Hummingbird House The Garden Helper
No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997
vine bar
Wild Willy
 

Got Watermelons?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
« Prev thread: Got this mixed veg plants| Next thread: Gourmet Reindeer Poops »
Back to Thread index
by MrClint on July 07, 2006 10:07 AM
This is my first year growing watermelons. What started out as a 1/2 day planting project to share with my youngest daughter, has now evolved into a wonderful conversation piece for visitors. It is amazing how easy they are, how long the vines get, and how fast they grow.

Here's a pic of one of my hills and one of the wee melons:

 -

 -

Anybody else growing watermelons?

* * * *
According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by DeepCreekLake on July 07, 2006 10:49 AM
I am growing Sugar Babys, Crimsons Sweets, Charlston Greys, and Moon and Stars, mine have been very slow to get going, I transplanted around Memorial weekend, there just now getting in gear. I think the temps have being cooler than normal had slowed them down. The moon & stars, have pretty cool foliage, they are full of yellow "spots" like the melons get which are the stars.Yours looks good. Is that a gourd you are growing nearby too?
by MrClint on July 07, 2006 11:22 AM
Cool, I'm thinking of planting Crimson Sweets and/or Moon and Stars next year. Think I'm hooked? [Wink]

Yeah, the weather here has been blast furnace hot! That's got to be why the melons are going bonkers right now.

The other plant in the lower left corner of the bottom pic is a volunteer that sprung from the compost hill. My best guess is that it's a muskmelon of some kind. It has a small fruit on it, guess I'll know better when it starts to take shape.

In the upper right corner is a Big Beef tomato sucker that I planted, and the little wet spot in the upper left corner is a Spacemaster cuke. Given enough free time I will always "shoehorn" in a plant here and there. [Smile]

* * * *
According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by 'Sparagus on July 07, 2006 01:03 PM
Hi! Im also growing sugar babies in a raised bed, and I have a few "wee ones" just like in your pic. Im so nervous that they will fall off though! [scaredy] Ive been trying to help polinate the newly opening female flowers. I just have 2 plants in a 4x4 bed.

Ive also been trying to keep them fed. About 2 weeks ago they got a top dressing of compost and a gallon of fish emulsion water. Keeping my fingers crossed! [clappy]

[flower]
by Amigatec on July 07, 2006 01:07 PM
I have at least 3 watermelons growing, they are about 6" long now, don't remember which melon I plated, I think Dixie Queen.

* * * *
 -
 -
One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by badplanter on July 07, 2006 01:08 PM
very impressive garden, hope it all works out for you!! Enjoy it, i know i would ! [grin]

* * * *
 -
 -
 -  - "I don't want no more of army life, gee mom, I wanna go, but they won't let me go, gee mom, I wanna go home!" My PB!
by MrClint on July 07, 2006 04:16 PM
This was basically a forgotten corner of the property that was just plain old dusty dirt. I mounded up some hills with pure compost, stuck some melon seeds in the top, misted daily and out popped the sprouts. I put a gallon milk jug with a hole in the bottom on each hill, filled the jugs daily, and the rest is history. When I say it has been too easy, I'm really not kidding. [Smile]

* * * *
According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Mitzi on July 07, 2006 06:08 PM
I am growing Crimson Sweets as well and I have three total (that I know of). I have one that is about 6" in diameter, another is about 2" and one is about the size of the above pic. My vines are going crazy and I'm having to train them to grow down my rows which were originally intended for walking.

MrClint, you mention a milk jug with a hole in the bottom on each hill, filled the jugs daily, etc. Filled the jugs with what? Water? New to gardening here and love hearing all of these really cool techniques. By the way, I'm in Fort Worth, Texas so I am definitely in the "blazing hot" weather category.
by MrClint on July 08, 2006 07:20 AM
Yes, just water. It may sound funny, but I'm collecting the condensation that drips from the AC unit, and am using it to fill the jugs. I had no idea that my AC unit was pumping out almost 5 gallons of water everyday until I started collecting it. [Smile]

Mitzi and Amigatec, you folks are in prime watermelon growing regions. Got any pics?

