growing watermelon in containers..

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)August 17, 2009

My gardening zone is 4. I live in Boyne City Michigan; this town is located in the Northern part of the lower peninsula.

I know that it's too late to grow watermelon now. However I don't plan to grow watermelon this year. I would however like to attempt to grow watermelon next year. Any information acquired from this thread will be for FUTURE reference.

I know that as a rule-of-thumb there are certain vegetables and fruits that don't grow well in containers. To my knowledge these vegetables and fruits are any kind of squash, any kind of melon, and indeterminate varieties of tomatoes. I know that these vegetables and fruits shouldn't be planted in containers cause they need lots of space, don't like cramped quarters and having limited space,

and their vines go all over the place.

However the variety of watermelon I plan to go is called sugar bush. It's a compact bush variety of the sugar baby watermelon; each melon produced from sugar bush is 12 lbs. (at least according to the description given in the seed catalog) It is more tolerant of being spaced closer together with other watermelon plants than it's traditional counterpart. Also to my knowledge, the vines aren't as long as the traditional variety of sugar baby watermelon.

I do have some questions regarding growing watermelon in containers. To my knowledge, melons in general like a

soil mixture rich in fertilizer and/or manure and they like sandy soil. Is this correct and accurate? Also I am currently using 10 gallon containers to grow my vegetables in. My question is how many sugar bush watermelon plants

can I grow in a 10 gallon containers without overcrowding them? This is AFTER I've thinned out the plants.

For growing something like watermelon, even though it's a bush variety, I would prefer to use 15, 20, or 30 gallon containers. How many sugar bush sugar baby watermelon plants could I grow in a 15, 20, or 30 gallon container without overcrowding them? Once again this is AFTER they've been thinned out. Is it possible to grow watermelon in Michigan? I know the weather is cooler

but you would be able to start them in the summer correct?

Also traditionally you are supposed to create hills when

you plant watermelon. You create a hill and then you plant your seeds on the hill. You thin out your plants to your three strongest. Since I plan to grow my watermelon

in containers would I still have to use the hill method? Would it be detrimental to my watermelon if I didn't?

My other question is with watermelon are you supposed to train the vines of the plant to climb a trellis? The variety of watermelon I plan to grow is as stated before

a compact, bush variety; the vines to my knowledge for sugar bush are shorter. Would I still have to

train the vines up a trellis even if they're shorter?

I know these questions will seem very basic to somebody who has experience with container gardening. However I've never

really grown watermelons before, and I certainly don't have

experience growing them in containers. I'm a novice

with gardening in general and what I'm growing this year

is basically my first real experience with gardening.

I could really use advice and suggestions regarding growing

watermelons in containers. Any suggestions and advice

given will be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance

for those who take time to look at this thread.

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justaguy2(5)

The answer to all your recent posts on 'what size container for...' is the same.

Get an EarthBox and follow their planting instructions.

It will make your life much easier than wondering about every single plant.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 10:32AM
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linchat(10b)

I grew 3 plants of sugar baby this summer and all were happy and productive. Grew them in 18" nursery containers. The melons came out great. Their is another thread here of someone growing sugar baby with pics. I am not sure why some say watermelon in containers will not work.

Biggest problem, watermelons love water. Constant watering and fertilizer.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 12:09PM
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kawaiineko_gardener(5a)

This message is to justaguy2 ONLY. Linchat please disregard or ignore this message as it's not aimed toward you, it's for the first person who posted on this thread. If I end up offending or irritating you linchat, then my apologies as you're not the one I'm annoyed with.

Your advice is a load of dung and doesn't help at all. I would love to get an earthbox except not all us are made of $$$! I can't afford an earthbox.

Maybe you can, but I CAN'T!

The way I'm gardening is not how I want to garden. I can't grow the varieties of seeds I want to grow because I can't afford them, they're too expensive. I can't afford
to do gardening the way I want to with container gardening,
because I'm on a really limited budget. I have to work
with the resources I have available to me.

