Watermelons @ Week 6 - Time To Start Pollinating!
Our watermelon plants are now at week 6 of growth, and the first fruit has appeared. Did you know that watermelon plants grow both female and male flowers? The female flower carries the fruit, and the male flower the pollen.
So yes, this means pollination time! Most plants would rely on either wind or insects to pollinate their flowers but with a lack of bees hanging around inside the Burnley store the team are having to hand pollinate each female flower manually. This needs a lot of concentration as there is a very limited time frame for pollination. The female flowers don't stay open for long, so as soon as you spot one it needs tending to immediately! Oh, the joys of indoor growing.
Now it’s just a waiting game to see if the fruit starts to swell or if it just goes black and drops off. This could take any time between 7-14 days, so we’ll be eagerly awaiting the result. (Whilst still hand pollinating any other flowers that appear in the meantime of course...)[caption id="attachment_3062" align="aligncenter" width="600"] All three watermelon plants in AutoPots[/caption]
You can see in the photos that the watermelon plants have grown lovely and tall now, with vines branching off to the sides as they grow. The pea netting is giving good support as the plant reaches out for space and this will give the resulting watermelons plenty of room to grow.
The set-up hasn’t changed with the watermelon plants still sitting in a 15L AutoPot System and underneath a 250w Sunmaster Metal Halide lamp and an Adjust-A-Wings Enforcer Reflector with the LUMii Black electronic ballast powering them. A metal halide lamp is still being used at the moment to keep any stretching at the minimum, however this may get switched out to a dual spectrum or red lamp once mid-flower instead!
Feed wise, the plants are now being fed Moonshine at 1ml per litre. This formula is completely natural that will improve nutrient uptake along with the health and strength of the plants – necessary for fruits as heavy as watermelons! Nothing else has been added and the BioTabs Starter Kit is still doing it's job in the Light-Mix soil.
So far so good in the Burnley store grow tents - have you been to have a look yet? We'd love to know what you think.
We’ll keep you updated online on how these plants develop over the next few weeks but if you want an easy reminder of new posts on the blog, subscribe to our mailing list and you’ll be one of the first to know.[caption id="attachment_3064" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Female watermelon flower[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3074" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Michael hand pollinating the female flower with the male[/caption] [product sku="Moonshine-Nutrient-Enhancer"] [product sku="AutoPot-Complete"] [product sku="BIO2020"] [product sku="FMC3931"] [product sku="LUM6741"] [product sku="Enforcer-Reflector"] [product sku="Sunmaster-Metal-Halide"]