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Seed Germination: Germinating Pumpkin and Watermelon Seeds

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weasel71
Lombard, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
5:26 AM

Post #8605726

Hi all. This is my first time starting watermelon and pumpkin from seed and I'd appreciate some advice. On May 25, I planted Moon & Stars, Jack Be Little and Lil' Pump-Ke-Mon seeds in my raised corner bed that gets full sun. The ground is plenty warm. The problem is, I have yet to see a seedling pop up. Do these seeds usually take longer to germinate? I figure this is a possibility since the seeds have a hard shell? It's been 10 days since I've planted them. Thanks!
trc65
Galesburg, IL

June 3, 2011
8:22 PM

Post #8607336

You should probably have seen something by now. I would do a little gentle digging, scrapping away just a little bit of soil at a time and see if your seeds are still there or if some of the neighborhood squirrels/ birds or other animal made away with the seed. I planted some Howden and Hercules pumpkin seed on 5/23 and they have been up for about 4 days. The smaller pumpkins usually do take a little longer to germinate and emerge, but I would think you should have seen something by now. I germinate most of my pumpkins inside and then transplant them at about the two leaf stage. I live out in the country, and don't have problems with squirrels, but birds have terrible this year.
cornish2175
Charleston, SC
(Zone 8b)

June 4, 2011
4:15 AM

Post #8607735

I had trouble this year with my ' big seeds'. I do not plant pumpkin or watermelon but my squashed and beans took longer than usual. I assume you are watering enough? I just replanted squash and soaked the seeds 24 hours to give them a jump start. We are in drought conditions here with 100 degree temps. So hot the dirt in my beds have turned to dust.
weasel71
Lombard, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 4, 2011
4:49 AM

Post #8607770

Maybe I'm not watering enough. We had a few good rains here recently and I thought that would be enough, but this morning when I pulled the dirt back as was suggested, the soil was bone dry. I noticed three watermelon seedlings emerging this morning in that bone dry soil. I just now put the sprinkler on that whole bed. Maybe I'll be able to coax the rest of the seeds out of hibernation. Next time I will try soaking the seeds. This year I was considering starting the pumpkin and watermelon indoors, but DH already had concerns with the amount of space my tomato and pickle seedlings were taking up. He just doesn't understand... :(
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 4, 2011
5:14 AM

Post #8607788

Moisture is probably it. Until seeds germinate they need to stay damp. Hate to tell your husband but yep, the best way is to start them indoors. lol
cornish2175
Charleston, SC
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2011
3:13 AM

Post #8609835

Explain to DH( very sweetly) how much money you will save on your food bill and how good those veggies will taste just picked and I'll bet he changes his mind. But you could start your flats outside this time of year.
weasel71
Lombard, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 9, 2011
7:03 AM

Post #8619741

OK, just in the last few days, a couple of the pumpkins and some more of the watermelons have joined the party. We've had 95+ temps here the last few days and I've been watering religiously. The heat finally broke late last night and this morning it's raining hippos and elephants. So now my worry is will these little guys drown?! The gardening experience certainly is a rollercoaster, especially here in Chicago where there is a 30 degree temp difference from one day to the next.
cornish2175
Charleston, SC
(Zone 8b)

June 9, 2011
12:10 PM

Post #8620357

You can send some of that rain our way- haven't seen a drop in a long time. Our rainfall is down over 12".
weasel71
Lombard, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 9, 2011
12:35 PM

Post #8620402

Cornish, I would if I could! I forgot to mention that my seedlings also got pounded by some hail this morning! Poor little things.

Regarding starting my seeds in flats, I have been blessed with a 3-season room in our new house and I am taking full advantage of the extra space! Love it!
cornish2175
Charleston, SC
(Zone 8b)

June 9, 2011
1:07 PM

Post #8620475

Mother Nature is sure messing with is this year. You got rain and hail in June- we got hail April 26 th and we don' t even get snow. What is your 3 season room- a screen room? We had a screen room be enclosed it- really could only sit out there in the fall. Spring the pollen chocked you, summer to hot and winter to cold. One of my bedrooms is my "plant room". I started about 400 seeds this past spring- did lose about half to the hail. They were out to harden off and by the time we realized it wasn' t rain- to late. Hail hurts.
anyway, doubt the rain will hurt your seedlings- the water will soak deep and make them strong.
FYI. Get some insecticidal soap to spray on stems. I don' t know about pumpkin and watermelon but I always have squash borers eating my zucchini. The soap was recommended by a grower in Connecticut.
weasel71
Lombard, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 9, 2011
1:26 PM

Post #8620524

Cornish, my 3-season room is an enclosed patio with sliding glass doors and windows and storm screens. It's uninsulated and attached to the back of the house. During the winter, it's used primarily for storage, which is a little emabrrassing because then all the neighbors can see our junk through all that glass. We organized and cleaned it out a couple weekends ago and it looks great now. It gets a little hot in there during the summer, but we keep a couple of floor fans in there to circulate the air and it's quite tolerable, especially when you are sipping on a margarita. ;)
cornish2175
Charleston, SC
(Zone 8b)

June 10, 2011
3:23 AM

Post #8621594

Ours is insulated since it was originally all screen. No heat or air as the roof was pitched to low but we run a fan in summer and a heat disc in winter so quite comfortable. I have small plants on the sills but found there wasn't enough light to start seeds. Winter I have shelving with lights but this time of year I start outside. Today I hope to start tomatoes for the fall. We can plant so early in the spring that by August the tomatoes are usually played out.
weasel71
Lombard, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 10, 2011
7:28 AM

Post #8621965

Yeah, it would be nice to insulate that room, but with all that glass, it would defeat the purpose. It's the perfect spot to watch my tomatoes grow and also to watch my daughter splash around in her little pool. DH says he eventually wants to build me a potting bench for that room. That would be great! I do have a couple of big houseplants that could go in there- maybe I'll move them in this weekend.

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