Watermelon growing and Melon growing thread of 2018


#141

Very nice and clean farm there Jolene! Wow! Watermelons mania!!


#142

We opened another black tail mtn this morning because the vine was damaged. It was red but not really ripe, and the texture indicated the vine was hurt a while ago…nothing great.

@Barkslip @Mountain_Donkey @tonyOmahaz5 Thanks for the compliments!

The chips help but the weeds are still a problem in spots…we have bindweed or morning glory coming up through the chips causing trouble at one end of the melon patch…and vines too thick to walk out there.
I’m on the road today going over my planting list and looking at relative ripening times on the crazy number of varieties I planted…15 watermelon varieties…as well as where they are in the vine JUNGLE out there. I’m also trying to think up ways of getting out there without walking on the vines. They are such a woven mat that I can hardly move them to make foot holes. Might have to rethink a few things for next year. There is one plant every 2 feet on rows 10 feet apart. 180 plants in the mess.


#143

Maybe you can grow the smaller varieties of melon vertically?


#144

I appreciate the suggestion @mrsg47 but hubby really likes Georgia Rattlesnake. (Big long seeded is his type…he doesn’t like small or even round ones)
The deal is I got to use the patch to grow an assortment that makes his head hurt this year, and whatever variety he deems the winner of the taste off is the only one I will plant next year. :smile:
The simplicity and easy seed saving sounds good!

He is thinking some cut log rounds out there to step on might help navigating.


#145

Great idea! I would use the same round to put under my watermelons too keep them from rotting. It worked. :blush:


#146

That’s way too close together. Four foot separation would be
much better, and will yield bigger melons.


#147

We might get bigger melons, @rayrose but the Georgia Rattlesnake that ripened last year were 20 pounds or more, with the largest 46.6 and last year I didn’t even thin them all to one plant every 2 feet…there were a lot of doubles! (Me bad lol I didn’t want to kill plants)
Hubby figured most people buying don’t really want them too heavy, so we did one plant at each drip emitter this year. Pollination might be better with fewer plants though. That is super thick out there now.


#148

Jolene,
Very Impressive watermelon patch you have. What kind of fertilizer do you use?

I grew Blacktail Mountain last year. Did not know what I was doing. Fortunately, we picked it at the right time. This year, I have one fruit. I am debating if I should pick it at 33 days or at a 6 week mark. Having one fruit, I can’t do a trial picking,


#149

Thanks! We trucked a lot of chips out there last year, and that is most of the work and fertilizing we have done.
Some of the rows got some sheep manure from cleaning out the barn mixed in this year…the carob seeds from the pods the kids gave the milk ewes were sprouting like weeds in those rows.

The earth worms really get happy under the heavy layer of wood chips…they work the chips over and take the good stuff back into the soil. Not much had been grown out there but weeds for years before we put the melons in last year. I guess the soil was just good to start with.


#150

My sole Diplomat melon turned ripe yesterday. This morning, I found the first Alvaro turned. Had the Diplomat tonite, will cut the Alvaro tomorrow. Plenty more of those to come


#151

30 lb moon and stars. Pretty close to perfect


#152

You’re a master as far as I’m concerned. You have so many watermelons!

Dax


#153

Beautiful! and the watermelon too!


#154

You are kind but I never show the weeds and the ones I pick green. Ha

By the way this melons tendril was still green.


#155

Keep on tricking me/(us). You’re melons really do look fantastic & I love that y’all are digging in with your bare hands… even if only the kids.

Dax


#156

Picked our one and only Blacktail Mountain. It was about 6 weeks from the day the fruit set 7/5/18 - 8/15/18. It was just right. While brix was only 10, it was crisp, juicy and sweet. We are very pleased with it.


#157

Looks wonderful! Blacktail Mountain is my favorite red icebox melon and yours looks perfect!


#158

Thank you.

I have @thecityman to thank for recommending it. From planting it to picking the fruit, it is only two months, shorter time than any fruit I grow. What not to like?

People on the thread have kindly shared their knowledge on growing watermelons. More importantly, I’ve learn tips on timing of picking. It is the most difficult part of growing it. I have a OG+WW that is 6 weeks and 2 days on the vine. I am not sure if I should pick it now. Decision, decision, decision.


#159

Seems like the varieties with thicker rinds are able to hold on the vine a little longer without splitting than those with thin rinds. Still, it ultimately comes down to how you like them. Once you get the days dialed in for a particular variety, you are good to go. When you only have one melon, there is a lot on the line…


#160

Well, the first miss. This one was @Mountain_Donkey’s OG+WW. We waited too long. 45 days to be exact…

Can anyone tell us how many days late this melon was ? Was it 3,5, 7 or 10 days too late? We have a few more so we want to get the next one right.