You're suggestion of "get an earthbox it'll solve all your problems" IS NOT A VIABLE OPTION FOR ME. I can't get
the size containers I would like to grow stuff in, because
the bigger size containers are more expensive, and I can't afford them.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 7:35PM
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justaguy2(5)

Your advice is a load of dung and doesn't help at all. I would love to get an earthbox except not all us are made of $$$! I can't afford an earthbox.

Maybe you can, but I CAN'T!

Email me with your address and I will buy one for you. There is one condition, however. You can't ask any more 'how many per container can I grow' type questions. You must instead follow the instructions that will arrive with your EarthBox. You will be required to take off the training wheels and just give it a go.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:07PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If I get in a fight with you, can I have one too?

Al

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:42PM
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justaguy2(5)

Sure, but no fight needed. I would *love* to see you get into SWC.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 10:02PM
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catlover_gardener

I read this and fell off my chair laughing!!
I LOVE THIS FORUM, esp JustAGuy and Al!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:54AM
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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

Justaguy!... Since your feeling like Abraham Lincoln
Rawb kawaiineko.. Dude! Dudette whatever.. Relax The basic rule applies across the board... I fully understand wanting to do it right an proper the first time as I, like you would have to wait till next year to give it another go. I am new at this too! This my first yr for a container garden and have asked my share of basic newb questions. But the positive thing is, if it doesn't work out then you know what your options are.. ie .. go bigger container/ one less plant.. etc... Keep notes for next yr!

What I did was plant what I wanted in containers I know will work. Those are my main ones, then I have one or two in smaller sizes for comparison on growth, fruit size, production etc.. if they produce all the better, but they are experiments so.... Here are a few examples of what I have going this year... Bell pepper in 4-5 gal container, then I have two bell peppers in a 5 gal bucket.. fruits are the same size... I have a halepeno pepper plant in a 5 gal bucket and a halepeno in a 1-2 gal container, the 5 gal had fruit first, the smaller container is out producing the other now! Go figure! LoL ..

Just newb luck I don't know, unless someone giving advice is right down the road from you.. there guidelines! every area is different. Yor garden can be going crazy and in the next county everyones garden is runted.. just never know from area to area an yr to yr.. IMHO

I am sure I told you in another board, to contact your local county extension office they will know and tell exactly what will and how to grow what for your area!

Smile kawaiineko! everyones friendly here... I think! LoL

Justaguy will that be comming UPS or US ground?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 12:53PM
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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

One other thing kawaiineko.. your quote...
" can't get
the size containers I would like to grow stuff in, because
the bigger size containers are more expensive, and I can't afford them. "

You may want to go ask about discarded containers at your local nurseries. they will probably give them to you for free! If not atleast pennies of the original cost if their real jerks. LoL And ask about with some local landscapers they plant the stuff an just toss the containers most of the time. I am sure they would give them to you if they don't plant their own stock.

Go look at my post on this board "newbs failure" some pics of my mater plants.. But you can see the 7-8 gal nursery containers I got for free!..

Be nice smile alot.. LoL goes along way.. IMHO..

Peace!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 1:04PM
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opal52(z7b GA)

RAWB, good idea on checking with local landscapers for containers. We did that about five years ago, and got several large containers for two dollars. They were the big ones that had trees in them. The landscapers seemed happy for us to take them. They were black, so I bought spray paint formulated for plastics. That made them look nice, absorb less heat from the sun, and they worked great. We still have them. Last year, we made self watering containers and those have worked best for us. If you watch for sales on the 18 gallon containers at places like Lowes, Walmart etc., the price to make your own self watering container can be quite reasonable. We typically use the guidelines published by Earthbox for number of plants per container, etc.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 5:36PM
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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

Opal hi...
Ya there out there! And they just get tossed. Your city parks service or whatever whoever is doing planting.. check them out.. I got all my containers from a landscaper. Man he just had loads of containers laying around. He was happy to get rid of them. Fact is I still have containers I didn't use.. ran out of funds to get dirt/potting mix to put in them!

I left mine black... I understand the light dark heat attraction thing. But I am perplexed about it... If it was that big of a deal, you think all these big time nurseries and growers would have their containers white ... but yet they're all black! I don't get it?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:43PM
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georgeiii

Here's something from the (P)ee garden.

This is a Big Max pumpkin.

