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How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

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How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  annasartasylum on 1/7/2014, 10:19 pm

Hi everyone! I have two 2'x8' boxes ready for the melons. I wont be using any trellises and the plants can spread out as much as they need from any side. I want to plant one box of watermelons (crimson sweet, all sweet and sugar baby) and one box of melons (orange flesh, hales best, honey rock and planters jumbo). 

On the 'picture' I attached you can see the box with melon plants (stars) and where I will try to train them to spread (green lines). Do you think this will work or is it too many plants? 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I just started gardening few months ago so I'm still learning. Thank you and Happy New Year!

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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  sanderson on 1/8/2014, 12:15 am

I'm a first year gardener. If you want a lot of melons, I don't see any problem with your spacing. There is plenty of room to spread. I grow vertically, and I planted 2 cantaloupes in one square that was a foot deep. I will be planting more melons and winter squashes this year at one per square of 6" deep Mel's Mix. Hoepfully, someone else will comment.
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  annasartasylum on 1/8/2014, 5:59 am

Hi Sanderson! Now I'm wondering if I should plant 1 per square... How many melons did you get from your trellis? Happy gardening in New Year Smile
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  sanderson on 1/8/2014, 1:47 pm

I sure hope someone else will jump in because my harvest was not optimal due to lack of pollinators!  I did not get any fruit to set until I bought a set of small painter's brushes.  My hand pollinating was incomplete and those first  fruits aborted.  I only got one sweet and juicy melon per each of my 2 vines.   Embarassed  I will be planting 2 vines each of 2 varieties this year and hope to get 4-6 per vine.

Anyone else want to answer?
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 1/9/2014, 4:04 pm

My melons (of all types) have been planted where they can spread widely - either in 18" pots set about 6 feet apart or on my hillside where they can roam freely.  I have planted them at the front edge of my raised bed and let them sprawl out.  Generally I have allowed two squares wide, one deep and have been successful.

One problem for me is aphids.  They have devastated my melons, pumpkins and similar plants.  A trellis is a great idea in that you can spray undersides of leaves so much better than on the ground sprawled out.
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  sanderson on 1/9/2014, 9:50 pm

I have to agree that vertical growing is easier to to spray all over. [and all over me!]  The strongest solution I used was Neem so it's not the end of the world.  I just need a shower afterwards so I wait until sundown to do it.

Side note, Audrey, when do you start and set your melons and winter squash seedlings?  I am so excited to start all of my seedlings.  bounce
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  malefacter on 1/9/2014, 9:55 pm

if your plants spred out of the box onto the ground where are you gonna walk to tend the box?

your also gonna need to weed around where they go and put something like blocks of wood under the melons to keep them off the ground one time i hat a vine branch off low and i dident notice it had a nice watermelon hiding under the tall grass that roted because i dident know it was there


Last edited by malefacter on 1/9/2014, 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added somthing)
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  annasartasylum on 1/9/2014, 10:22 pm

@malefacter wrote:if your plants spred out of the box onto the ground where are you gonna walk to tend the box?

your also gonna need to weed around where they go and put something like blocks of wood under the melons to keep them off the ground one time i hat a vine branch off low and i dident notice it had a nice watermelon hiding under the tall grass that roted because i dident know it was there

I was thinking about drip irrigation and putting black plastic mulch or landscaping fabric down to prevent the weed problem. 

Also, check out this watermelon patch (the video)... Smile The weeds are 2-4 feet tall and he got a ton of watermelons without much maintenance from what I can tell. 
Does water pool after rain where you live and that's why it rotted? 
I had tiny volunteer canary melons growing next to my mailbox on their own and they looked perfect.

 
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  malefacter on 1/9/2014, 10:31 pm

it rotted caws it got overripe before i found it but it was under a orange tree so it may have got wet tho the soil tends to be sandy around here. iv never grown vining crops on the ground before but i have red about putting them off the ground and rotating them to stop flat spots
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  annasartasylum on 1/9/2014, 10:36 pm

@malefacter wrote:it rotted caws it got overripe before i found it but it was under a orange tree so it may have got wet tho the soil tends to be sandy around here. iv never grown vining crops on the ground before but i have red about putting them off the ground and rotating them to stop flat spots
Oh I see! That's unfortunate! Thank you for the tips Smile
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  malefacter on 1/9/2014, 10:42 pm

wow those are some nice melons most melons and squash i grow ar a smaller variety caws i live alone and dont want to waste so much
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  annasartasylum on 1/9/2014, 10:44 pm

@malefacter wrote:wow those are some nice melons most melons and squash i grow ar a smaller variety caws i live alone and dont want to waste so much
I know, right? They are amazing! I often eat (when they are in season) a half of a 20 pound watermelon for breakfast by myself! Smile
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  malefacter on 1/9/2014, 10:48 pm

he had a good idea growing next to a pond assuming there are fish in it its like natural aquaponics
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  llama momma on 1/10/2014, 7:38 am

@annasartasylum wrote:
...I often eat (when they are in season) a half of a 20 pound watermelon for breakfast by myself! Smile

So this means between you and me we could put away the whole twenty pounder 
Laughing
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  annasartasylum on 1/11/2014, 12:09 am

@llama momma wrote:
@annasartasylum wrote:
...I often eat (when they are in season) a half of a 20 pound watermelon for breakfast by myself! Smile

So this means between you and me we could put away the whole twenty pounder 
Laughing

Haha! YAY for watermelons! Smile
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Re: How many watermelon/ cantaloupe plants should I plant?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 1/11/2014, 1:03 pm

@sanderson wrote:I have to agree that vertical growing is easier to to spray all over. [and all over me!]  The strongest solution I used was Neem so it's not the end of the world.  I just need a shower afterwards so I wait until sundown to do it.

Side note, Audrey, when do you start and set your melons and winter squash seedlings?  I am so excited to start all of my seedlings.  bounce
A lot of mine were volunteers that started themselves and I simply put them where I could find space, LOL!

Mid-March around here is our last frost date. I have saved wide mouthed jars so I can cover up the seedlings at night if needed, so pretty much late March planting outside, back up the time maybe 6 weeks? With my greenhouse this year I'm not going to rush planting things outside, let them get a good solid start and then I can move them.

I don't use seedling flats any more. I've found that the window box sized pots work great. I start the plants in them then simply scoop out the seedling and the soil around it and they suffer no setbacks when planted.
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