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Melon Growing Problems: Troubleshooting

Posted May 24 2009 10:11pm

Muskmelons, cantaloupes, winter melons, and watermelons: they all thrive under the same cultural conditions and they all share similar growing  problems.


Cantaloupes are muskmelons: these melons have pumpkin-like ribbing, a skin covered with a netting of shallow veins, and most varieties have a musk smell.

Winter melons (which are a type of muskmelon) ripen at the very end of summer as the weather turns cool: honeydews, crenshaws, casabas, and Persians.

Watermelons--which are a different botanical family than muskmelons and winter melons--share all of the growing requirements.


Here is a troubleshooting list of possible melon problems with control and cure suggestions: (For a full description of pests and diseases and prevention and controls click over to the Pest Problem Solver or the Disease Problem Solver. For melon growing details click to How to Grow Muskmelons  or How to Grow Winter Melons or How to Grow Watermelons. (More melon growing success tips are at the bottom of this post.)


Leaves curl under and become deformed and yellowish.Aphids are tiny, oval, and yellowish to greenish pear-shaped insects that colonize on the undersides of leaves. They leave behind sticky excrement called honeydew which can turn into a black sooty mold. Use insecticidal soap.


Leaves turn pale green, yellow, or brown; dusty silver webs on undersides of leaves and between vines.Spider mites suck plant juices causing stippling. Spray with water or use insecticidal soap or rotenone. Ladybugs and lacewings eat mites.


Leaves yellow; tiny white winged insects around plants.Whiteflies will congregate on the undersides of leaves and fly up when disturbed. Remove infested leaves and the whole plant if infestation is serious. Introduce beneficial insects into the garden.

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