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Watermelon Transplanting

We are starting to plant watermelons this week for most of our crop. Most plants came out this week. We’re finishing laying plastic through most of the week as well.

For the melons transplanted a week ago, they are all looking great. Turner County Agent Will Gay, UGA Vegetable Pathologist Dr. Bahbesh Dutta, and I look at alot of fields on the Turner/Wilcox line. There is very little disease as well as common injury from salts.

UGA Extension Pathologist Dr. Bahbesh Dutta and Turner County Ag Agent Will Gay

Soluble Salts

The most common thing we are seeing on the plants are is a little necrosis on the leaf edge from salts collecting in the plants as the green house lets them dry out before transplanting. It’s mostly in the lower leaves right after the cotyledon, nothing to worry.

Soluble salts collect on the outside of the leaf when plants dry

Splitting Stems

Will told me about some splitting stems he had seen before I looked at our melons in Wilcox. Here is a picture of one. It just comes from normal up and down temperature changes in the green house.

Split stems

Disease

Of course gummy stem blight is the pathogen we keep an eye on. Right now there are only a few hits of gummy in the field and nothing abnormal. As a matter of fact, most gummy we see is dried up on the leaf, no picnidia found.

Youll see a couple of plants with a water-soaked stem which were likely hit by pythium, nothing to worry.

Water-soaked stem from pythium

Up until now, there have been mostly sunny days, so our fungicide programs should have no issue controlling gummy.

Seed Corn Maggot

We saw even fewer plants hit with seed corn maggots. The plant will look like a dead pythium plant but when you look at the stem, it looks different. You can tear into the stem and find the white fly larvae.

Corn seed maggot

Once the melons are transplanted, bifinthrin is labeled and will control them pretty easy. It has to be drenched over the plants. Diazinon is labeled pre-plant under the plastic.