Why are my young watermelon leaves crinkled and pale?
Young watermelon plants should be medium green and grow rapidly. Plants which are pale green and have crinkled true leaves are most like suffering from manganese toxicity. Manganese is an essential element for plant growth, but too much available manganese in the soil can cause the plants to stop growing. The problem is closely linked to soil pH. Anytime the soil pH is less than 5.5, there is a potential for manganese toxicity to develop. The cure is to test each field before planting and apply lime to fields with a pH less than 5.5. Once the young plants display symptoms, it is too late to cure the problem.
One month ago, watermelon production in southeast Mississippi was on track. Now, growers there have lost much of their crop to the summer’s wet weather.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Watermelon production is on track despite cool weather at planting.
“I’ve been in our watermelon fields a good bit over the past several days,” Heath Steede, Mississippi State University Extension agent in George County, said on June 9. “The crop looks really good. We had a slow start with the cool nights this spring, but they caught up later. The watermelons are stacked in there, and we’ll have a good crop as far as the number of melons.”
Continuous rains, however, have Steede a little concerned.
Good spring weather conditions in southeast Mississippi kept watermelon production on track.
Some Mississippi watermelon producers lost crops or got a late start because of wet spring weather. But consumers should find the sweet, summer treats on shelves in time for the July 4 holiday.