Newest photo

There are three 20' vines coming out of the SWC bucket set up below.

That's a 4 1/2 gallon bucket inside a 6 gallon bucket. On two of the vines the a cloning point that gives the vines an extra push.

You can also see a Atlantic Cross watermelon vine growing right next to the Big Max, that's also in a SWC. The whole garden was grown on urine. No chemical fertilizer at all.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 11:45PM
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sprtsguy76(Santa Clara Ca. 9b)

Hey! I'm in line too, if picking a fight with jag gets me an EB then jag lets go 3 out of 5, or maybe 4 out of 7. LOL

Damon

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 1:11AM
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justaguy2(5)

Y'all are a bunch of welfare queens, I tell ya... ;)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 1:59AM
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linchat(10b)

Y'all are a bunch of welfare queens, I tell ya... ;)

rotfl! Why don't you grow a watermelon in an eartbox somewhere! :) lol

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 9:59AM
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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

George quote " The whole garden was grown on urine. No chemical fertilizer at all. "

I take it, your a beer drinker!... eh?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 10:30AM
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georgeiii

Isn't it cute when a "norm" tries to be witty. I heard some one say that more than 50 years ago. Sad to think that's as far as you've come. Better yet people come here looking for help and they run into you drama queens. kawaiineko you can look back over my postings and learn about gardening with nothing. An I mean just that. If you want to keep up with the more modern stuff check out ChristianWarlock on Photobucket.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 2:39PM
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justaguy2(5)

Isn't it cute when a "norm" tries to be witty.

Hi Georgiii!

Are you calling me Norm? That's not my name. ;)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 3:06PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Georgi - what is "the a [sic] cloning point that gives the vines an extra push." That's a new botanical term to me. Inquiring minds .....

Al

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 3:24PM
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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

Alright being a newb guess I haven't got all the secret garden lingo down yet!

Is this directed to me for the beer comment?

"georgeiii'...Isn't it cute when a "norm" tries to be witty. I heard some one say that more than 50 years ago"
So what is a "norm"? Perhaps if I referenced Tea it would have been better?

But sorry for being uninformed, so without trying to keep the converation light! Direct and blan ... You actually piss on your vegetables? You save all your urine and water your plants with it? Seriously I have no clue what your talking about... Never heard of doing such a thing! Would you explain it to me, please! I may try it on my maters... The neighbors may think it odd and won't want any extras... But if it makes the BER go away.. count me in on this little known tidbit!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 6:33PM
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seramas

In the past I've grown watermelon in an 8" clay pot. It was setting on the ground and the roots grew out the bottom. It was loaded with melons. Didn't whip it out to pee on it--back then I was too shy to do such a thing.

Imagine in a diluted form it would work, but every now-n-then would have to leach out build-ups of chlorides and Calcium to prevent damage to the roots and to maintain PH.

A short list of what urine contains:
urea (CON2H4 or (NH2)2CO)
Creatinine
Uric acid (C5H4N4O3)
carbohydrates
enzymes
fatty acids
hormones
pigments
mucins
Sodium (Na+)
Potassium (K+)
Chloride (Cl-)
Magnesium (Mg2+)
Calcium (Ca2+)
Ammonium (NH4+)
Sulphates (SO42-)
Phosphates (H2PO4-, HPO42-, PO43-)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 11:03PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Some of these advocates of using urine are simply enthralled with certain bodily functions or love the idea that to some people, there is a certain amount of shock associated with the offering, "I pee on my plants". IOW, some of them are a little whacked. Some are legit, and believe that discovering their urine is something akin to the discovery that certain things added to the soil can supplement a plant's nutritional needs (fertilizer).

Give me a fertilizer that has all the essential nutrients in it, in approx the same ratio that plants use those nutrients, and I'll point to healthier plants. I'm not a prude, and I have no aversion to talking about bodily function or what comes out during those functions, but my personal take on the urine thing is that its weird, and some people get the designation 'extra-weird' when they take obvious delight in talking about it over and over again.

