There is generally a disease behind something like this.
My prime suspect would be a wilt.
I live in a high disease area for watermelon. I have something similar happening and it is a wilt.
You may wish to review Melon Growing Problems: Troubleshooting
If you posted pictures of the plants and fruit it would help.
Dale Hodgins wrote: Mustard is one of the easiest things to grow.
And if you get the red Korean variety, it makes a pretty landscaping plant. The dark red leaves make a nice contrast to the other greenery, and they are fairly winter hardy. Takes a few days below 10F to make them give up for the winter.
Well there are many controls of Root knot nematodes. The most important control is to never till plow or cultivate. This is because it destroys the soil structure making the predatory nematodes ineffective. (without a lot of soil pore space and structure the predators can't move). Then there are certain plants like marigolds and certain covers like cereal rye. If you use multi-species cover crops for soil health, make sure to include French Marigolds in your summer mixture and cereal rye in your winter mix. Lastly several fungi are effective nematode trappers (nematophagous fungi) and bacteria such as Pasteuria penetrans.
cameron johnson wrote:Well, wilt could be part of the problem but I decided to start pulling out plants that are sick and noticed that everyone I pulled up has roots covered in lumps and looked around online and found the root knot nematode and im not talking about just a few knots these roots look really bad like horror movie lumpy faced monster bad Does any body have any suggestions on this, I need to get this ground back and healthy as soon as possible.
Keep in mind though, root knot nematodes are a symptom of a larger soil health problem. Most likely tillage and low humus content. So you could buy all the predatory nematodes fungus bacterial treatments, and plant all the french marigolds you want, but if you destroy the soil by tilling it up, they won't last for long.
There are many options. I simply don't know your particular situation. BUT let me go through a few for you. One thing you could do is simply skip a season. First make a high quality thermal compost 4 parts brown 4 parts green 1 part herbivore manure turned whenever it reaches 160 degrees at the core. Once it is finished lay it 2-3 inches deep over the whole area and mass plant marigolds. When the marigolds begin to set seed, mow them and mass plant a cover crop mixture of cereal rye and sunn hemp. (and maybe a few others in the mix) Mow the cereal rye if it starts to go to seed, otherwise just let the mix grow. (you might have to inoculate the sunn hemp for best results.)
cameron johnson wrote:Thanks for the input scot what would you suggest as a course of action, I try to keep things as organic as possible, my garden is full of worms, I put all my leaf matter and lawn clippings down as mulch and don't use tap water only stored rain water but in early spring I did till the area, should I try marigolds and other cover crops and of course stop tilling and see if the problem fixes itself. Thanks again for the help.
Next year first spread predatory nematodes then use a no till paper mulch technique like Ruth Stout or Lasagne gardening, but plant a living mulch between rows. Clover is a good one for this, or you can use a blend of native species to your area. Keep between rows mowed periodically and in the rows use companion planting.
Of course if you don't want to go fallow a year you can just spread the predatory nematodes and use the compost, living mulch, companion planting, and no till techniques.
3 steps forward 2 steps back. Meaning yes tilling in mulch does add organic matter, but it also destroys almost as much as you gain. That's why people have to do it every year. Meanwhile tilling breaks up all those worm holes and destroys other structure in the soil needed by predator nematodes to hunt root knot and other parasitic nematodes. Remember, predatory nematodes are 10 times bigger than root knot nematodes. They can eat a lot of them, but if you till up their highway system, how are they going to even move?? That's not even counting all the trapping fungi that have all their traps destroyed when you till. Imagine the soil community like a city. Say New Orleans....with a Katrina every year? One Katrina is bad enough, but you can recover and rebuild. But every year? That's what you are doing to the soil community when you till.
cameron johnson wrote:Scott thanks again for the reply, I really don't wont to skip a season although I don't know how much success I will have right now but I will take your advise and I actually have a book on lasagna gardening that I should probably re-read, but do you think that tilling in all the mulch would really throw everything of this bad.
Oh don't worry. I don't know anything either. The real expert is sepp holzer. And even he, genius that he is, never farmed/gardened in Alabama. Me neither. I farmed in Indiana and Oklahoma and learned a small amount from the family farm in North Carolina, and gardened in Florida, Idaho and Washington. Still tip of the iceberg. When I moved to Oklahoma I had to teach myself everything all over again. It's that different. I honestly don't know what legume would be the best for you. I suspect sun hemp or whatever clover grows native in Alabama. Just don't monocrop it. Use a blend and lots of companion planting. Remember, most plants actually cooperate when you grow with biomimicry instead of chemicals.
cameron johnson wrote:I understand what your saying, now you said clover as a living mulch what type would you recommend they sell different types here like crimson,red,white,pink or does it matter and does clover not compete with your other plants. Sorry for so many questions the more I ask the more I realize that for all the years I have been gardening I still don't know anything.
Anyway here is a good 3 vid playlist on Youtube. You'll have to adjust it a bit, ruth stout no work style or Lasagna style instead of black plastic. But the living mulch and cover crops between rows is what you are going for. Species will vary, principle remains the same. Just use species that fight root knot.