Melon Growing Problems: Troubleshooting
As we prepare to discuss and come up with a tentative crop protection program/guide for the crop, I wish members to go through the following .
in the crop protection discussion, we will focus on the AI(active ingredient) and NOT the trade names, trade names will be used only as an eye opening example under the AI molecule.
NB:To know the AI of the product you are buying,look for the “Guarantee” name on the label e.g: Guarantee: Imidacloprid
The crop protection program will be done in three phases/growth stages to bring out the major problems/diseases and pests at each stage
Here is a troubleshooting list of possible melon problems with control and cure suggestions:
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 available chemical in your local agro input supply shop.
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 an abamectin chemical.
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. Use imidachloprid chemicals to clear the whiteflies.
Coarse white speckling or stippling on upper surface of leaves; leaves may brown.
Leafhoppers are green, brown, or yellow bugs with wedge-shaped wings. They suck the juices from leaves and stems.
Trails and tunnels in leaves.
The leaf miner larvae tunnel inside leaves. Destroy infected leaves and cultivate the garden to destroy larvae and keep adult flies from laying eggs. Cover crops with floating row covers.
Water-soaked blotches on leaves–not enlarging past leaf veins;
water-soaked spot can appear on fruits Angular leaf spot or bacterial spot is a waterborne bacterium which causes irregular geometric patterns on leaves. Spots may turn yellow and crisp. Avoid wetting foliage with irrigation. Prune off infected leaves and stems. Clean up garden. Plant disease-resistant varieties. Rotate crops up to 2 years.
Knots, galls, or swollen beads on roots; plants wilt; poor yield. Nematodes are microscopic worm-like animals that live in the film of water that coats soil particles; some are pests, some are not. Root-knot nematodes feed in the roots and stunt plant growth. Most common in sandy soils. Rotate crops. Solarize the soil with clear plastic in mid-summer.
Holes chewed in leaves, leaves skeletonized; runners and young fruit scarred.
Spotted cucumber beetle is greenish, yellowish, ¼ inch (7mm) long with black spots and black head. Striped cucumber beetle has wide black stripes on wing covers. Hand pick; mulch around plants; plant resistant varieties;
Leaves have yellow specks that turn brown, then black; vines wilt from point of attack.
Squash bug is a flat, shield-shaped black or brownish bug with a triangle on its back; it sucks juices from plants.
Round white powdery spots and coating on leaves.
Powdery mildew is caused by fungal spores. Spores germinate on dry leaf surfaces when the humidity is high; spores do not germinate on wet leaves. Common in late summer or fall but does not result in loss of plant. Avoid water stress. Pick off infected leaves.
Irregular yellowish to brownish spots on upper leaf surfaces; grayish powder or mold on undersides.
Downy mildew is caused by a fungus. Improve air circulation. Plant resistant varieties. Rotate crops. Keep garden free of plant debris.
Mottled, distorted leaves.
Mosaic virus causes leaves to become thickened, brittle, easily broken from plant; plants are stunted and yields are poor. The virus is spread from plant to plant by aphids and leafhoppers. Remove diseased plants. Remove broadleaf weeds that serve as virus reservoir.
Early flowers don’t set fruit.
A couple of possible reasons: (1) There may not be enough pollinators, mostly bees. Hand-pollinate using artist’s paintbrush. Bee activity may be low because of cool weather or insecticides.
Fruit is misshapen or flavor is bitter.
Several possible reasons: (1) Inadequate pollination: be sure bees and pollinators can get to flowers; (2) dry soil: keep the soil evenly moist while melons are developing; use drip or trickle irrigation in drought and mulch to retain soil moisture; (3) high temperatures: temperature swings of 20° or more can cause bitter flavor; keep soil mulched; (4) poor soil fertility: add aged compost to planting beds and side dress melons with aged compost.
Plants wilt and die beginning with crown or older topmost leaves. Verticillium wilt is a soil borne fungus. Light brown streaks can be seen in stem split lengthwise. Rotate crops. Avoid soil previously planted in cucumbers and family members, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes.
Vines wilt suddenly and die starting with one or two leaves.
Bacterial wilt clogs the circulatory system of plants. It is caused by bacteria that is transmitted by cucumber beetles and is seen often where the soil stays moist. Remove and destroy infected plants before the disease spreads. . Wash hands and clean tools with a bleach solution.
Plants are stunted and yellow; runners turn yellow and wilt gradually dies.
Entire plant collapses. One-sided brown lesion may form on affected runner for 1-2 feet. Fusarium wilt is a fungal disease which infects plant vascular tissues. Fungal spores live in the soil and can be carried by cucumber beetles. Plant disease-resistant varieties. Rotate crops. Remove and destroy infected plants. Fungicides are not effective
Water-soaked spots–sunken, brown or black–on fruit. Belly rot, bacterial spot or blight, blossom end rot. Remove and destroy infected fruits. Remove all plants and plant debris at the end of the season. Promote good drainage adding organic materials to planting beds. Keep the soil evenly moist; mulch to retain soil moisture. Avoid over-head watering. Rotate crops.
Plants produce few fruits, mostly foliage. Plants are likely spaced too close together. Space plants at recommended distances, Plant spaced too close or too far apart yield fewer fruits as a result of poor pollination.
Ref:wyclife ingoi,Agri seedco ltd C/o KITO F1
Who dictates the seed variety you plant?
-Buyers have had a big say on this (HOW) –By rejecting some fruits due to the market requiremets on the varietal aspects: SO , which is the BEST SEED to plant? And WHY?
When selecting a seed ,research for the following aspects
The size of the seeds in the fruits after maturity
Time taken to mature
Fruit size uniformity
-log in for the next feature discusion on this as we fill the following table with you
|SEED TYPE||AREA PLANTED||ACREAGE||FRUIT SIZE DISTRIBUTION||SEED SIZE||SEED COLOR||KEEPING QUALITY||DAYS TO HARVEST||TOTAL TONNAGE|
|1||TRIAL F1||KINANIE||1||>10kgs:20% 4-9kgs :70% <4gs :10%||big||black||good||60-75||15T|
NB:This is NOT a public ENDORSEMENT OF ANY SEED TYPE but a mission to get the farmer practical response for future advise and trials on the same,ALWAYS CONSULT an good agronomist for the right information on this
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