* * * *
According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Amigatec on July 08, 2006 09:02 AM
Will post some tonight.

* * * *
 -
 -
One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by chrissy fair on July 08, 2006 01:46 PM
yes, I too am a sugar baby planter...lol I also , like oh so many of you, have the BABY sugar babys starting out...lol.
by MrClint on July 19, 2006 07:55 AM
Just thought I would post an update. The Sugar Babys are coming in nicely, and the volunteer ended up being a Honeydew Melon.

This one should be ready in a week or two:
 -

What a nice surprise this turned out to be:
 -

* * * *
According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Woodland Garden on July 19, 2006 08:18 AM
Posting pictures of my Watermelon crop.

I Have three hills of three. The varieties are Jubilee, Triple Crown and Ultra Cool seedless and Moon&Stars.

The seedless are setting like mad. I have up to three per plant and have to clip off new babies daily as I don't think it's good to have that many per plant.

The other guys are slow at setting fruit. Just one Jubilee and no Moon&Stars.

 -

 -

A new Moon&Star with a giant "moon" spot I went out of my way to self polinate today. I hope it makes it!
 -
by Ms Sarah on July 19, 2006 02:28 PM
This is my first year gardening and I have a watermelon plant and a canteloupe plant, I am not sure of the names. From reading what everyone is saying, I should cut off extra melons as they grow? My melons are in a tight area (like I said, I'm new!) and I don't think more than 1 or 2 of each can grow at a time. Is the best thing to do is cut some? I have about 4 watermelons starting (sizes vary from 2" to about 4" in diameter) and my canteloupe is not as far along.
i think if I get 1 of each this year I will have done great for my first year!

* * * *
Sarah
by MrClint on July 19, 2006 02:48 PM
If you would be happy with 1 & 1, then why not just grow 1 & 1? The plant will then focus on ripening its single melon.

I'm a go for broke kind of guy, so I would let 'em go crazy and hope for the best. I've got to think that plants know how to manage reproduction on their own. Just an opinion, not any kind of fact.

* * * *
According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Nicksgram on July 29, 2006 04:26 PM
I planted watermelons too. I have vines and flowers but not one melon! Does anyone have an idea why there isn't any fruit? We do have plenty of bees to polenate, btw.

Sharon M
by Woodland Garden on July 29, 2006 05:27 PM
What date did you plant them?

I planted mine on May 20th and got my first fruit set in the first week of July.

Usually the first fruit blossoms don't set as the plant needs to be mature enough.
by Nicksgram on July 30, 2006 12:17 PM
I planted them toward the end of May so maybe that is the problem. I'll keep watching them. Thanks for the help!

Sharon
by Nicksgram on August 06, 2006 05:31 PM
You were right! We now have one hidden beneath the leaves.

Sharon
by MrClint on August 25, 2006 05:10 PM
Just thought I would share the fruits of my watermelon labors. [Smile]

 -

* * * *
According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by ChristinaC on August 26, 2006 01:46 PM
Mmmmm!!! Those are making my mouth water! Wish I could just grab that spoon and take that first bite myself!!
Great job MrClint!! [thumb]

* * * *
 -
 -
by comfrey on August 26, 2006 05:21 PM
Hey MrClint those look like mine [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] Could be because I also grew sugar baby's [thumb]

* * * *
 -
 -
by Medon on August 31, 2006 05:42 PM
Woah Woah Woah...your supposed to grow Watermelon on "hills"?

I have been growing mine on flat land...in July-their not growing out to the sides...their growing up at the moment...Is this bad?I am pretty sure that once it gets to a certain height they will start going out to the side?

I planted 4 Sugar Babies and 2 Texas Giant I beleive is what they were called...(no blossoms or anything yet...)

* * * *
-Jon Boyenga
by weezie13 on September 08, 2006 12:49 AM
*MrClint,

Gosh, that watermelon looks soooooooooo good!!!
I'm impressed...

Thanks for sharing this with us..

