Growing icebox watermelons in rental patch. Last time, we explained how to set up the support stakes as part of the vertical cultivation preparations. This time, we’re going to talk about pruning icebox watermelons (pinching watermelons). Where to prune is at the tip of the 'main vine (primary vine)’ of icebox watermelons.
How to prune icebox watermelons
It’s been about 10 days since we installed the support stakes for growing icebox watermelons vertically. We’ll do pruning icebox watermelons because the central main vine (primary vine) has grown, and it now has six true leaves. The timing for pruning icebox watermelons is when it has grown six true leaves.
Pruning is the act of using scissors to cut the tip of the central stem (in the case of icebox watermelons, it’s the main vine) to prevent it from growing further.
When you prune icebox watermelons, you remove the 'growing point’ located at the tip of the main vine, and it can’t grow any further. Icebox watermelons that can no longer grow will try to produce several 'side shoots’ in an attempt to grow upwards. In the case of icebox watermelons, these side shoots are referred to as 'secondary vines’ or 'thirdly vines’.
The preparations for growing icebox watermelons vertically, including setting up the support stakes, took place in early May.
Why do we prune icebox watermelons？
Why do we prune the vines of icebox watermelons that are starting to grow? It’s to improve the fruit setting of icebox watermelons.
When it comes to icebox watermelons, if you let the main vine grow too much through unrestricted cultivation, it doesn’t bear much fruit. The ones that bear fruit more easily are the 'secondary vines’ that come from the main vine, and the 'thirdly vines’ that come from the secondary vines.
So, with icebox watermelons, we prune the main vine early to encourage the growth of secondary vines and thirdly vines. However, when it comes to thirdly vines, we prune them if there are too many because it makes maintenance difficult.
In this icebox watermelon cultivation, our goal is to let three secondary vines grow and have two fruits set on each side vine. If all goes well, we should be able to harvest a maximum of six icebox watermelons.
After pruning, icebox watermelons are tied to the net
It’s been about 10 days to 2 weeks since we pruned the icebox watermelons. Four secondary vines have grown from the main vine of the icebox watermelons. From now on, we will cultivate with only three secondary vines remaining. We tie the emerging icebox watermelon vines to the gardening net.
Following is the video for how-to. English subtitles are available.