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Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

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Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/25/2013, 1:35 pm

Hello Everyone,
Ive been trying to watch some videos online on how to prune and train everything I am trying to grow vertically. I have my tomatoes and cucumbers under control as removing the suckers is easy enough to do. I have been trying to read on how to prune and train melons. Does anyone have any experience they are willing to share? Am I supposed to let my melons vine out or am I supposed to get it to one main vine? Do I remove the suckers or the equivalent of suckers on my watermelon and cantaloupe? Thanks for any and all help.

-StinkyFeetMendoza
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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  sanderson on 5/25/2013, 1:40 pm

Mendoza, I'll be watching this thread. I have 2 cantelopes that I hope to vertically grow up an existing trellis.
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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/25/2013, 7:33 pm

I am going to give my 1/2 cent worth. I think that you would not prune them. I am thinking that each vine may only grow one fruit, but that is why it is my 1/2 cent worth, because I have never heard of pruning cantaloupe or watermelon! Hopefully someone wise will come along and help with real advice, lol!
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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  HiDesert on 5/25/2013, 7:42 pm

I'll be watching this too. I have a couple cantaloupes growing up a trellis. My trellis is running out of room lol, I didn't realize they had so many vines that came off the main and secondary vines.
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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  johnsonjlj on 5/25/2013, 8:59 pm

I looked into this, but after reading that cantaloupe require their leaves to produce sweet melons, I decided against it. The more leaves you remove, the less sweet the melons will be. Found this at more than one site, but here's the link to Bonnie's: 3rd paragraph from the bottom

http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-cantaloupe-and-honeydew-melons/

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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/25/2013, 9:18 pm

Well Im glad I am not the only one wondering. Tricia, you could be right. I thought I had heard John Kohler of growyourgreens.com mention that I was supposed to. I have searched for the video where he mentions it but I couldn't find it, so I may have been mistaken. His videos are actually what got me interested in square foot gardening to begin with. His videos are awesome and he is kind of a nut which makes me love him even more. I wish I had some contact info for him and I would ask him directly(im sure about a million other people would too). Unfortunately, My research has not uncovered a definite answer yet. Looks like some people prune their melons and others don't...

@johnsonjlj wrote:I looked into this, but after reading that cantaloupe require their leaves to produce sweet melons, I decided against it. The more leaves you remove, the less sweet the melons will be. Found this at more than one site, but here's the link to Bonnie's: 3rd paragraph from the bottom


I was literally just on Bonnie's page myself Wink We posted responses at the same time.

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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  jazzycat on 5/25/2013, 10:50 pm

Stinky Feet, I'm pretty sure John will answer your questions if you log in and comment on his videos. At least, that's what he said in one. Hey, it's worth a try. I love him as well, and I watch his videos all the time. I've learned a lot from him. In the meantime, I will try searching his site for you as well.

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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  jazzycat on 5/25/2013, 11:00 pm

I can't find one where he talks about pruning melons, but his melons are all over the trellis, so I'm thinking he doesn't prune them. But I could be completely wrong about that. Here is the search page with several links about melons.

http://www.youtube.com/user/growingyourgreens/videos?query=growing+melons+up+a+trellis

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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/26/2013, 9:08 am

Jazzycat, arent his videos helpful? I figured I wasn't the only one on here who watched his videos. To be honest, I think I'm just mistaken. I thought it was in his video on cucumber pruning but I've rewatched it and he doesn't mention melons. It would be really cool if he would do an interview/"ask me anything" type of thread for us on here.
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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  jazzycat on 5/26/2013, 3:26 pm

I love his videos! There are several people here who watch his channel. I have done quite a few things because of his advice. And he's so entertaining. Very Happy

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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/26/2013, 3:34 pm

And he has the free seed giveaway every January!!!

I think I read on here somewhere that you cut off each vine after the first flower on it, but not right AT the flower, a foot or less after. Maybe after the next set of leaves. That way all the energy goes into that fruit and not others, and also keeps the plant from getting too big.

But I might have dreamed it... Rolling Eyes

CC


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 5/26/2013, 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo city!)
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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/26/2013, 7:20 pm

OK, this is exactly like what I read:

"Most melon types are trained vertically to a single stem per plant, the fruit is typically produced between nodes 12-16.

Any lateral branches that form up to node 12 on the main stem are removed as they are formed. After node 12, laterals carrying flowers are permitted to form. Once these flowers have successfully been pollinated and set fruit, the lateral is terminated, several leaves after the position of the fruitlet. This leaves sufficient foliage to produce photo assimilate for fruit growth but prevents further fruit from setting on the same lateral branch."

http://forum.earthbox.com/index.php?topic=6290.0

CC
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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  sanderson on 5/27/2013, 3:23 am

What is the name of the TV channel? I enjoy his you tube videos and would love to see his programs.
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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/27/2013, 10:50 am

Im not aware of him being on TV, but if he is I would sure like to know about it as well

His channel name on youtube is "growingyourgreens"
Here is a link to his channel on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/growingyourgreens?feature=watch

It is through his videos that I first became aware of square foot gardening. I was watching his videos to figure out how to garden and that actually led me to Mel's book. So John is actually the reason I have a SFG. I love his videos, he can get off track and talk at times, but I like it.

-StinkyFeetMendoza
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Re: Pruning Watermelon and cantaloupe for maximum growth

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/27/2013, 5:24 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:OK, this is exactly like what I read:

"Most melon types are trained vertically to a single stem per plant, the fruit is typically produced between nodes 12-16.

Any lateral branches that form up to node 12 on the main stem are removed as they are formed. After node 12, laterals carrying flowers are permitted to form. Once these flowers have successfully been pollinated and set fruit, the lateral is terminated, several leaves after the position of the fruitlet. This leaves sufficient foliage to produce photo assimilate for fruit growth but prevents further fruit from setting on the same lateral branch."

http://forum.earthbox.com/index.php?topic=6290.0

CC

I read further on and there was another post (which will give us more to confuse/think about:

Trimming melons may just be for growing vertically, saving space. Are you growing on a trellis? I grew my netted melons just fine with no trimming. I did train it to climb vertically on a trellis. If you want big fruit, cut off newly formed fruit except for 1-2, every week. So every week pick 1 or 2 good looking melons to keep. This way you have a melon maturing once a week later on at end of harvest. If you want to leave all the fruit on, that's fine too. You will just get a flush of small melons. That's all the trimming I would do. I don't like cutting leaves, as the plant uses them for photosynthesis. If you're growing musk melon, cantaloupe or honeydew, I'd be more concerned about potting mix temperature. Melons like warm soil. And get out those pantyhose for supporting the melons too.

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