*Medon/Jon,
Have you been feeding your watermelons' anything?
Fertilizers or compost?
They're heavy feeders, and could use a blast of something...
Even a good foliar feed would do some good..
*for making them flower and produce a product.*

* * * *
Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

 -
 -
 -

http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Deborah L. on September 08, 2006 03:41 AM
I've really enjoyed all of these posts.
Have a question: Has anyone ever heard of a spray product that makes a melon stay on the vine?
I think I read something about that years ago.
These posts were awesome ! [thumb]

* * * *
 -
 -
by Tomacco on September 17, 2006 09:26 PM
Back in early May, I planted 4 6" watermelon plants. I think they're sugar babies. Growing on a hill, well mulched, there are 3 melons, which get turned every few days.

I set the harvest date for Aug 29 (80 days post planting). Three weeks ago, I cut off the trailing vines below where the watermelons were growing. My hope was to put more energy to the fruit. Now, it's Sept 17 and they're still growing on the vine and don't seem "ready."

I'm so envious of all your harvests!!

What's the latest I can harvest? Is there a "thump test?"

* * * *
Tomacco

That coffee was so strong, it swallowed the cream...
http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l268/Tomacco1/
by MrClint on September 18, 2006 07:27 AM
There are a number of ways to determine ripeness in a melon:

* Dried tendril and/or leaves closest to the melon.
* Dull not shiney rind.
* Yellow or creme color on the resting spot. It shouldn't be white.
* Ridges and dips on the rind where the stripes appear.
* Thump test. The thump test I use is the same one I use in the supermarket. You want a "punk" sound and not a "pink" sound. The former being more hollow.

* * * *
According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Tomacco on September 19, 2006 07:26 PM
Thank you, MrClint [Smile]

* Dried tendril and/or leaves closest to the melon.
Not yet
* Dull not shiney rind.
In between!
* Yellow or creme color on the resting spot. It shouldn't be white.
I've been turning them so no spot
* Ridges and dips on the rind where the stripes appear.
None
* Thump test. The thump test I use is the same one I use in the supermarket. You want a "punk" sound and not a "pink" sound. The former being more hollow.
Pink!

Guess we're not ready, hey? I suppose if we had more sun and way less rainy days this summer, they would have gotten larger than a muskmelon. Was it a bad idea to cut the excess vines below the fruit?

* * * *
Tomacco

That coffee was so strong, it swallowed the cream...
http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l268/Tomacco1/
by Deborah L. on September 20, 2006 01:49 AM
You've all gotten me in such a watermelon mood that I caved in and bought a store one yesterday.
Really good, but sure makes me wonder what a real homegrown watermelon would taste like.
Does refrigerating one ruin it, like refrigerating tomatoes does? Or, is the melon even better chilled?

* * * *
 -
 -
by MrClint on September 21, 2006 01:16 PM
I'm not a melon expert by any means, so I can only give you my opinion.

The plant is going to turn the sun's energy into sugars for the melon, so more leaves and vines should add more sweetness. I just let my vines go wild.

You've got to chill a melon. There is no way around it. They seem to gain flavor by chilling.

* * * *
According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Tomacco on September 21, 2006 07:45 PM
Agreed! Chilling brings out the sweetness. I went ahead and harvested the first of three watermelons last night. After drawing faces on it like a pumpkin, I cut it open. Yech! Tasted very veggie like and it certainly was not ready [Frown]

There's always next year!

* * * *
Tomacco

That coffee was so strong, it swallowed the cream...
http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l268/Tomacco1/
by Deborah L. on September 21, 2006 10:36 PM
OK, yes, I like watermelon icy cold and crisp too.
Just wondered if chilling them affects the flavor adversely. Like it does tomatoes.
Wonder if people kept them in ice houses in the times before refrigeration?
I wish I had thought to ask my Grandma that, and lots of other things. Our seniors are our treasure, in my opinion. How incredibly wealthy I was....

* * * *
 -
 -
by Deborah L. on October 12, 2006 10:53 AM
I found out what that spray is for melons that fall off. It's blossom set. Saw it in the Burpee site.
Anyone tried it?

* * * *
 -
 -

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: Got this mixed veg plants| Next thread: Gourmet Reindeer Poops »
Back to Thread index

Other articles you might like: