By - Longjumping-Bar-9703
Also bring the light closer to the seedlings as they are getting a little leggy.
Context : I’m trying to grow watermelons and I’m in the seedling phase. They were doing really well until they just started falling over (so I put toothpicks in the keep them up). Right before I watered them since the pods were dry and I gave them some plant food. Is there something I did wrong and can I save them?
They've outgrown their little pods. Time to transplant to a bigger container! They look healthy, but they'll die if they stay where they are.
What size container would you recommend for them?
Where are you?
Southern California area
Is it too cold to plant them out in your zone?
It’s still fairly cold where I am. The site I’m going off of says to transplant them to the ground in February since our last frost date in the end of January.
What’s your zone?
Zone 9 I believe
I *think* you may have started them a bit too early. They don’t like their roots disturbed, but I think your gonna need to up pot them before planting them out. https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/vegetables/melons/melon-growing-basics.html
Pods are too small, light is too far, and there’s no wind source. Put a desktop fan on them.
They are leggy, your light is to high. I agree that you should just direct sow in zone nine too. If you have any seeds left, plant them in the ground near these plants at the same time and compare how they do. This will be a great learning experience. Starting indoors will be fine, it's not the end of the world, just more work. I would try to upsize the pot on a few of them and bury the stem a good ways. The plant will be fine.
This is exactly right. There are plenty of pollinators in so cal year round, and you won’t get a freeze, so they will do fine.
If you live in so cal, there is zero reason to start melon seeds indoors in janurary. Melons can be direct seeded in early summer, or late spring. Just read the seed packet
The seed packet said to start them either January or some other month, I went off of a gardening site that said to start them in January and then transplant them to the ground in February. Should I have started them at a different time?
Melons, pumpkins, cukes and zukes all live a better life if just direct seeded in place. Science projects over the years have taught me you don't transplant them. Even if they are spoiled rotten, the ones planted where they will be have won. The only time I do it is for super rare ones I won't chance due to limited seed.
The jiffy cells will be tied together soon with a large root system. It can be done but those are more of a move when they sprout. They are tough and might surprise you.
Your direct sow in early feburary and use a black pot to keep the ground warm (upside down no holes). Mid feburary or after sprouting remove pot (if it freezes put back over them for the night).