Newbie plants Cantaloupe in fenced in garden...

Peter1142(Zone 6b)July 13, 2014

These are two Crenshaw cantaloupe plants.

I have already accidentally broken off 2 vine ends trying to deal with the mess. NOT recommended. I would not plant these again unless they had 15' of straight vining space at a bare minimum.

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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Seems you found out the hard way that melons aren't exactly small plants. :)


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:21PM
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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

I gave them like 50 SF of garden space... not even close to enough.

And the vines are brittle and easily damaged.

This post was edited by Peter1142 on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 21:44

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:35PM
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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

An update... the trellis did not work at all. The leaves got all bunched up from overgrowth in the trellis area, and the plant continued to grow, out, over, and around the fence. There was no keeping these 2 plants in the garden space. This picture shows the back of my 6 foot fence. Some of these vines must be close to 20 feet long, with large leaves on tall stems, and show no signs of stopping growth.

Also, one of the fruits and I assume more to come unless I intervene have grown deformed through the holes in the fence.

One of the plants has the powdery mildew towards the base of the plant, I tried baking soda and Draconil, and it has only gotten slightly worse but no better. I ordered some Immunox as suggested in another thread I will try.

How long does it take cantaloupe fruits to fully mature after getting pollinated?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:51AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

You can direct the growing stems through your fencing, and they will continue to grow outside the fence, rather than up and over it. But yes, these types of plants are definitely wanderers! I wonder if you could cut back on the stems next year? (if you didn't want them to grow through the fencing).

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:06PM
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I feel your pain. I planted 9 watermelons in a 4x8 raised bed. Wouldn't recommend that either. :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:01PM
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I grew butternut squash once - one plant took over my entire garden and I got one squash to show for it along with a few tiny ones. I only grow zucchini now, the plants might get big but they don't travel too far. ;)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:29PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I've cordened off a section of my garden for Waltham butternut squash. I just used a cattle panel to separate the area. It's about 25'x6' and they always escape.........but usually it's just into the rest of the garden and they don't seem to hurt anything, so I just leave them alone. The strength of the cattle panels can handle them, but I have to keep an eye on if the weight of the vine is crimping it too much........then it's bungee cords to the rescue. :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:40AM
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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

I'm losing the battle to the PM.. tried Daconil, baking soda, and I ordered Immunox and sprayed that yesterday but today it continued to get worse and spread to my Acorns and Zucchini. I'm open to any other suggestions. .. I have a nice fruit set of the lopes, how long until they are ripe?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:09PM
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yolos - z 7b/8a Ga.

I used 50% whole milk and 50% water in a pump sprayer. I had very little PM but it has been two days and I think I caught it before it multiplied.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:37PM
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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

These aren't cantaloupes, they're my small sugar pumpkins!! The tiny vines with tiny flowers are the cantaloupes! I must have gotten them backwards somehow.

If these guys survive the aggressive PM they've got, we will have a bountiful pumpkin harvest...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:40AM
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melfield_wy(5b Wyoming)

Sugar Pumpkins are great!! Learn how to roast them - they make the best pumpkin pies you've ever had!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:05PM
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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

Deer finally got the part sticking past the fence, they've got a vine borer, and the PM is slowly killing it off. It's got about 8 or 9 mostly dark green pumpkins on the vines. Will they ripen if the plant dies before they are finished?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:24PM
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I grew sugar pumpkins last year. I had to cut them off the vine and take them home for various reasons. They had just started to orange up a tiny bit. I was able to bring them home and they got mostly orange under a plant light. They had a nice flavor but weren't as sweet. They didn't rot within a week the way zucchini does nor did they shrivel up. If they start to turn orange at all or if you can make the vine last until they start, I think you may have a chance.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 7:37PM
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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

The oldest ones are just starting to orange. So if all the leaves die I should just leave them on the vine in the sun until orange? If the vine dies I should leave them just in the sun?

Thanks! If they all manage to ripen I will have a nice pumpkin harvest despite all the issues. I wish my butternuts did as well, can they mature off the vine if theirs dies?

I tried everything for the PM, baking soda, milk, daconil, immunox, nothing appeared to have any effect. Luckily it seems slow spreading to the newer leaves enough that it wouldn't be much of an issue if the deer didn't eat them!

This post was edited by Peter1142 on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 9:10

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:08AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

The sprays you mention don't cure powdery mildew (well I'm not sure about the daconil and immunox). They only help to control it's spread. Which is what you've noticed. If you didn't spray the PM would have most likely taken over your plants and quickly. Once you've got PM there is no turning back the clock.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:40AM
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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

Well, I have read elsewhere that PM rarely kills an entire plant by itself or effects new leaves, and this seems to match my experience. I did not spray every plant I have out there and some others have gotten it on a few leaves but it is spreading slowly, only on the older leaves, the same as the pumpkins. I did not spray the newer leaves either. While I understand that PM can't be cured, I honestly don't feel like I have made any real significant difference, only perhaps slowed it down a tiny bit. Given that all of these plants are now on their way out no matter what I do, I am kind of burnt out from trying to take care of them, and will be happy with the harvest I am getting. At this point 2 zucchini a day, about 10-15 acorns, 4 butternuts, 8-10 pumpkins (assuming they all mature, but I bet I can eat them green all the same, or use them for dog treats), I am already sick of squash now and haven't even harvested all the winter stuff yet.

What would be good for prophylaxis next year?

This post was edited by Peter1142 on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 9:52

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:51AM
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