Watermelon Growing


New video posted today by “Christa’s Garden.”

Here you can see Klondike Blue Ribbon wins her taste test. She also samples Orangeglo and a gorgeous Yellow Moon-and-Stars:



Kevin, I don’t doubt that lots of different animals will eat watermelons, but
you have to have hand like appendages, in order to roll a melon of any size
that far.


This is a Gold Strike that I have been watching all season, from the day it first set. Once you’ve become experienced in growing melons, you can spot the “super” melons from the good ones. They have their own special look and kind of rise up above the canopy in their own special way. I knew this was going to be one of those, except this had “extra special” written all over it. So I let it stay on the vine a little longer than usual, and when it was time to pick, I knew I’d have to have help in carrying it. So my nephew came over and we put in my garage refrigerator. I let it stay there for four days and was just barely able to get inside the house by myself. It weighed 37 lbs. which is quite large for a Gold Strike. When I plunged my special watermelon knife into it, it automatically split from end to end. This is a sign that you always want to see, because it means the melon is at peak ripeness. When I finally opened it up, it was like seeing a long lost friend.
I’m not ashamed to say that tears welled up in my eyes, because I have not seen a melon like this in a long time. Then I sliced one half into quarters and placed one quarter on the counter, sliced a small piece, placed it in my mouth and started grinning my ear to ear. This was pure heaven. Then I started wishing that all of you guys could be standing in my kitchen, and I could give each one of you a slice of this gift from the man upstairs. This was a VERY special moment for me, because two weeks ago I had a near death accident, and it was a blessing from God that I was able to stand there savoring this wonderful watermelon that he let me grow and also let me enjoy eating. .


Ahhhh Ray!!! It is sooooo much fun reading your posts. Honest to goodness, before I read a single word of your text I was just staring at that photo and I knew 100% that you were going to say it was a GREAT melon. To me, that is absolutely the perfect example of what a watermelon should look like. Then I was smiling like the village idiot when you talked about it splitting in to end when you stuck the knife in! :slight_smile: I don’t think any of us have ever talked about that, but isn’t it soooo true that having that happen almost 100% certainly means its going to be a GREAT watermelon. How many grocery store watermelons split like that when a knife just goes in? VERY FEW in my experience. But boy are you right about that being a great indicator. Anyway, I just had to join in in celebrating this watermelon with you. Everything I see in the photo and everything you have described about it all tell me that is one absolutely wonderful watermelon. I even understand the part about it being an almost emotional experience even if others don’t. A perfect watermelon like that is one of life’s great joys, and it doesn’t happen very often at all. So it only stands to reason that when you see and taste one it reminds you of how good life can be. I’m usually lucky enough to get one or two like that every year, and I get the exact same swelling of pride and joy and anticipation of pleasure that you just described. I’m sure that having a near death experience (sorry to hear about that) only makes the experience even more heightened.

Nice job, Ray. Thanks for showing us why you are one of the best watermelon growers around.



Love the way you described how much you like this special watermelon. I can feel the passion in your words. It looked so good in the pic, too…

Sorry to hear about your near death experience. Hope everything is all right for you now.


Wish we had Scratch N’ Sniff! I can feel the juice running down my chin! What color , superb!


Tell me again where I can buy Gold Strike seeds. That might be a fun one!

Thanks, @rayrose, for a great post. I wish I were there eating it with you.


Willhite has Gold Strike.


What do y’all think are the most productive varieties? Not necessarily the best tasting but most productive. Any stand outs in that regard. Also Johnny’s has several varieties listed at around 75 days if anyone needs a short season melon.



Thanks, @Matt_in_Maryland!


I think crimson sweet produces more melons for me. They are seedy but prolific. I picked this all sweet today. They said it was sweet. Weighed about 10 lbs


Today I discovered my first Orangeglo. It’s about 1-2 inch in length now. Still tiny. I know some of you already said few weeks ago that melons won’t ripen for me. I really want to get this Orangeglo to ripen before frost. Is there anything at all that I can do to ripen it? Covering the vines with frost preotection would help or just a waste of time? Thanks!


I’m afraid to say that it probably would be a waste of time. OG is a long
season melon and needs heat and sun. Frost protection will provide neither.


Your best bet is to go to the Cornell University’s vegetable growers website.
You’ll find hundreds of growers comments from all the country, about their experiences with many different varieties of melons. You’ll even find a few of mine on there. I don’t have the link, so you’ll have to look it up.


My Sugar Baby bush watermelon decided to “call it a year” and quit on me leaving me with bunch of underage melons(not tiny, about half sized). I cut one today - it was light pink… Will they get any better on the counter, or it is a complete loss?


Melons don’t ripen any further, after they’ve been picked.


Great! Thank you.


That what I suspected… Sigh… What about those that stay on wilted vine(not completely dry yet)? May they get better?


Do you know what has caused your wm to quit on you?


Actually, I am not so sure… It happened over few days - both watermelons and melons started to wilt on sunny days, getting better by next morning, but every day worse. The behavior reminds me wilt virus, but I never got it before on melons and watermelons. We did have very few cucumber beetles this year comparing to previous years, so I do not think it is virus. What I noticed is the fact that root system was not sufficient for the plants. I suspect, due to constant rain and cool temperatures in the first half of the summer they never developed good root system. And with August be dry and hot, it just couldn’t support pretty heavy set we got this year. Interesting, that one of the watermelons has died in the very beginning of the summer and I planted a new one in the same spot later, after rain craziness moved away. That one is still looking alive. But it also a different kind - Mini Love. I never had such wilt before on the melons… What I did different this year was black landscaping fabric instead of mulch… Not sure if it contributed. .