Example: I'm not too uptight to talk about this stuff when the subject comes up - right? But there was a DJ on a radio station I used to listen to in the AM. The guy was obsessed with pee, poop, boogers, sex, farting ...... and would take every opportunity to make innuendos or work comments about bodily functions into his conversation to the point where it was sickening, so I stopped listening. When the station called me (my business) to solicit me (advertising), I told them I didn't want to be associated with an entity that allowed a whacko free air time to indulge himself ..... and explained what I meant to the salesman, and then presumably, the boss. It may be a coincidence, but within a couple of weeks he was history.

Not aimed at you, Seramus .... not aimed at anyone in particular, actually .... just musing.

Al

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 11:12AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Hi Georgiii!

Are you calling me Norm? That's not my name. ;)

Hey JAG, Surely you can't be serious?

Tom

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 4:53PM
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kawaiineko_gardener(5a)

This message is for Justaguy2 ONLY.

I apologize for snapping at you and my previous behavior.
I'm not doing my garden the way I would like to. I'm working with what resources I have available to me and trying to make things feasible to do container gardening using what I have.

I am attempting to grow some veggies right now. They are icicle radish, romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, turnips, bush green beans and kohlrabi. Unfortunately the weather
has knocked down my turnip seedlings numerous times so I've had to restart them from seed. My radish decided to bolt so I had to restart planting it, and my carrot seedlings were also knocked over cause of rainy and windy weather so I had to restart them from seed too.

I sent you an e-mail regarding your offer of sending me
an earthbox. Enclosed in the e-mail is my mailing address.
The e-mail address I used is Jesusbeloved29@yahoo.com
PLEASE check your spam with your inbox; it might get sent to spam because of my e-mail address being an unfamiliar e-mail address that your inbox isn't accustomed to seeing

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 5:35PM
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justaguy2(5)

I have your email, but just to be clear, you are going to follow the instructions that come with the EB and not keep asking about spacing for every single plant any more, right?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 6:34PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I promise.

Al

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 7:31PM
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seramas

Just started reading in this forum and it has a lot of mean spirited posts dictating what others can or can't post.

Suggested solution is to not read any of the posts that bother you.

Al--I would never pee on my plants-my response was to point out the chemistry aspect of peeing on ones plants-I'm a retired PhD Nutritional Biochemist. I thought the pee thing was FUNNY!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 8:16PM
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linchat(10b)

Hey Al, I like to pee on my plants.... But hey, who doesn't? :-)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 8:21PM
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justaguy2(5)

Just started reading in this forum and it has a lot of mean spirited posts dictating what others can or can't post.

Really? Like what?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 8:23PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Seramus - did you notice my last sentence? I got a kind of neutral feeling from your post, so I offered the little note so you wouldn't think it was your post that prompted my musings.

People believe a lot of strange things, so I'm not surprised that some (not you) think pee is the end-all fertilizer strategy. I just find it weird that they don't do some research, and weirder when they go on & on about it ..... and now I'm getting redundant. ;o)

Al

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 8:44PM
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georgeiii

You think that was funny. Well I don't want to hog the thread so I'm going to start another. Come on over, you can get a tickle there too.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 12:44PM
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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

"People believe a lot of strange things, " I do so agree! Really I have never heard of people doing that.. cept for maybe at a party!

But someone would be missing some teeth if I was half way through a vegy an then told it was grown on human waste!
Somehow dysentary doesn't seem that appealing. Think I would rather have diner with the 'Doners!"

" You think that was funny. Well I don't want to hog the thread so I'm going to start another. Come on over, you can get a tickle there too."
About time! This forum has been getting a little mean spirited! LOL Jus' joking Seramus!

What I think is funny.. is how some must view porta potties at public events as a gold mine!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 1:04PM
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linchat(10b)

Not that I am trying to drawwww out the whole peeing thing. BUt last year during the drought, the portion of the grass that my neighbors let people water ;) at there weekly parties was the only thing that survived and could have won award. But hey, water is water when your thirsty I guess.... :)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 10:54PM
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DrHorticulture_(Z3 Central Saskatchewan)

I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but you can certainly grow indeterminate toms in a container. It may or may not produce as well as in the ground (depending on soil temp. etc - up here, container plants often do better). Don't limit yourself.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 12:06AM
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