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Old 03-20-2010, 12:24 AM
 
511 posts, read 1,909,340 times
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It's been an unusually warm pre-spring here in WY this year... 40's, 50's 60's, I think it's even touched 70 this month. Very odd for where I live (Feb. often has a few days with negative highs- not highs of 55 ABOVE zero!) I have to say, the weather has been giving me terrible spring fever I'm dying to plant my garden, it'll be my fist year planting more than a little bitty 4 X 2 patch. BUT out here you're not supposed to plant until late May (with good reason... although it was 69 the other day, today it snowed & hailed... this weekend it'll be high 60's... but next month, who knows, we could get 2' snow dumped on us).

Well, a week or two ago, I was going through some things and I found an old packet of "expired" watermelon seeds that I bought years & years ago. They're the mini kind, I think they're called sugar babies. I decided that planting them in little starter cups on the window sill would tide me over, you know, get the gardening bug outta my system so to speak... even though I knew they wouldn't sprout because they were so old

So now I have 5 tiny watermelon sprouts growning in my window sill. Rapidly growing, actually Not really sure how I'm going to be able to deal with a bunch of melon vines growing in my kitchen but hey... If I can keep 'em going I'll probably have a few watermelons by the time my actual garden it just starting to sprout sometime in early June...
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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I am not sure how well they will transfer, but it is worth a shot. Make sure the earth is real warm before you plant them. Cover the area you plan on having them in with a black mulch plastic, and you may even need to cover them partially or fully with clear plastic to make sure they do not freeze at night or get too cold.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:21 AM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
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I live in zone 7 and cannot plant melons until late May, early June. Everytime I start melons in the house, they have not transplanted well at all. If you build a cold frame, you might be able to plant them outside soon and keep them warm enough until the good weather rolls around. Google cold frames, there are alot of great blogs and other resources. You might have to pollinate the blossoms yourself if the melons are in a cold frame when the blossoms open.

Be careful not to get excited and start planting things outside. I have done that in the past and it has not worked out at all, lol. Its very hard to wait until Memorial Day to get things into the ground, but it is what it is.

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Old 03-24-2010, 01:55 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,475 posts, read 6,186,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inthesierras View Post
I live in zone 7 and cannot plant melons until late May, early June. Everytime I start melons in the house, they have not transplanted well at all. If you build a cold frame, you might be able to plant them outside soon and keep them warm enough until the good weather rolls around. Google cold frames, there are alot of great blogs and other resources. You might have to pollinate the blossoms yourself if the melons are in a cold frame when the blossoms open.

Be careful not to get excited and start planting things outside. I have done that in the past and it has not worked out at all, lol. Its very hard to wait until Memorial Day to get things into the ground, but it is what it is.
That's strange. I live in zone 3 and have had melons outside as started plants as early as the end of April in a good year but definitely not later than the third week of May.

Melons can be difficult to transplant and therefore I buy more plants than I expect to survive. In the greenhouses here, the started plants are usually sold in peat moss containers containing two started plants. I don't even try to separate the plants, but plant them as they are in hills. It's important for all plants to be watered immediately after transplanting, and for melons, I've had better success if I water them a bit every day until they stabilize.

Those collars (not sure what the right name for them is) which used to be advertised a lot on TV, and which are filled with water and form a circle around the plants also help retain the warmth during colder days and nights.

But my grandfather, in the days before those collar things were invented, used to use squares of old window glass. He'd put them around the melon plants and that helped the ground to retain heat. He planted from seed and always had good results.
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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My hopes aren't too high I didn't even think they would grow in the first place. So far they've been attacked by the cat twice (completely dumped over, broken stems, ack!) But they are thriving for now. One was snaped in half by the cat and the next day it was standing almost upright again. I've already transplanted them from the tiny starter cups to a larger pot, and they took well. I've been setting them outside in the sun durring the day and bringing them in at night.

I forget the zone # I'm in, but I know I must wait until May/June. It's hard, with such warm weather. I will resist the temptation. Right now I'm just trying to plan out the garden space. If the melons continue to grow, I probably won't plant them outside until late may, which by that time I dunno how huge the vines will be (never grown watermelon). Not sure I'll be able to cope with them in the house for that long, depending how big they get, but we'll see. Thanks for the tips on re-planting them
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:47 AM
 
Location: NE Florida
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SheridanPDC
If they are the mini variety you might try a suggestion I got from one of the Master Gardeners I volunteer with.
She suggested planting the watermelon in a large pot with a heavy duty tomato cage making sure there is a few inches between the cage and the side of the pot. Place the seedling on the outside of the cage. As the vines get longer you wrap them around the cage. You can use pieces of old pantyhose or another soft material to secure the vines to the cage. You can continue to move the pot outside during the day (it if is heavy put it on one of those plant stands with wheels) and once the threat of freeze is over you can move it outside to a sunny area as it's new home.

I do not have a large enough empty space in my gardens for a watermelon patch so I am giving this a try this year.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:48 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 12,698,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheridanPDC View Post
It's been an unusually warm pre-spring here in WY this year... 40's, 50's 60's, I think it's even touched 70 this month. Very odd for where I live (Feb. often has a few days with negative highs- not highs of 55 ABOVE zero!) I have to say, the weather has been giving me terrible spring fever I'm dying to plant my garden, it'll be my fist year planting more than a little bitty 4 X 2 patch. BUT out here you're not supposed to plant until late May (with good reason... although it was 69 the other day, today it snowed & hailed... this weekend it'll be high 60's... but next month, who knows, we could get 2' snow dumped on us).

Well, a week or two ago, I was going through some things and I found an old packet of "expired" watermelon seeds that I bought years & years ago. They're the mini kind, I think they're called sugar babies. I decided that planting them in little starter cups on the window sill would tide me over, you know, get the gardening bug outta my system so to speak... even though I knew they wouldn't sprout because they were so old

So now I have 5 tiny watermelon sprouts growning in my window sill. Rapidly growing, actually Not really sure how I'm going to be able to deal with a bunch of melon vines growing in my kitchen but hey... If I can keep 'em going I'll probably have a few watermelons by the time my actual garden it just starting to sprout sometime in early June...
Well, I've been growning Sugar Baby watermelons for years. My wife had never had one until I grew it. Now, it is a staple, she asks how many and where, I will grow them at the start of each season. What the Sugar Baby lacks in size, it more than makes up for in taste! I keep using seeds from the preceeding year, works great.
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