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-   -   Melons (http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1626)

GpsFrontier 05-24-2010 02:36 AM

11 Attachment(s)
Well I was not going to post this because it's just a makeshift system in order to bide time until I could build the actual system, but the plants look like they are doing so well that I thought I would share it. It's a drip system using coco chips as the growing medium. Simply made from two storage totes. One as a growing container (with drain holes drilled into it), the other as the collection and drain back to the reservoir.

watercatwn6535nd 05-26-2010 02:00 AM

how are they doing for pollination. i have never been able to get one pollinated. i have hundreds of flowers right now. i'm putting it out side this weekend. let those bees work there magic.

GpsFrontier 05-26-2010 02:15 AM


Originally Posted by watercatwn6535nd (Post 4880)
how are they doing for pollination. i have never been able to get one pollinated. i have hundreds of flowers right now. i'm putting it out side this weekend. let those bees work there magic.

I was not really worried about pollination yet, but I have noticed that most of the flowers are doping and not setting fruit. I have a lot of data on melon production, but have not had the time to go through it yet. I don't see many bees in the back yard lately, I'm considering hand pollinating to see if that goes better. Going by what I have read about melon production I was surprised to see so many flowers on these, thinking that perhaps it's normal that they don't all set fruit.

I also have not checked the pH more than once in about a week, and I have added water to it. I am guessing that the pH is well high, but will change the nutrient solution probably tomorrow. After I took those pictures I gave 4 plants away to a friend to plant in soil, and the roots looked very healthy at that time. My mom wants to grow asparagus, I may do a similar setup to grow that, who knows.

GpsFrontier 05-27-2010 02:25 AM

Update on pollination.
I just looked into the pollination of melons, and it looks like that bees are required for pollination. I just a quick look, so I am unsure if other insects can pollinate melons also, as well as if hand pollinating works, and/or if there is a male/female flower. But I thought I would post a few links for anyone interested in looking into it. I may need to do something to attract more wild bees to the area. I did find a small paintbrush to do hand pollinating with, but will be some time before I can tell if it's doing any good. There didn't seem to be much pollen though.


P.S. I don't think I will be doing asparagus because from what I have read it takes 3 years (seasons) before it produces well. I don't feel like putting in that much time for a crop that I am not selling. With the proper equipment I can quickly rotate crops (asparagus plants) for a continuous supply, but I don't want to go through that for a few plants.

GpsFrontier 06-02-2010 06:36 AM

11 Attachment(s)
Well I just thought I would post an update. First off it has been 8 days and these plants have almost dubbed in size (remember I gave away 4 of them). I may need to just give away the rest, I don't think I will be ready to transplant within in the next week. But I thought I would mention an observation, I have been hand pollinating them and have noticed a few things.

First off I have no idea if any results were due to hand pollinating or insect pollinating. I have noticed that at each junction of leaves there is a cluster of flowers, I cant imagine each flower being a melon. But it seems that at each cluster of flowers (after all but one flower) there is a bulb with a flower that has not opened yet. I am thinking that each cluster of flowers will produce one melon if the clusters are pollinated correctly. You can see the bulb in some of the images, these flowers have not yet opened. I assume they will still need to be pollinated before the fruit will actually set. But I will keep a close eye on what happens, even if I never get the plants in their intended system.

GpsFrontier 06-20-2010 02:34 AM

I suddenly noticed I have melons
7 Attachment(s)
Well Here it is over two weeks later and I still have not built the new system for my Mellon plants yet. I simply wont have the money to do it the way I had planed, so I am going with plan "B." I will use 5 gallon buckets and a drip system like I did for my broccoli last winter. I should have it complete by Monday or Tuesday. But because of a strange twist yesterday, I have suddenly noticed that I have melons. I changed the nutrient solution a few days ago (8 gallons), and it has been hot lately (105 or so). I have forgotten to add replacement water for a few days, so the reservoir was low and the pump couldn't pump it up the the plants.

My mom said I should have a look at them because they look like they need water. So I immediately got some cold water to pour on the growing medium, and while I was doing that, I discovered the melons. I actually found about 7 melons that were almost as big as tennis balls. So I thought I would post pictures of them. There are also many other smaller ones I had not seen yet either.

eduardomachado 06-22-2010 11:34 PM

congrats, they looks really healthy

GpsFrontier 06-24-2010 06:09 AM


Originally Posted by eduardomachado (Post 4990)
congrats, they looks really healthy

I'll see how they taste. As I mentioned, this was only supposed to be a makeshift system (not a final destination), but I am learning a lot on how they grow (as well as the nutrients I am using for them), that I can use later. I am not sure if these plants will be able to make the transfer when I am ready, so I am starting new seeds.

They must be root bound by now, there is at least 8 plants in the same container. Also there is no protection from the heat for the root zone (it was only meant to be a makeshift system), as well as the nutrient reservoir. The temp has been over 100 degrees daily for the last 2-3 weeks. So by far there are a lot of shortcomings for this makeshift system, but it's a good learning experience anyway. The originally planed system would have addressed those issues.

P.S. eduardomachado, How are your plants doing?

eduardomachado 06-24-2010 07:06 AM

GPS.. here in Puerto Rico they plant melons in full sun... and water just a little... its the 1st time I see them growing in Hydroponics.... they will get so big that they will cover the container themself :)

I have my second batch of lettuces almost ready to harvest... I have a Bubbling system with 4 Pepper plants that I have collected more than 100 peppers and its still producing a lot :)

Now I'm getting ready a system for giants green and yellow peppers, Giant Hungarian tomatoes, and some others heirloom varieties... I have a total of 20 new plants of tomatoes and peppers... Ill post pics tomorrow...

I added a cistern valve to the lettuces NFT system, so it wont run dry and went to Cancun for a week... the plants almost tripled their size...

So I can say I'm loving hydroponics...

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