOL

SCG


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Yes we're going to give Hybrid Alaska cantaloup another try out here in Manitoba, we get our seed through Lindenberg out of Brandon.

You must have the summer heat and season to grow them outside where you are. After getting our first taste of a real honest-to-goodness melon last summer, I don't blame you for wanting to try grow lights!

Sorry, can't help you with any bees-----do you think a real soft, artist sized paint brush might work for pollination?


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Manitoba_mum, yeah I could pollinate that way but methinks it would be much more fun to have an active beehive. Anybody can say they grew vegetables under lights but how many can say they got honey? LOL

I am hoping our summer heat will be good to grow melons. My first attempt last year failed when I failed to notice my daughters had moved the irrigation lines and the plant dried up.

Will be interesting to see how they do in containers.

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I haven't yet planned out the 2014 garden, so not sure if melons will be part of that.

If you are going to try growing melons under lights, in my experience any of those melon/squash/cucumber/pumpkin family go leggy and weak very quickly under shop lights, no matter how close you have them to the lights. Once they germinate they surge for the light source, putting up weak, leggy growth that doesn't stand a chance outside. If you have sodium lights or something else very strong, it might be a different story. I'd take a sunny south-facing windowsill over shop lights for melons any day, but even the window isn't ideal.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 8:41

Two years ago I grew Halona melon. I got 3 or 4 melons from it but have to start it earlier inside this year. Very tasty melon. I also have seeds for Hales Best I want to try.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Thanks don, I have enough lights to grow nearly anything so that isn't an issue. I have a few months between time to start my annual flowers so I thought I would try a melon or two for kicks...Yeah I have both HPS, MH and T5 HO lights....I am sure my place glows at night lol...

FWIW, i was told I couldn't grow citrus under lights last year and I managed to gather one terrible orange...lol

marric thanks for the info on the melon...I will get a few seeds for them to try


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Use the MH lights - they will promote good, stocky growth. Never use HPS for starting seedlings. T5 is OK.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Reviving this old post. Yellow Doll watermelons sprouted indoors and now growing under poly-tunnels in the garden. Last year these watermelons were extremely successful, thanks to a long, hot September. Hoping for success again this year.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I tried starting 20 plants indoors and only had 8 germinate. I can't remember the varieties as they were all I could find locally. Unfortunately I am down to one out of 8 plants and am unsure of which variety that is now. I allowed my 3 and 5 year old daughters to weed along my rock border....well I planted them all too close to the border and my 3 yr old thought they were weeds.....I replanted them all but it seems only one survived...... it is quite obvious my kids have a innate sense to stop me from growing melons...

Good luck don.

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

  • Posted by pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 14, 14 at 12:02

I am attempting Sureness hybrid watermelon (65 day), seed from William Dam. I say attempting because they are still growing in pots in the greenhouse. They germinated easily on a heat mat and have grown well in pots. But the weather has NOT been helping matters at all ... last week I actually brought them into the house to keep them warm because 3 nights in a row the temps went to 2 or 3 degrees. I had hoped to plant them out this weekend, but it's cold and raining - something that is forecast to continue forever (if you believe what environment canada has to say). At least I had the wherewithall to plan them in larger pots: 2 plants per pot and the roots are just now reaching the bottom so they are not stressing. I plan to put them under hooped row cover and they'll have a very warm (well, potentially, haha), protected spot in the garden this year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sureness


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I planted watermelons in the garden last year. I don't recall the variety, but they were supposed to have yellow flesh. I got a couple of cantaloupe size fruit, but they didn't have enough time to ripen. They tasted like cucumber.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Pretty tough conditions so far this growing season, highs very frequently struggle to make 20 C and nights are cold. Just set out my cucumber transplants and sure gonna put a row cover on them. Today, a fella told me that all his cucumber transplants turned white and died from the chilly weather. Let's hope the heat kicks in soon!

My friends who had moved to the Okanagan had given me a call and spoke of months of warm settled weather they've already enjoyed and the beautiful manicured yards and streetscapes seen everywhere, like rub it in lol. But, I do have my own bit of paradise living here in the rolling hills north of Spruce Grove with the amazing piece of property we were so very fortunate to find just across from a lake where the loons can often be heard crying out. The yard is full of gorgeous towering birch trees, chockcherries, saskatoons, hazelnuts, dogwood, wild roses, wild blue clematis, honeysuckle vines, bunchberries, rough fruited fairy bells, bedstraw, dogbane and fireweed, the last three being rather very attractive weeds ... now, never mind the awesome chorus of birds!

The forecast given this morning on Global News has bumped up the temperatures for mid week and onward, we'll see if this really holds true or not.

This post was edited by twrosz on Sun, Jun 15, 14 at 11:38


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

It's been a horrible start to the summer. I just got my garden in last week and with all this cold and rain, I don't know whether the seeds will germinate or rot in the ground. Bummer.

The only melons I have ever grown in my Saskatoon garden were some cantaloupe that showed up in my compost pile. I had no idea what I was growing until the "netting" developed on the skin.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Funny you should mention that donna. I have the same thing going in my compost pile. I "think" some cantaloupe. Will be interesting as it gets zero sunshine...

