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Yellow leaves on Sugar Baby watermelon seeds

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Yellow leaves on Sugar Baby watermelon seeds

Post  Windmere on 4/7/2013, 9:54 pm

Hello all,
My daughter loves watermelon, so I planted three jiffy pellets with some Sugar Baby seeds. They took a long bit to germinate, but I think that is normal.

My question has to do with the fact that the first leaves on two of the three are yellow (oh, and there are no regular leaves yet). Is that normal? Due to cooler nights, I put these seedlings in full sun during the day and then bring them inside at night.
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Re: Yellow leaves on Sugar Baby watermelon seeds

Post  Unmutual on 4/8/2013, 8:14 am

I've never grown watermelon, but I do grow cucumbers(both of them cucurbitacaea). I can't say that I've ever had seedling leaves turning yellow on me until they have at least one true leaf. Are the seedling leaves also going crinkly? If so, that could be manganese toxicity(water less).

Watermelon is known to be sensitive to manganese toxicity, a common problem in low pH soils. Seedling watermelons react to manganese toxicity with stunted growth and yellowish crinkled leaves. Older plants generally exhibit brown spots on older leaves that may be mistaken for symptoms of gummy stem blight. Manganese toxicity is usually associated with soils having a pH below 5.5. However, in wet seasons the condition may occur at higher pH levels when the soil has been saturated for a period of several days. This condition has been noted in several watermelon fields with pH ranges at 5.8 or slightly higher when the crop was planted flat. Planting watermelons and other cucurbits on a bed is good insurance against manganese toxicity during a wet season. The best solution to manganese toxicity is to apply lime at rates based on the results of a soil test.

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Thanks for your response!

Post  Windmere on 4/8/2013, 2:28 pm

Hi Unmutual,
Thanks very much for your response about my watermelon seedlings. They seem to be very gradually turning green instead of yellow. I don't know what a watermelon seedling should look like (I've never planted one before).

The leaves are not crinkly, so I don't think it is a manganese issue. I do appreciate the research you did. I will watch them carefully. If things don't improve, I think I will take them to our cooperative extension. I recently learned that you can take plants there and they will identify what is wrong with them.
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Re: Yellow leaves on Sugar Baby watermelon seeds

Post  Unmutual on 4/8/2013, 2:40 pm

Speaking also as a Master Gardener, your Ag Agent(Cooperative Extension Agent) can be your best friend for gardening information.

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