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Container Gardening: Melons and Pumpkins

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 23, 2012
2:50 PM

Post #9094817

I have been reading many articles on the net about growing melons and pumpkins in containers and it has me all hyped up.

I know barrels hold a lot of soil and the initial expense can be expensive but I am trying it anyway. I was going to do hydroponic but I just like my dirt.

The plan is to grow regular jack o lantern pumpkins, regular watermelons- crimson sweet, and an Atlantic Giant pumpkin in 55 gallon barrels. I know it will work cause folks are growing all of these in Earthboxes and they are doing pretty good. I think they need a little more soil.

I have a few earthboxes too that I will be growing the Sugar Pie pumpkin in. It is early and I don't have any pictures. My seeds are in the process of germinating.


have you tried it?

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 23, 2012
9:21 PM

Post #9095381

I've been looking at local plastic drum vendors and what I was thinking was to cut the barrels in half. They would be about 22 or 24" deep, and I would think that would be plenty deep for anything we would want to plant.

They also had 30 gallon plastic barrels and the 6 gallon buckets. Do you think the 30's would be too small for melons? Still trying to find a source for cheep or free 6.5 gallon buckets...
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2012
5:21 PM

Post #9096363

I think 30 will work. I put two crimson sweet in a 25 gallon today. I will have fun while I live and learn. I was very tempted to put the two plants in a 32 gallon. but I convinced myself that I could keep up with the watering in the 25,

I sowed 3 sugar pie pumpkin seeds in an earthbox along with a pink wave petunia plant today also. I have 4 more earthboxes being delivered. I expected them today but it was a no show.

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 24, 2012
9:08 PM

Post #9096648

We've got some Bush Sugar Baby's we started in the Jiffy GH and we're about to transplant into 5 gallon buckets. I was thinking about using a tomato cage to support them, but wasn't too sure if they would...

Also cleaned out the smaller raised bed and planted some Congo's and a couple Crimson Sweet's along with 4 Little Gems...
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2012
7:31 PM

Post #9104757

I have a Crimson Sweet watermelon (2 plants) growing in a 25 gallon pot and it has started running now. Excited to get the show on the road.
I have a seed from a 200 pound Carolina Cross watermelon that has germinated in a 25 gallon pot. I read that these seed are hard to germinate and I have had problems germinating them in the past . So I am pleased that it germinated. Hoping I grow a large melon...at any rate.
I have a giant Atlantic Giant Pumpkin seedling mutt from hollandsgiants that is ready for the 50 gallon barrel but i am so afraid the vine will break easily as it falls over the side of the barrel. They have really tender vines. I am still deciding what to do about that.
Then. I have a giant squash that is trying to germinate in a 32 gallon trash can. Seed is from hollandsgiants also. Also a mutt seed.
mutt= don't know who the parents are. they are random seeds from 500 to 700 pound pumpkins or squash.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 3, 2012
9:15 AM

Post #9108618

I decided to move that Carolina Cross to the garden. I had originally started the carolina in a 3 inch pot and when I saw roots at the bottom of the container, I quickly transplanted it into that 25 gallon pot before it emerged from the soil...but my thoughts got the best of me and after it emerged, I scooped it up and transplanted it into the garden. I don't think I disturbed the roots much.
BUT I did prepare a container that holds 100 gallons of soil that contains 3 buckets of rabbit manure for another Carolina Cross.
All is doing great.
I read that when the big melons are growing they only need about 5 to 8 gallons of water each day. Thats not too bad. I am impatient for everthing to start running. ... that will be a 2 wk wait.
Everthing is in its place.
Giant Squash= 32 gallon
Giant Pumpkin= 50 gallon
Giant Carolina= 100 gallon
Crimson Sweet= 25 gallon
Sugar Pie Pumpkins= 2 EBs
Crimson Sweet= 2 EBs

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 9, 2012
5:25 AM

Post #9157867

CG, how are the vines coming along? Update pics. ?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 10, 2012
3:56 PM

Post #9159578

yeppers.
this is the carolina cross growing in the 100 gallon soil

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 10, 2012
4:00 PM

Post #9159581

Its rainy out so I cant go out and take pics of the crimson sweet yet.

This is the giant green squash in the 15 gallon earthbox as of June 5th.
the same had a female to pollinate June 8th..
the same 2 days later= today

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 10, 2012
4:06 PM

Post #9159591

CG, did you have to hand pollinate your flowers? I'm a novice. Your input is most helpful and appreciated. Although we've many bees. My pumpkins' flowers seem to go un-pollinated. :((
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 10, 2012
4:07 PM

Post #9159592

giant green squash pant that has been growing in the 32 gallon trash can.

1st pic was May 28
2nd same plant June 5th
3rd pic. same plant , pollinated a not so perfect female this morning 6 lobes.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Click an image for an enlarged view.

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 10, 2012
4:14 PM

Post #9159599

I always help the bees, just to be safe. All of my plants are in closed shade structures so I don't get any bee activity in there. I used 2 and 3 males per female.

the giant pumpkin that is growing in the 50 gallon is having some leaf issues. Not sure what yet but it is not doing its best but still pretty healthy.

50 gallon pumpkin plant June 5th. Lost a lot of leaves due to storms and the leaves that are left are not very big.
Same plant...pollinated a female this morning.
Same= a perfect 5 lobes

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Click an image for an enlarged view.

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 10, 2012
4:24 PM

Post #9159608

the Sugar Pie growing in an Earth Box.
It started out with two plants but one of the plants kept wilting so I chopped it.
Just one sugar pie growing in this earthbox with a pink wave petunia .

todays pic = plant vining down the fence
The first female day after pollination June 2
Todays pic of first female

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 10, 2012
4:41 PM

Post #9159623

Wow, how good those look!!! Thanks CG for your reply.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 15, 2012
6:45 AM

Post #9166017

an update on the giant squash growing in the earthbox.

1. the giant green squash 5 days after pollination (5 DAP) sitting on a 2x4 plank
2. same, 6 DAP sitting on a 2x6 plank
3. same 7 DAP sitting on same 2x6 plank

they normally abort before they are 10 days old. Hard to get a green one to set and grow.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Click an image for an enlarged view.

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 15, 2012
6:49 AM

Post #9166022

I set up 26 2gallon pots under the leaf nodes of the green squash plant so it could get more water and more nutrients.
will add more pots as the plant grows. It grew very well just in the earthbox but I am hoping for something bigger than what I would of gotten with just the earth box.

June 13th

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 15, 2012
8:12 AM

Post #9166137

[quote] I set up 26 2gallon pots under the leaf nodes of the green squash plant so it could get more water and more nutients. [/quote] Question please. Will the nodes where you placed the pots sprout up new rootlets (for lack of better words) in order to draw up h2o and nutrients? Is that how it works? Thanks CG.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 15, 2012
11:28 AM

Post #9166364

yes. the vine has roots at all the leaf nodes and they root very quickly. Most of them already had roots at the nodes before I ever set the pots under them.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 15, 2012
4:57 PM

Post #9166776

Thank you, I'm so happy I'm learning new info. I've a few Pumpkins vines in containers just as ornamental, and improving my learning curve purposes. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me and others.

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