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Large watermelon seedlings wilting in new container

Posted by epetters IL (My Page) on
Wed, May 29, 13 at 19:26

Hello all,

I have two watermelon seedlings that were doing quite well until today. I transferred them into a large container. When I transplanted them, I was very careful to not damage the root systems, an I mixed the old soil in with the new. We had rain overnight in addition to my watering them, and hot afternoon sun today (90 F).

Today, the little buggers are wilted. Any ideas as to why? I'm relatively new to container gardening and am pretty bummed. Is there any hope?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Large watermelon seedlings wilting in new container

Another pic

RE: Large watermelon seedlings wilting in new container

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Wed, May 29, 13 at 20:21

You said you mixed old soil with new. Won't that have damaged roots some? They need some shade for a week or so until they get rooted. Several layers of the floating row cover should work.

RE: Large watermelon seedlings wilting in new container

Where had the seedlings been before you planted them out in a container? If you didn't harden them off correctly, they're probably undergoing some transplant shock. It looks (though I can't tell for certain because of the blurry photo) that they've got a bit of a sunburn. As fruitnut suggested, shade covers would be helpful.

Also, with the very hot sun, plants are naturally going to droop a little bit by evening. Look again tomorrow and see if the cool night air and the moisture has perked it up any. If it has, there's probably hope as long as you keep it shaded till it's acclimatized outside.

RE: Large watermelon seedlings wilting in new container

Thank you for the responses - I should have been more specific! First and foremost, these are the Sugar Baby variety (not sure if that matters?)

I transplanted them from a 12" round container to 2 10 gallon containers. The 12" was sort of a temporary home while I got my act together with the larger containers. They were very happy in the 12"....obviously not so much in the big containers. That's where the "extra" soil came from.

Plant #2 has perked back up, though one of the "vine" leaves is still wilted around the edges. Plant #1 is limp and leaning over. I will keep watch and see if there's any recovery. Is transplant shock something from which watermelons can come back?

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