watermelon growth

Hi,
I have gotten many vines moving out in all directions, plenty of yellow flowers, but no fruit. I have it in full sun, too, and use miracle grow every 2 weeks. It's almost the end of August. Am I doing something wrong?
Theresa
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many things factor into how well your plants will do but most problems go back to one's soil. do you regularly add organic matter? is it a clay or sandy soil? have u received adequate moisture this year? have u kept the weeds down to a minimum? are you growing a variety that's well suited for the length of your growing season? u mentioned using miracle grow - have you been careful not to over-fertilize (almost impossible if u use a slow release organic source)?
are the flowers you're seeing the first flowers of the summer or has there been plenty around for some time? realize that the very first flowers to show up are male - it's not til later that the females show up - you have to have both plus adequate polination.
here in michigan, the "icebox" varieties perform very well. i've had very good luck with both "yellow baby" and "yellow doll." other icebox varieties have been so traumatized by the rain/cold we often have right after planting, that they seem to grow poorly the rest of the season.
we should be getting our first melon in another week or two. it's sad to say but if you don't start seeing some melons starting very soon, u'll run out of time before the first frost (assuming you're in zone 5 as myself).
plz answer the above ?'s and we can provide more insight...

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into how well your plants will do but most problems go

since I just moved into this apt. complex). To me, it's regular dirt. But there are wood chips all around. I've watered it regularly, plus we have had some heavy rains this summer. I don't know what variety it is yet as I got it from Wal-mart.
I don't think I've been over-fertilizing it. I know that many times I've forgotten (plus, I ahve gone on some short trips--as this is the summer season).

There have been plenty around for a while.
I could take some pictures and put them up on a web site if you'd like to see.
Theresa
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some pictures could be helpful - post them if it's not too much work....
at the end of the growing season contact your local cooperative extention and ask for instructions on how to submit a soil sample for testing. i can't overemphasize just how important doing this is. it'll identify all the "vital stats" about your garden's soil, to include a classification of your soil type. the heavier the soil (more claylike) the worse luck i've had with melons. if the pH is too high or too low, u can expect poor results. if the soil is seriously lacking any/some of the major nutrient groups (nitrogen phosphorous potassium) then again, your plants will suffer.
not only will the soil test tell u everything about your soil, it'll make suggestions for correcting any problems.
as far as acceptable organic matter, cow patties would work if u tilled them into the soil this fall - fresh manure can "burn" one's plants so u want to give it plenty of time to breakdown. i add non-meat scraps from the kitchen and fall leaves to my garden every year. if you follow a similar strategy u'll find that your soil gets darker/richer/better every year. there's tons of info about this online if u need more details.
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I've got 5 watermelon about halfway between softball and soccer ball size. I only put miracle grown on them once, and just made sure the soil didn't get too dry. This is the second planting, the last frost got the first one...
Walmart had three sizes, the sugar baby (soccer ball size), "normal" and "huge," whatever they were called. I'm guessing you went with either the sugar baby or normal ones.
Puckdropper
Theresa V. wrote:

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I would be careful with the manure application. If you don't use "aged" manure (2 or more years old), you will get a lot of other things growing in our garden that you will have to remove.
Sometimes it takes a long time for the female flowers to come on. Have you had your soil tested? I used to watch a master gardner with a TV program in Arkansas. He always said that to get your plants to bloom, trees to put on fruit, etc., to add a super phosphate (0 - 50 - 0). You would do that before next years crop. Here in Kansas, we have plenty in the soil already and apparently don't have to add any.
I have always been disappointed with sugar babies. I get them to grow, but they are always either green or over ripe when I pick them. I find I cant use the normal methods to tell when they are ripe. I would like to recommend Crimson Sweet. They are bigger than sugar babies, but not giants like Black Diamonds. They also taste very good. I also tried Dixie King, a very good yellow fleshed melon.
I water mine until the melons look like they are getting ready to ripen. If they get a lot of water at ripening time, they will split. It is my personal idea that you shouldn't start melons indoors and then transplant them outside. The reason I feel that way is because they have a tap root that goes deep into the soil for water. Those I have grown inside and then transplanted outside, would die if I didn't water them every other day. I think the tap root on those just went round and round inside the container they were planted in. If the tap root had been allowed to grow straight down like it was supposed to, it should have had plenty of water. Melon growers tell you to check the tendril and its associated leaf closest to the melon when you are checking for ripeness. When they have both dried up, that indicates the melon is ripe. I find that if I have used transplants, they dry up if I don't water them, and that doesn't necessarily mean they are ripe.
Have fun and enjoy your melons. Dwayne
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