The Q&A Archives: Melon Drying Up And Dying

Question: In the past we have grown your standard watermelon and have had great success. This year is the first time we tried Sugar Baby Seedless Watermelon. It looks like everything was fine, they blossom and start producing fruit. A couple of days later we check on them and you can see that they have dried up. Out of about 8 vines one melon is the size of a childs basketball.

What is causing the fruit to die. To much water, to little water, pollination or what?

Answer: When melons shrivel after beginning growth it usually indicates poor pollination. This can be due to cold, wet conditions (which keeps insects from visiting the flowers), or lack of insects in the area because you recently used pesticides. Seedless melons require a different pollinator (and seed is included in the packet). Without the pollinator, your melons probably won't develop. If you planted all the seeds in your packet, then you've probably planted the pollinator, as well. If the above conditions don't seem to fit your situation, then perhaps the plants are getting insufficient water. Soak the soil deeply when you do water, and add an organic mulch which will slow down evaporation and help the soil hold moisture.

To direct the plant's energy into developing fruit, pinch the tips of the vines out after each vine has produced one or two melons. Hope you have a great harvest!

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