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Melon Growing Advice

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by JWK, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    I'm giving Melons a go for the first time. The variety is Emir F1.

    I'm not sure how to train them, should they go upwards?

    Do they need pollinating, there are only male flowers at the moment?

    I read I need to leave four runners, they are about 2 ft long, should I stop them at some point? So far I am just letting them do their own thing and they are quite spindly looking plants.

    They are in my greenhouse alongside cucumbers and peppers.

    20210619_193029.jpg
     
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    • NigelJ

      NigelJ Total Gardener

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      @JWK I'm also growing Emir in a greenhouse with cucumbers and peppers. I train mine up strings. I've found that they are more vigorous than cucumbers, but less sturdy so the melon fruit often needs support I've made hammocks out of an old sheet and string and the Victorians had melon nets.
      Yes you will probably need to hand pollinate and like other cucurbits they tend to produce male flowers initially and then female flowers appear a bit later.
       
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      • hailbopp

        hailbopp Gardener

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        You obviously know a lot more about growing melons than I do,@NigelJ ( not difficult!) How many runners do you leave and where/ when do you pinch them out? I know how to grow cucumbers, is it much the same? The plants I have are not as far on as @JWK . Do you just leave the male flowers ( I have the first ones just starting to flower now) until you need them to hopefully hand pollinate a female? When do you start feeding, and is tomato feed ok? Sorry for all the questions but thought I might give melon growing a go for a change but not at all sure what I should be doing with them.
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          I hesitate to add my bit as to be honest although I have grown them a few times I have never had a resounding success with them.

          I've always pinched out the main leader after about five leaves, then the sub laterals again after another 5 leaves. The next shoots should carry female flowers.
          I've never had enough green house space to grow them there so best place I've used is a cold frame and year before it was outside.
          I've always hand pollinated.

          I don't think you ever get a massive crop, two or three per plant.

          Haven't sown any this year.
           
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          • NigelJ

            NigelJ Total Gardener

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            I grow mine like I grow my cucumbers, I tend to leave the flowers on the melons though. I never get more than a couple of melons per plant here in Devon; in Essex in a good year I could get up to six growing them in a cold frame. They need more warmth than cucumbers. One of the nice things towards the end of summer is going in the greenhouse and smelling a melon ready for picking.
             
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            • hailbopp

              hailbopp Gardener

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              Many thanks @pete and @NigelJ .I will be doing the highland fling if I even get 1 edible melon per plant. How long after a female flower opens should I attempt....accent on the attempt! hand pollination?
               
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              • pete

                pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                I usually wait until midday, but on nice dry mornings you can try earlier.

                I think of cantaloupe melon as a dessert type plant, needs water at the root but dry atmosphere.
                 
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                • pete

                  pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                  I think Nigel made a good point.
                  You only get one crop at the end of the season.
                   
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                  • NigelJ

                    NigelJ Total Gardener

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                    Pictures please.
                     
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                    • JWK

                      JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                      Thanks for the advice @NigelJ and @pete

                      I have mine strung up now, I feel they should do better given the extra light levels higher up:

                      20210622_115153.jpg
                       
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                      • JWK

                        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                        The first woman has shown up at last, form a queue you males :)

                        20210622_114939.jpg
                         
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                        • NigelJ

                          NigelJ Total Gardener

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                          I've got the first female flowers as well.
                          Also the first flowers on cucumber Carmen (F1 all female) Telegraph is only producing male flowers at the moment.
                          In most years the cucumbers are well ahead of the melons.
                           
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                          • hailbopp

                            hailbopp Gardener

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                            I live in hope. I have flowers on my Carmen too but still a way to go with the melons altho they are growing a fair bit now. If the forecast for July is right ( grotty) then I’m doomed:frown:.
                             
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                            • hailbopp

                              hailbopp Gardener

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                              Help! We have had scorching weather up here, yes very occasionally we in Scotland can get quite toasty.
                              The melons have taken off! With autumn arriving quite early in these parts I will be thrilled with say 2 ripe melons per plant. I have at least that number of females which I have hopefully hand pollinated. I have reduced the main shoots to 2 per plant and am wondering if I should start to rub out any further burgeoning fruits? I don’t let side shouts grow on my cucumbers and maybe that would b a good idea for me. Should I stop the main shoots as well. They have about 10 leaves on each stem. What I don’t want to happen is to have loads of unripe melons when the weather changes, a couple of ripe will do me.
                               
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                              • pete

                                pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                                All I would suggest is you don't take off any female flowers until you are absolutely sure they have pollenated.
                                I would stop the leader.
                                 
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