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I'm growing melons for the first time this year, and I have a Sugar Cube, Piel de Sapo, and Papaya Dew at my community garden plot. Between the Sugar Cube and Papaya Dew I've got at least seven fruits, all baseball or softball sized. The Piel de Sapo is a little behind; I got it in late and it'll hopefully be flowering soon. At my apartment in a container I also have two Minnesota Midget plants just starting to flower. I put in a Mickylee watermelon and another melon I can't remember the name of at my parents' house in their plot, but I seriously doubt they're going to remember to water it.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Hi brittanyw ... nice for you to chime in here on the frozen far north forum :) ... the growing season here is very short and often very unpredictable. This year, it's been especially cool and things are progressing slowly, especially any heat loving plants such as melons and even in good years, these often take until well into September to mature, just in time for frost ... so, the earliest maturing varieties need be selected and care and pampering required if there's any hope in eating your own out of the garden melons. PS, send some heat this way!

Terrance


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Yes, I think my watermelon plants just got their third leaf :) Seriously. Maybe I should move to zone 8...


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

My melons are blooming like crazy now but only male flowers. I'm really hoping to get fruit


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

*sigh* it has been so cool here my melon is not doing much of anything.....this spring has been so frustrating.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I assumed my melons were slower this year as we really have not had any hot days, but I pulled back the cover and checked them yesterday (June 27) and was surprised to see they were forming short vines. Purely by coincidence I had taken pics of my melons last year on the exact same date, so perfect for a comparison.

Yellow Doll watermelons, June 27, 2013:
 photo Jun2713watermelon.jpg

Yellow Doll watermelons, June 27, 2014:
 photo Jun2714watermelon1.jpg

Now I just need similar warmth we had last year in July and August, plus another hot September.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Melons ahead of last year, looks like they are starting to set a few fruit now. Guess the hot weather of the past 2 weeks has been good for them.
 photo Jul1714watermelon1.jpg

 photo Jul1714watermelon2.jpg


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Bah! Mine just got decimated by a four legged slug.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I still hadn't had flowers so wasn't holding much hope. Looks great!


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I have some starting to set fruit now.
There is a secret .... They do it around osoyoos and around okanagan ,and that is to cover them with clear plastic so it's basically a sweat box. Don't have to be neat it just creates a temp of much higher than outside under the Polly sheet that is more natural. I've tried melons lots all failed ...
They cannot tolerate the dry prarie they are from tropical humid climates.
They are used to plus 35-40 degrees with 80 percent humidity .
I leave the sides open and use bamboo sticks to hold the sheet above the plant and weight Down with a few bricks.
Lots of it grows out of the plastic but I noticed a ten gold difference once I did this


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I am a small scale commercial vegetable grower in northern Vermont. Our last frost date is typically the last week of May to first week of June with first fall frosts in mid September. I start my melons indoors May 1st and then transplant outdoors the first or second week of June depending on the weather. I use black and infrared transmitting soil mulches to significantly increase soil temperatures. Currently, I have Blacktail Mountain watermelons transplanted around June 5th onto infrared transmitting mulch now weighing nearly 8 pounds. I am also growing Crimson Sweet, Sugar Baby, and Little Baby Flower watermelons; Halona and Sarah's Choice cantaloupe; Honey White honeydews and Savor Charentais melons. I have gotten really good results growing melons on dark plastic mulches. I have also seen people place flat dark rocks around melon plants to act as heat sinks. Furthermore, people around here also use old vehicle and tractor tires as raised beds. I am not sure what sorts of residues might leach into the soil from old tires, however the black color tends to increase soil temperatures significantly. Best wishes to everyone trying grow ripe melons before frost hits.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Thanks all, food for thought and I will consider these options for my garden next year.

I do have my melons/gourds in the wrong spot as most haven't produced flowers yet....lesson learned.

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

i have 2 itty bitty melons going and I was wondering if it would help or hinder to cut off most of the plant so it is able to put all its energy into the fruit instead of blooming madly as fruit setting now won't have time to ripen any suggestions


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Northeastkingdom, I been thinking about this and are you hand pollinating because if the covers? The answer screams yes but it am curious.

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Squirelette, don't cut off the plant, it needs all those leaves to generate food so your melons can grow. The flowers aren't going to cost the plant much energy so just ignore them. If you want to cut off any new melons that form though, that would help the focus the plants efforts into making the remaining melons bigger (though it won't help them ripen any earlier).


