Watermelon plants growing slowly

2ajsmamaJuly 13, 2014

Is this normal? I seeded cantaloupe and watermelon when I did squash and cukes Memorial Day, they took a while to germinate, the zukes are finally getting big (about 2-3ft dia), yellow squash a little smaller, cukes are starting to vine (even the "bush" types). Only 1 cantaloupe germinated so I started more, but only a couple of those came up (old seed) and they are very small, 6" or so dia, though the 1st one is over a foot and getting some flowers.

The watermelon seeded same time as 2nd cantaloupes (June 16) are very small though - about 3-4" dia and no flowers. We've been getting a fair amount of rain but I did water this past week since it's been like 2" one week and 1/4" the next week, not consistent.

Watermelon seed was old too - think that's why the plants aren't vigorous? FWIW, these are early "personal size" melons Little Gem 80 days. Only 1 true leaf on most of them. Or are these just slow growing compact plants?

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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Healthy melons vines should fairly quickly burst into a jungle of vines with large leaves ,usually.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:22PM
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2ajsmama

So should I just pull these and plant something else in that spot?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:41PM
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jwhittin_gw

I have the same type of issue with my melons. Very small, and just two or three true leaves. Planted the same time as my squash and cukes, which are quite a bit bigger. I think the problem with the melons is they don't get quite as much sun as they need. But I'm willing to stick it it and seewhat I get. It's only July...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 7:24PM
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springtogarden(6)

Mine are pretty small still. They are looking more healthier than they did a few weeks ago. They are behind my winter squashes too. Part of the problem for me was the weather got very cold a week here and there in June. Now it is really hot so I am hoping they take off soon.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:06PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I'm having the same issue. I thought with our weather warming up they would start to put on more growth but nope. I think my problem is a new bed with new soil that is too heavy and less than all day sun. I'm thinking of pulling them and using a cover crop on the bed to improve the soil for next year. I may just try growing something that will do better with less than full day sun, next year.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:20AM
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2ajsmama

I put the melons where I had the squash last year (maybe not a good idea but had no other room in house garden where I have water). Squash where the mustard and kale was last year, on the east end. Now east end might not be getting enough sun, but west end should be.

Maybe it has been too cool for melons, if they like it warmer than squash, but it's been low 80's. I know the cukes haven't really taken off yet. I just thought the watermelons would be bigger after a month, I don't recall how long it took the 2nd seeds to germinate. I'll give it a couple more weeks and might just pull them and put fall crop in there, or 2nd crop of squash - hoping that Sept stays warm enough for summer squash. It was chancy getting melons by Labor Day anyway, with having to reseed mid-June.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:39AM
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2ajsmama

Just getting some slicer cukes now (maybe a day or 2 longer to fill out), pickling cukes just 1/4" long, I have 1 cantaloupe about the size of DD's fist now so I won't pull that. But the other cantaloupe and watermelon plants are just starting to flower - is there any hope for fruit off them (75-80 DTM), maybe if I can put row cover on in Sept? It was a chance reseeding in mid-June when the ones I started Mem Day didn't germinate, was hoping to have watermelon by Labor Day.

If these aren't going to do anything I can use the space for fall crops - in fact, I planted so far apart I could seed something else (maybe more summer squash?) in between the melons. Is that a better plan than pulling them?

I planted beets and chard where I had pulled the bolting lettuce last month, kale where I had more lettuce and then had tried basil a couple of weeks ago (no germination - probably got washed out by the heavy rains even with hay mulch - kale was planted in shallow furrow so I hope yesterday's heavy rains didn't wash those seeds out).

More storms today, maybe next Monday too so I'm waiting with fall lettuce and other tiny seeds. May do some more carrots and cover with burlap as the ones I seeded at the beginning of the month burnt up a little in the heat though I had good quick germination (they're just starting to show ferny foliage now).

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:16AM
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