Kiwano (horned melon)

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

Moderators: KG Steve, Chantal, Tigger, peter

Elmigo
KG Regular
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:54 pm
x 323

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:55 am

Their first real leaves are showing and we're now about 2-3 weeks ahead in time. Normally I would cut a few away but as I'd like to keep most of them (perhaps for giving away) I'm thinking about transplanting right this day, before their root systems have completely intertwined.

20200310_094943.jpg
20200310_094943.jpg (1.87 MiB) Viewed 1769 times
0 x
User avatar
oldherbaceous
KG Regular
Posts: 12444
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:52 pm
Location: Beautiful Bedfordshire
x 946

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby oldherbaceous » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:01 am

Good on you Elmigo, they really are looking strong young plants.
2 x
Kind Regards, Old Herbaceous.

There's no fool like an old fool.
Elmigo
KG Regular
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:54 pm
x 323

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:29 pm

As the seedlings started to show their first real leaves the other day, today they have been transplanted into their own little pot. They need to be at least this size for each plant so they can stay indoors for a while longer. The temperatures outdoors can and will stay too low for the following couple of months, so they need some space to grow.

Screenshot_20200312-212701_Gallery.jpg
Screenshot_20200312-212701_Gallery.jpg (1.74 MiB) Viewed 1708 times
1 x
Elmigo
KG Regular
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:54 pm
x 323

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:35 am

Time for a new kiwano update!

After a while, those tiny little seedlings start to grow a lot of tendrils on all sides. It grows faster than most other cucumber family members at the window sill. Be warned, don't make the mistake of trying to get it used to the weather! Immediately putting it in full sun at an early stage may burn the leaves, just like on the picture below. Even in the window sill I protect it against the hot sunlight, despite the season still being early. All new leaves do grow well and are colored bright green!

At this stage it would be best to give it a shoulder to lean on, in the form of a netting or frame, as the tendrills come out on every possible side. But I would wait a little longer as they cannot be placed in the greenhouse yet. All seedlings look like this right now, and it won't be long untill they can be placed in the greenhouse. The temperatures just have to rise a little more :mrgreen:

20200410_103059.jpg
20200410_103059.jpg (452.76 KiB) Viewed 1542 times


By the way, watch for the seedlings every single day! They might start holding hands :lol: which is fine, but just watch out when grabbing one of them. Be careful not to rip off any leaves or any other parts of those plants!

20200410_104034.jpg
20200410_104034.jpg (1.22 MiB) Viewed 1538 times
3 x
Elmigo
KG Regular
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:54 pm
x 323

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:39 pm

Slowly I am getting the little guys used to the greenhouse. Daytime temperatures are great right now, with the greenhouse max temperatures being around 38°C with the window open. Nighttime is still too cold at 6°C lowest so the evening is when they get back in. They seem to love the greenhouse, because in just two days they grew about 1-2 inches!

Just after watering, time to move them back in.

20200420_183608.jpg
20200420_183608.jpg (2.31 MiB) Viewed 1399 times
3 x
Westi
KG Regular
Posts: 4678
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
x 802

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Westi » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:20 pm

Looking good Elmigo! It's quite a small greenhouse - any way you can afford an electric fan heater for in there? Won't for long & just to save you a bit of time & physical effort!
0 x
Westi
Elmigo
KG Regular
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:54 pm
x 323

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:09 am

Yes I can afford it but I also need an investment for my store, so I won't for now. Especially as it's almost may and the temperatures are rising :)
1 x
User avatar
Primrose
KG Regular
Posts: 6930
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:50 pm
Location: Bucks.
x 1417

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Primrose » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:48 pm

Elmigo , only three of mine actually germinated and sadly they are looking a little fragile and not so healthy as yours. Not sure why as all my other seedlings in the same location are doing well. . I think their first leaves suffered from sunlight scorching on my window ledge when they were very small and tender but they're still with me. I hadn,t bargained for how "needy" they would be in terms of their clinging tendrils so will have to keep a close eye on them to provide some support for them to cling onto.
While yours are daily outdoor commuters you could probably do with a tray or two on which to place them all to make the daily trip from the greenhouse less arduous.

