|My watermelons have started to develop but several have shriveled up on the vine long before they mature. What could be the cause and what can I do about it?|
|There are several reasons for watermelons dying before they reach maturity. One is a fungal disease. With this, you'll also see foliage curling up and dying; another cause is insect pests; they bore holes in the vines (check your vines carefully for signs of sawdust or holes); another possible cause is poor pollination (fruit begins to develop and then is aborted). Finally, droughty conditions can cause your plants to stop developing fruit in order to stay alive.
Once you determine why this is happening, you can avoid the problem in the future. Give watermelon vines plenty of sunshine and lots of room. Overcrowding can invite fungal diseases. Water deeply as often as necessary to keep the soil moist but not soggy wet.
Hope you have a terrific harvest!