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I have been using plastic mulches, therefore I cut a hole into the plastic and plant each seedling into the plastic. I do not use row covers. Infrared transmitting plastic mulch allows the infrared radiation of the sun to pass through it warming the soil while preventing visible light from passing through. The result is soil temperatures approximately 8 to 10 degrees higher than ambient soil temperatures. Those few degrees can really boost melon growth even here in one of the cloudiest areas of the United States. Fortunately, this summer has been quite sunny and warm (15 day highs so far above 80 degrees) and the melons are maturing well ahead of last year.
A neighboring farm places row covers over their melons until they begin to flower, then they remove them so that the bees can pollinate. That farm brings in honeybees. My main pollinators seem to be bumblebees as the wild honeybee population has utterly collapsed over the past few years.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I cut my melons down and gave up. All the work put in huge plants with melons the size or marbles. It's August and not enough time. That will be last time I try melons


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I was going to do the same. I don't even have fruits but the foliage is nice it sits in front if some potentilla. Next year I am going to give it one more go. My luck has to change.

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Hmm, is this encouragement or bragging? Maybe both. I think there are 8 icebox melons in the patch now, 5 bigger ones and 3 still sizing up.

 photo Aug1114melons1trim.jpg

 photo Aug1114melons2.jpg


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

It's definitely a gooood summer for heat loving plants!


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Yes, excellent for warm weather crops... picked the first corn of the season on Monday (Aug. 11). It's an early variety (Quickie), but I think in most years it's late August before it ripens for me, early September in a cool summer. Picked my first 2 ripe tomatoes on July 17, that must be my earliest ever! Tomato plants now 6' tall, vs 4' by the end of 2013. Looking forward to a good acorn squash harvest too, usually a borderline crop that might or might not ripen for me.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

So after numerous disappointments of getting little melons starting and then shriveling up and disappearing I finally got a melon going it is about fist size now and another half dozen of other smaller sizes. They are supposed to be Sugar Baby and they are grafts. I an wondering if there is any hope that they will ripen before winter rolls in. One site I saw said about 5 weeks anybody got a ray of hope for me. I will try this again next year but now that I now that they need to be hand pollinated I am kind of excited could not have asked for a better season this year tho from what I read


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

You still have hope, it's going to depend what the weather is like going forward. I looked at my garden notes from last year, and I dedided I had some melons pollinated on Aug. 12 when they had reached ping-pong ball size, and it seems you are probably very close to that. They didn't ripen until late September and into October, so it might be touch and go for you. You can protect the vines and melons with blankets on frosty nights to extend your season as long as possible.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

When I had grown melons, I'd hand pollinate the blooms to help ensure fruit set, as I do for pumpkins and zucchini. I wish I would have planted melons this spring, it's been a warm summer and the pumpkins are already orange.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

twrosz, I find it interesting your pumpkins are already orange as my plants just decided to flower! LOL. Obviously they don't like where I put them.

Next year is going to be the year I succeed with melons......

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

definitely hand pollinating I did not get many female flowers so I will have to amend the soil to get less vine and more female flowers, the vines are filling a space 6' wide by nearly 14' long. Got the first melon by bee the rest are all hand pollinated
Terry those waterlilies are going gang busters the changeable one- Peaches and cream?? has leaves bigger than dinner plates


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

As a novice melon grower I am intrigued on how the soil determines sex of the flowers and vine length? While blooming incredibly late I have more female than male.

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

I don't remember which site is was but they suggested that amending the soil would increase the number of female Flowers or maybe it was water. I just really wanted 1 ripe melon this year so I will give it my best next year unless it is still snowing in July then I will just wish for spring lol


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

lol I have 20 pumpkins going now but well too late to be big enough to chuck at the neighbours. lol

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

lol I have 20 pumpkins going now but well too late to be big enough to chuck at the neighbours. lol

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

SCG, by amending and fertilizing the soil you'll get bigger stronger plants that are more likely to set flowers and fruit, in lean soils the plants will not come to full potential and peter out earlier in the season.

squirelett, glad to hear that waterlily is doing so very well and yes, the name is 'Peaches and Cream.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

  • Posted by pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 31, 14 at 19:14

I've been really pleased with the Sureness watermelon I'm growing. I picked a ripe one today, and the biggest so far (there are a total of 8 melons growing on 3 plants). It weighs 3.5 kg, or just under 8 pounds.


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Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

  • Posted by pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 31, 14 at 19:18

Sureness is a yellow-fleshed watermelon, but the colour sure doesn't take away anything from the taste - incredibly sweet and really, really juicy. It's a big treat to have fresh watermelon in Saskatchewan!


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Nice melon! I can't wait till next year I am going to beat my melon jinx.

SCG


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

Pudge, that's really impressive! My Yellow Doll have sized up but I think are still a long way from ripe... the tendril and spoon leaf beside the melon stems are still completely green.


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

So jealous my biggest is getting bigger every day but I figure another couple weeks if the weather holds. hopefully will do better next year definitely trying again next year after seeing yours


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RE: Anyone going to grow melons in 2014?

  • Posted by pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 1, 14 at 10:46

These plants actually took a bit of a beating early on (7 inches of rain the week after they were transplanted), one plant appeared to be all but dead, but then they did bounce back nicely once the heat hit in July. That first ripe melon was picked 70 days after transplanting. Sureness is supposed to be a 65-day so that appears accurate, even here. We did have a very nice July and August - good rains, lots of heat (LOTS of mosquitos) and plenty of bees. I fertilized them twice with 15-30-15 to bring on the blooms.


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