We got a late start on our watermelons, but alas, they are starting to grow
pretty fast. We have noticed that about half of them are rotting on one
end...way before they're ready to harvest:( Is this some kind of disease? Or
too much water? Is there any way to stop this from affecting the whole crop?
I notice it's only on the Carolina Gray variety...the Moon and Stars melons
are doing great so far (knock on wood)...
Thanks for any help:) This is our first year to try growing watermelon.
Most of the time, this describes fruit abortion due to inadequate pollination.
Watermelons are one of those veggies that require insect (bee) pollinators.
Stress will also cause fruit to abort. Seems to be more common in the elongated
cultivars than the round ones.
Usually watermelons that aren't pollinated turn yellow and drop much like an
unpollinated squash or zucchini would. How big do they grow before they rot?
If it's more like 1/4 to 1/2 size, then you're probably talking blossom-end
rot much like tomatoes and many other fruit suffer when calcium levels are
low. You might try spraying with some dilute calcium nitrate and lime your
soil this winter for next year. Excess water may also play a part as we seem
to get more of this in watermelons in wet years than dry ones.
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