sixboots
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Posts: 37
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 10:50 pm
Location: Cross Lanes, WV

Big watermelon mistake... I think.

Hello again. I tried planting watermelons (sweet baby) twice without realizing it wasn't warm enough... hence, they rotted away.

The last time, I'm now realizing I went way overboard by planting 4-5 seeds in the ends of each of my 8'X1' boxes. Well, needless to say, they've all come up quite nicely.

The problem I have now, is that I've got 4-5 watermelon plants all within about a square foot, in the ends of my boxes.

I've since read all about starting them from seeds, and now know that the plants should be 5-7' apart. I've also read that they don't like to be transplanted. But that leaves me not knowing what to do with them. Will so many that close together keep them from producing fruit? Will they be okay as long as I route them each with their own path to grow as long as I keep them watered and occasionally fed? Please help! I would thin them out if I knew I wouldn't kill them all by disturbing their roots.

Here are a few pictures (My apologies for the blurry images):

[img]https://i1201.photobucket.com/albums/bb359/wvcadle/2012/2012%20Gardening/e7fa3533.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1201.photobucket.com/albums/bb359/wvcadle/2012/2012%20Gardening/b8b511f2.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1201.photobucket.com/albums/bb359/wvcadle/2012/2012%20Gardening/3825cc8e.jpg[/img]
First time gardener... are you all ready? :)

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Kisal
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Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Usually in such a situation, the solution is to select the largest and healthiest plant, then take a scissors and clip off all the rest of them at ground level. At most, IMO at least, an 8' x 1' box will support would be one plant at each end of the box.

If you try to grow too many in the box, they will usually die anyway from overly constricted roots. You could try to transplant them, but while it might work, you might end up killing all of them by disturbing their roots too much.

Cutting the excess off will kill them, but you'll be assured of a good chance having 2 successful plants. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

sixboots
Full Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 10:50 pm
Location: Cross Lanes, WV

I was already thinking the same, and not that I'm attached to the plants, but something has held me back from doing so. Maybe guilt for having started them only to kill them and waste them.
First time gardener... are you all ready? :)

sixboots
Full Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 10:50 pm
Location: Cross Lanes, WV

One more question... I think.

I've cut down half of the plants in the ends of each box. Now I have 2 plants in the ends of each box, and they're growing out of control! Very excited about it.

My question is this: Do I need to keep the individual vines away from each other, or can I send them along their way (in the direction of my choosing) and let them intermingle, or whatever else they decide to do?

Thanks for all of your help.
First time gardener... are you all ready? :)

fishman1113
Full Member
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:20 pm
Location: Lancaster PA

I have on many occasions had two or three plants started together. I always thin to two at the most. You can leave the plants grow however they want to grow. I normally don't touch my plants after I have thinned them out. You can move the vine however you want to while it is growing. Obviously you will just have to be careful not to damage them. Good luck.

Brent

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