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Starting watermelon in the summer?

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Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/27/2011, 6:22 pm

From several sources it says it can be planted in July... has anyone done so at this point in Phoenix? I could start it indoors but would it be better to start outdoors as long as I keep watering it every few hours and have it mulched / under a shade cloth? I have Ali Baba watermelon from Bakers Creek.

Also going to plant some spinach red malabar which apparently loves heat. Might mix the two together in the same planting area. Thoughts and suggestions from your experience?
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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  Miss M on 6/28/2011, 1:56 am

I don't really know, but I just planted some seeds in vermiculite today to germinate inside. Then they'll be moved out to the garden, when the cotyledons (seed leaves) are open. I hope it will work! What a Face

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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  AZDYJ2K on 6/28/2011, 11:43 am

I started some sugar babies last year on 6/19/10 in seed cups outdoors in regular potting soil. I watered it before I left for work in the morning and had my kids water it once during the afternoon while I was at work and I transplanted them in July. Since that worked out I would guess you could plant them in your MM and water 2 or 3 times a day (early morning, noon and later afternoon) and you should be fine.

I believe Ali Baba should do very well in the heat here in Phx. This week is a scorcher here!
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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  duhh on 6/28/2011, 6:17 pm

@jkahn2eb wrote:From several sources it says it can be planted in July... has anyone done so at this point in Phoenix? I could start it indoors but would it be better to start outdoors as long as I keep watering it every few hours and have it mulched / under a shade cloth? I have Ali Baba watermelon from Bakers Creek.

Also going to plant some spinach red malabar which apparently loves heat. Might mix the two together in the same planting area. Thoughts and suggestions from your experience?

All my melons are directly seeded in the ground. I planted a few 2 weeks ago and they are doing great. Make sure to water them a little more and they should be fine. I also just planted the red malabar and am hoping it does well. So far I have little baby plants. They are really shaded by my tomatoes, so I am going to try planting them in another area to see if they will grow faster there.
From what I have researched, pumpkins and melons do well here when planted between memorial day and July 4th.
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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  Miss M on 6/29/2011, 1:39 pm

@duhh wrote:All my melons are directly seeded in the ground. I planted a few 2 weeks ago and they are doing great. Make sure to water them a little more and they should be fine. I also just planted the red malabar and am hoping it does well. So far I have little baby plants. They are really shaded by my tomatoes, so I am going to try planting them in another area to see if they will grow faster there.
From what I have researched, pumpkins and melons do well here when planted between memorial day and July 4th.
Cool! Should be good here then. I started mine inside for a couple of reasons: my current melon vines are still finishing up, and I knew it was too hot for some of the seeds I was planting to germinate (so I started them all inside). What a Face

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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/29/2011, 3:09 pm

Sweet. I put them in three and four inch pots while they germinate. Will keep them plenty moist and once they have sprouted I'll transplant outdoors. I'm excited with my new place I have so much room to build gardens. Should I plant the watermelons in a sunny spot separate from my square foot garden b/c of the space or can I plant them on the edge and then pull the vines towards the outside of the garden.

Maybe I'll get the malabar going the next few days. It's cooling down (under 110) and we have storms coming up.

Thanks for all your input.
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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  jkahn2eb on 8/3/2011, 5:11 pm

Watermelon transplanted just fine under a shade cloth. I'm pulling all vines outside the edge of the garden. Vines are a couple feet long already. Flowers appeared a few days ago. Been finger pollinating as I haven't seen hardly any bees in the area... could be due to the heat. Looks healthy.

Seems to be a cooler summer than recently though today we are around 110 until a cooldown Saturday to low 100's.

My honeydew and cantaloupe seeds didn't want to grow outside so I've started seedlings indoors which just today started to poke through the soil. I know they don't transplant well but, alas, it's not impossible.
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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  duhh on 8/5/2011, 12:59 am

My moon and stars watermelon finally has a bunch of little melons on it and I'm super excited to finally see them!

My sugar babies have one that looks like it will be ready any time now. My nephew makes me go out to check it every day.

Both vines have sprawled out of the box and out from under the shade, but neither seem to be suffering from the heat.
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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  teamhillbilly on 8/5/2011, 7:56 am

I just started my fall seeds a few days ago, I've lost a few this year due to the heat and that heavy rain we had a couple weeks ago,a few melons just broke open I guess it's the rain and heat?Sad Sad I still have a few on the vines:lol:

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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  duhh on 8/16/2011, 2:15 am

teamhillbilly: Not sure why your melons broke open. I have never had one do that. Then again it's my first year with melons.



I had my first sugar baby today!!! Very sweet and yummy. I also counted 4 large moon and stars melons on the vines! yay!
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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  walshevak on 8/16/2011, 10:58 am

@teamhillbilly wrote:I just started my fall seeds a few days ago, I've lost a few this year due to the heat and that heavy rain we had a couple weeks ago,a few melons just broke open I guess it's the rain and heat?Sad Sad I still have a few on the vines:lol:



Heavy rains and nitrogen in the soil make for split melons. The insides grow faster than the rind. My son planted a whole field of melons one year, and they were looking really good. Unfortunately he fertilized just a week before a lot of rain came through the area. Had a field full of split melons. Sad



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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  jkahn2eb on 8/20/2011, 9:48 pm

Think I found my first watermelons. Very Happy Been flowering like crazy the past month but tonight I saw several 3/4" long bulges between the stem and flower. Also believe I saw my first cucumbers too.... Wasn't sure if the 'zona summer heat had been too oppressive but it seems like nature has found a way, just like on Jurassic Park Island.
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Re: Starting watermelon in the summer?

Post  jkahn2eb on 10/18/2011, 10:42 am

Uh oh. Went out of town for a couple days - neighbor watered the plants - but when I returned I noticed a big patch of the leaves looked unhealthy (he didn't water the leaves - I'm sure of this).

This morning I looked to cut away some of the bad stuff and all the leaves and stems everywhere where sticky. I know I have aphid problems in some parts of my garden but this was nasty.

Got 3 watermelons about 2/3 of the way done... but I'm afraid they might be lost. Any ideas what's going on?
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