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What Is Dummy Melon On Watermelon Plant? Ultimate Guide

Do you know the largest watermelon fruit produced to the current date is ‘Carolina Cross’, which weighs 156 kg? Yes, it is all possible due to focusing on limited or single fruit to grow or dummy melon gardening. 

Generally, dummy melon gardening involves removing the first watermelon fruit from the vines and dumping it near the plant. This helps reduce the competition between or among the fruits for water and nutrients. 

If you’re worried about the harvest and size of the homegrown watermelon, don’t skip this article!

Why is my Watermelon not Getting Any Bigger?

There is no single answer to this gardening query, as many care factors can directly and indirectly affect the growth of the watermelon. However, there are some considerable things. 

Watermelon fruit on vine
Watermelon takes 80 -100 days to grow and fruit.

Temperature: These ground melons need a temperature of 80-95° F at the daytime and 60-70° F at night. If the temperature fluctuates heavily from the ideal scale, the fruits grow small. 

Root damage: When transplanting, if the watermelon plants suffer root damage, they cannot uptake the nutrients and undergo stunt growth. This directly impacts the size of the fruit. 

Pest and diseases: Aphid infestation is the prime culprit to damage watermelon, which can cause mosaic virus. The symptoms can show up with small, mottled leaves attached to the short vines. 

Poor pollination: Weather plays a prime role in setting the harvest in the season. For example, windy, rainy, and cold weather prevents insects and air from transferring pollen from one flower to another. 

These are only the factors that necessarily occur once or more in watermelon and need regular monitoring. The thinning out of the fruit is the gardeners’ choice to increase the size of the fruit and harvest. 

When watermelon sets multiple fruits in a single plant, the fruit sucks out the nutrients completely, making the plant unable to provide ample food.

The fruits compete for water and nutrients and result in small and unhealthy ones. So, that’s where dummy melon gardening comes up. 

What is Dummy Melon on Watermelon Plant?

Healthy watermelon produces 2-4 fruits in a single vine, and each fruit weighs 12-16 kg but can exceed up to 90 kg. To get that size, you may necessarily need to thin out the fruits. 

Firstly, you can reduce the number of female flowers and cut back the vines early.

Despite growing multiple unhealthy and timid size of fruits, you can grow limited numbers of healthy and big watermelon fruits. 

So, the next gardening approach can be removing the first watermelon fruit from the vines.

The first young melon that grows on the watermelon is called a dummy watermelon.

You need to remove it promptly from the peduncle with pruners, which helps reduce the nutrient waste.

Also limiting the number of fruits also helps the plant to reserve nutrients and foods for healthy fruit.  

Dig a small trench at least 7 cm away from the base of the watermelon plant.

Then, pour two spoonfuls of nutrient-rich fertilizer that contains NPK, or you can also use organic fertilizers that watermelon can easily absorb. 

Following this method, your homegrown watermelon provides you with fresh melons and plenty of harvest.

From Editorial Team

Pruning watermelon!

Pruning watermelon has several advantages, including pest and disease control, reducing the runners and vines, and boosting harvest and fruit size.

For this, you can take pruners and trim the unhealthy leaves and vines with infestation or discolored symptoms.