Help with watermelons

howelbama(7 NJ)July 22, 2011


I am running into some trouble with my container watermelons.

I have a few crimson sweet plants and cantaloupe plants in a 12 gallon pot and another 12 gallon pot with a couple of jubilee melon plants. They both have an SFG type Mel's mix in them, very well draining due to added perlite in the mix.

I have several nicely sized fruits set and growing.

The foliage has developed spotting and yellowing from the older leaves out. The spots are small and numerous dark purple to black in color only affecting the leaf surface, the damage/spots do not show through to the underside of the leaves. The leaves are also getting pale, the new growth is not as affected. Does the sound like fungal or nutrient? Root bound?

I feed with a three part grow micro bloom using tap water that is de chlorinated but not otherwise filtered. It has a ph of 8.2 w/o nutrients and mixes to 6.4 with the 3part fert. The containers drip fed the 8.2 water.

I am definitely guilty of overwatering, and it had been hard to keep the containers properly watered duet frequent spring/early summer rains. I may be guilty of over fertilizing, but I think the issue may be more of the watering issue and ph of the de chlorinated tap water I am using. Could the be a micro nutrient disorder? If so would the spots go all the watt through the leaf, since they don't, does that indicate fungal and or viral?

I am going to allow the containers dry more between waterings and would like to find a cost effective way to lower my tap ph....

I will try to post some pics.

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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Well you say you over water ,so stop watering for a few days,also omit the ferts
It would help if you could post pics ,

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 2:54AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Your description of the damage on only one side of the leaves makes me think it must be a fungus. I have seen wilts in melons caused by insects that spread disease, but it's not anything like what you describe. And I have seen under- and over-fertilized plants of all kinds, and they never involved spots. Photos would help.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 8:56PM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

I think I may have figured it out, now what can I do if anything?

I think it is ozone damage... We have had some extreme heat and air quality alerts... Also the plants are very close to my neighbors driveway where they sometimes idle their failed emissions inspection suv...

Anyone concur? Here is a pic of a badly affected leaf...

Overwatering and heat caused one of my crimsons to split :(. It was ripe though, so I ate it anyway:)

Any advice/help appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 9:42PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Sorry. I have no idea a out what's going on. That doesn't look like fungus to me, so I'm stumped.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 9:58PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

A few of my early container watermelon leaves looked exactly like that. That was back in our wet May. The rest of the leaves are more normal looking. The good news is that those bad leaves are still there with no apparent downside. It might be the overwatering you mentioned. Fortunately it's almost impossible for me to overwater mine, it's been so hot and sunny. I soak them every other day and they still need water after 2 days.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:01PM
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