Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Watermelons for a Cooler Climate, Cantaloupe Calamity
The vines are fairly vigorous (already reaching the top of my 8 ft trellis) and from my 3 plants, I recently had 5 flowers set fruit. Now I have to decide on how to support the developing melons, which seem to double in size on a daily basis and will average anywhere between 6 and 12 lbs when ripe. Any suggestions?
On the cantaloupe front, the copper fungicide I applied to the vines a couple of weeks ago seems to have done the job. The subsequent leaf growth has remained blight free and the disease seems to be under control. However the cucumber beetles have been much harder to control. Spraying with pyrethrin and using yellow sticky traps only helps to a certain extent. Between the groundhog attacks, blight and now cucumber beetles, the plants have never had a chance this summer to really take off, which probably explains why I only have 4 large Athena melons developing from 5 plants. More fruit appear to have set, but for the moment, the plants seem to be focusing all of their attention on ripening these four.
On a side note, I'm still waiting on my two Petit Gris french melon vines to set fruit. Next year, I think I'll stick to growing all of my melons on trellises.