My original plan was to try and grow them up a fence trellis in a south facing border but they look as if, even when they're more mature they would be too fragile to survive without damage on windy days. I imagine yours had a lot of protection on your flat balcony.
1 x
Westi
KG Regular
Posts: 4678
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
x 802

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Westi » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:21 pm

Right idea Elmigo & probably will be much cheaper to pick one up out of season for next years prep as well!
1 x
Westi
Elmigo
KG Regular
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:54 pm
x 323

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:15 am

Primrose wrote:Elmigo , only three of ... on your flat balcony.


I think mine only look healthy because they're in a group :lol: so more green in the picture. The first leaves suffered from sunburn for me as well, and I eventually removed the bad leaves. The plants look skinny in the beginning. And if they don't have somethin to grab nearby they will fall over. That's normal for Kiwano and most other cucumbers as well, or so I believe. I've never had a kiwano or cucumber that could stand on his own. As soon as the outdoor temperatures are right, with daytime above 20°C, they will certainly grow a lot stronger!

To prevent sunburn, I gave my greengouse some improvised garden fleece cover. Perhaps this could be placed at the window as well, this would definitely prevent sunburn.
0 x
User avatar
Primrose
KG Regular
Posts: 6930
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:50 pm
Location: Bucks.
x 1417

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Primrose » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:42 am

Thanks for this advice Elmigo. Now the sunlight is starting to get stronger I'll try moving them away from the window into a position with more indirect sunlight. Mine certainly look very fragile skinny plants as you say and I was wondering how they could ever become more robust. I've repotted them and will them them some sticks to grow up.

I'm used to growing outdoor cucumbers and yes, they too need some support frames so will adopt the same process if they thrive and survive to the point when I can plant them out.

Hope your new garden is giving you lots of pleasure. Has your neighbour replaced the fence now? I imagine it's difficult to sow close by if you're risking boots trampling on all your newly sown seedlings.
0 x
Elmigo
KG Regular
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:54 pm
x 323

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:01 am

Kiwano is originally a creeper that crawls the entire floor. When they get older they will look stronger as well!

The fence has been placed and I haven't planted anything nearby so everything is still alive and well! No boots in my garden :mrgreen: There's garden fleece over the greenhouse to protect plants in there, no more sunburn for those. And now it's time to place the fence in my garden :mrgreen:

20200423_105635.jpg
20200423_105635.jpg (2.75 MiB) Viewed 1294 times
Last edited by Elmigo on Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
2 x
User avatar
Primrose
KG Regular
Posts: 6930
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:50 pm
Location: Bucks.
x 1417

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Primrose » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:11 am

Oh wow! That is so impressive since your last photo. Not a square centimetre of growing space wasted! You'll soon be making a takeover bid for next door's garden as well.
Just hope you can find space for a tiny stool to place somewhere on that path to occasionally sit on and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of beer while you survey all your hard work. The previous owners wouldn't recognise their garden now !
2 x
User avatar
oldherbaceous
KG Regular
Posts: 12444
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:52 pm
Location: Beautiful Bedfordshire
x 946

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby oldherbaceous » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:11 pm

Fabulous job, Elmigo...and i love the awning on the greenhouse... :)
1 x
Kind Regards, Old Herbaceous.

There's no fool like an old fool.
Elmigo
KG Regular
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:54 pm
x 323

Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:10 pm

It was a lot of work (and still is) :lol:

The previous owners, they are no more... I'm pretty sure they will admire their former garden from heaven. Knowing their hard work was not wasted, to keep the clay soil fertile and clean.

But I promised myself to keep a place to sit on the patio. In reality it will probably be filled with container plants. An apple and peach, strawberry pellets, a partridge, a pear tree...
1 x

Return to “Best practices”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests