Melon advice, Wilt resistant types?

fresc1000August 8, 2014

I tried my hand at melons for the first time this year...and unfortunately think I failed. Have 4 different varieties of heirlooms--MN Midget, Sweet Passion, Valencia and Boule d'Or.

1) I lost all my plants last year to CBs in spring. This year I tried row covers, which were a huge pain because it was so hard to look under the covers and check on my plants. Also seemed like water didn't penetrate well, and the leaves seemed wrinkled up by the pressure of the covers. Ended up removing them well before flowering. Used Agribon brand insect barrier. Any tips?

2) Only 1 or 2 melons are set, and I have 10 plants. Many of my female flowers and small melons withered up. The plants are crawling with bees and all the nearby squashes set like crazy, so I'm not sure it's pollination issue. Ideas?

3) Now all my plants are wilting...after research I believe it is Fusarium. Are there any good Fusarium resistant heirloom or OP varieties out there?????

Thanks for any advice! I'm not growing on a large scale, just want some juicy melons for friends and family.

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farmerdill

There are varieties with resistance to Fusarium, but there are lots of diseases of cantaloupes. Most of the resistant varieties will be hybrids. You may wish to try one to determine if Fusarium is the problem. Sarah's Choice, Athena, Goddess, Minerva have done well for me. If you are in the west, there are western types also with resistance to Fusarium but I am not as familiar with them.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:32AM
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fresc1000

I will definitely give those a try--thank you! I am in SE Mich.
Have you had any luck with row covers? They seemed to really weigh down my delicate little seedlings early in the season (using them for the Cuc Beetles.)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 1:47PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I'm in SE MI too, no problems with beetles. I would probably just use an insecticide since melons are easily washed. Many products are organic too. I would start with diatomaceous earth. I guess it could be a problem with bees, as it produces and still flowers.
Do the beetles eat the fruit or the foliage? I guess the foliage, if early in the season while still seedlings insecticide would be very useful. DE would work too.

Fusarium wilt stays in the soil, another location would be a good idea. Grow something else in the old spot.
My melons are starting to mature, I harvested the first one a few days ago. My only problems was with powdery mildew, easily knocked back with the proper fungicide.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:48AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Melons are not for beginners so much. Many diseases after that first "little trial"....make the first one more worthwhile! As stated above, fungal diseases live in the soil and long rotation is needed.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:25AM
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ltilton

except for bacterial wilt, carried by the CBs. I'd really like to see melons resistant to that one.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 5:58AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

The Raspa watermelons in the home garden are huge and nearly ready. The tendrils turned brown maybe nearly 3 weeks ago, but the other indications say wait....still growing!!!!, dullness, thump, bottom color. The bottom spot is more white than cream yet.

This post was edited by wayne_5 on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 10:59

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:56AM
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