AJSVH84
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So far so good? Watermelon in a pot.

On May 22nd, 2015 I planted 2 crimson sweet seedlings in a fairly large pot. The pot is 24-28 inches wide and 20 inches deep or so. I live in Virginia by the way in case that is helpful. I used 100% Miracle-gro Organic Garden soil. After 19 days there was very little growth. In that time they might have grown 2 inches each and maybe had 4 new leaves each. I later found out the soil was too dense and I saw someone mention that it says on the bag to not use the soil in pots. I can not find where it says that at all.

On the 20th day after planting I got some garden soil out of my granddads garden and replanted the plants and used some Miracle-gro shake and feed fruits and vegetables. The very next morning there was a noticeable difference. The main vine on each had grown .50 to 1 inch. On June 14th, 4 days after replanting, they were about 5 inches longer with new vines sprouting out. On June 23rd to June 26th, 12 days after replanting, saw an explosion in growth. To this point both plants were stiff and both inside the boundaries of the pot. On the 26th they had fell over the sides of the pot by about 8 inches. 4 days later they had grown another 5 inches with the leaves doubled in size.

On July 2nd I had to move it to another area so I could mow. I dug a hole in an area we don't use. Laid down some window screen with a hole in the center so the pot could set in it. I laid down screen in hopes of retarding weed growth. So far so good. I did place some stones down in certain places so it would lay flatter where the thicker weeds were. So having the pot in this hole allowed the vines to reach out straight instead of putting pressure on the base as if flowed over the sides. That evening, July 2nd, the first flower popped open. From July 2nd to July 6th, around 15 buds had appeared, about 9 had opened. July 6th was also the day my first watermelon appeared. At this point the entire area of vine grow was 5 square feet.

Since July 6th, I've had a total of 9 watermelons start to grow. 3 have disappeared and 1 is more than likely going to shrivel up and fall off. However I have 4 that are healthy and about the size of a baseball and another that is still really small but looks healthy. So I have 5 total growing good.

Sorry for having you read all of that but I wanted you to have a good idea of everything. So here is my concern. The vines, usually at soil level up to include some of the leaves, will turn a creamy yellow color. Some of the leaves with dry up and fall off. I figured this was over watering because there have been stretches of a lot of rain. I wouldn't water for a few days. They would start to turn green again. I will check the soil and if it's dry a ways down I will water. But sometimes after I water, not over water, the vines will have turned that yellow color again. After a few days they turn green again. This time I hold off on watering and they turn yellow again with very little water. At this point I don't know if it's the water doing it or something else. It's really odd. About 4 days ago the vines turned a little yellow, not to bad, I watered them and used some more fruit food and the vines started turning green again. So I don't know what's up. Hopefully someone can give me a better assessment of what's going on and maybe give me a few pointers. Thanks.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: So far so good? Watermelon in a pot.

Hi and welcome. Sorry you didn't get a response, but that's a lot of information to try to sort through.

A picture or two of your plants would really help.

Part of the issue is that yellowing can be a symptom of over watering or under watering. If it is under-watering, the plants will usually look a bit limp and wilty. But if it is over watering, the leaves can shrivel a bit, so it may take an experienced eye (as well as knowing the watering schedule) to tell the difference.

But I expect you still have a soil issue. You said you used 100% Miracle-gro Organic Garden soil. When they weren't growing, you realized that was not appropriate for container gardening (you are right, it isn't). But then you got some garden soil out of granddad's garden. Your granddad may have a terrific garden. But it is still garden soil (aka dirt) and it is still not appropriate for containers. Garden soil in containers tends to pack down, get too dense, hold too much moisture, but exclude air. What you need is potting soil, i.e. something light and fluffy that wont compact like that. You can mix your garden soil with peat moss and perlite (1:1:1) to turn it in to potting soil.
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applestar
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Re: So far so good? Watermelon in a pot.

I second rainbow,s request to post some pictures. Overall area and close up of the yellowing.

I have to admit I'm tired after working out in the garden since early this morning while it was still cool until it got TOO HOT. My brains are refusing to visualize the situation you are describing so carefully. Sorry.

I'll comment that if you can get more of that good garden soil from your granddad, you could go around digging shallow holes under the watermelon vines, fill with the good stuff and bury sections of the vine so they could set down more roots in REAL soil. Even better if you actually loosen the soil underneath with garden fork.

The yellowing could be that they need more nutrients, watering makes them try to grow more but not enough nitrogen, etc. ... or it could be that they are suffering a bit from fungal issues.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: So far so good? Watermelon in a pot.

Applestar, did you get it that these are in a pot? Sounds to me like two plants in a pot sized for one.

We are giving her conflicting advice re grandad's garden soil. I would agree with you, if they were in the ground. Personally I don't plant anything in containers in garden dirt.

But AJSV , if you have four or five watermelons that are succeeding on two plants you are doing well. 2-3 watermelons is about how many one plant will produce. If you get any more fruit set, I would pinch it off and let the plant concentrate on the ones it has.
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applestar
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Re: So far so good? Watermelon in a pot.

But she buried the pot so the vines can crawl out along the ground I think? And by burying the vines and getting them to root, they can get access to more nutrients and water despite the limited size of the container. Once they start rooting outside of the container, it won't matter as much what is in the container.

...I'm essentially saying let them escape. :-()
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