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Subject:  Where to pollinate the watermelon on the plant

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Tasmania Australia

Hi, I am giving watermelons a try this season and was just trying to find out about main vines and secondary vines on these plants.
Do you grow the watermelon off the main vine as you do a giant pumpkin or are the watermelons completely different to grow in that aspect?

I have been trying to do a bit of a search on this and so far no real answers on this.

Do watermelons even have a main vine to start with or do they have multiple main vines?

I am basically looking to find out where the watermelon should be on the plant that is to be pollinated. How for out from the stump and on which vine as i am sure it will be different from pumpkins.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

9/22/2021 7:43:59 PM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

Here is how I see it. Many large diameter stems originate from the "stump" area of a watermelon. Many growers call them finger vines. Usually the pollinations are done on one of the finger vines. The closest I have ever done was about 6' from the stump, and it was my biggest I have grown so far. I have had them out 15' or so and do well also. It would be interesting to hear from some other growers on this and hear their two cents as well.
I have heard of growers training their melons with a main vine similar to that of a pumpkin (I think Bill Neptune and Maybe Bill Edwards? did it that way). I am not sure if anyone still does that though.

9/22/2021 9:45:11 PM


Tasmania Australia

Thanks or the reply,
Yes i was was going to ask about those multiple flinger vines.
I was interested to know if on a watermelon i should remove all but one finger vine and grow it as you would a pumpkin vine.
I am not sure if this is the correct way or not, but my theory is and most likely not correct, but i though that if you just had the one main vine coming from the stump, this would send most of the energy to the fruit.
But then again, not sure if this works for a watermelon and if removing all other finger vines will not leave enough of the plant.

9/23/2021 7:11:47 PM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

You don't have to remove the finger vines they are the equivalent to the first couple of secondaries on a pumpkin. They could simply be trained as secondary vines. I have often wondered if there could be possible benefit to removing them. (like not having the stump go down on you. which seems to happen frequently on grafted plants) I don't know if anyone has tested this or not.

9/25/2021 7:06:04 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT


This is a nice photo of a stump. See how all the vines originate so close together. This is where the problems start. By pruning some of those early on, maybe you could reduce the issue and spread out the growth more evenly on the plant. It is not the graft unions that are failing it is above the union.

9/25/2021 7:27:42 AM


Tasmania Australia

I can see what you are referring to in that diary photo.
It dose appear that in that photo that you have a strong main vine or a vine that appears to be bigger and stronger that the others around it.
I wonder if by removing those other 6 vines when the plant was just forming if you would of ended up with a very strong main vine.
I guess it is kind of like an experiment, but i don't really want to be re inventing the wheel if it has already been done as they say.
It would be good to here from anyone that has tried removing all the vines from a young plant and kept a single main to know if it is worth while or if you just loose too much of the plant by doing so.

9/25/2021 6:39:59 PM



It is less likely to get a fruit set on the main. at least for me here for whatever reason. If you have a happy plant it may just not be wanting to reproduce yet. For that reason I would leave the fingers until fruit set. Once you get a fruit set on a secondary, that secondary with get bigger in diameter than the main if you get her hooked up right and luck is with you.

12/30/2022 8:18:56 AM

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