Not sure what to think about these. First time growing watermelons. Went with @thecityman suggestion of Orangelo. 90 day mark will be 8 September.
They look great, but i bet they’ll be a little longer than that. I also went with @thecityman’s suggestion, planting OrangeGlo and Blacktail Mountain watermelons.
My five OrangeGlo melons hit 90 days last week here in my z7a raised bed garden, and I expect to sample one (or more!) Labor Day weekend. They are probably in the 15-lb range right now, maybe a little more.
Keep us posted!
Curious have you tried my shade cloth trick? It worked on coons great but I’m sure about coyotes. Also I have always hear donkeys hate coyotes. Maybe it’s time for a donkey!
I’m impressed this year with the quality of watermelon and the lack of effort required to get them. I’m assuming I will have to keep giving them deep rich soil in order to get quality fruit? Also, do they do better if they are watered frequently? How about fertilizer to boost flowers and fruit? Do they prefer black weed barrier to boost the temperature? Could I plant the roots in the edge of good soil, and then string the vines out over poor quality hard pack as they grow?
They do like good soil. Don’t apply too much nitrogen but enough to keep them growing and green. Water enough to keep them growing but not every day. Mine need about 2 inches every week if no rain. Black weed barrier is excellent for weed control and to warm soil in spring. Yes roots in good soil anf vines on anything that’s weed free and sunny: concrete, black top, plywood, rocks, etc.
I’m suddenly feeling a lot of pressure from knowing that both @UnderDawgAl and @zazlev grew Orangeglo on my recommendation! You guys have to promise not to be mad at me if they don’t turn out as great as I said they would! Of course if they are the best thing you ever tasted then I’ll take full credit. haha TO be fair though, @rayrose - another true watermelon expert- also has often cited it as one of his all time favorites (I don’t think its his #1 but I know its close). Anyway, I very, very much hope they are as delicious as I know they can be in the right conditions. Also, there is just something really fun about seeing and showing other people a bright orange colored watermelon! Many people I’ve given one too have never seen or heard of an watermelon any color except red. Us fruit growers forget that most people just don’t spend hours online looking up and learning about fruit. If Wal-Mart doesn’t have it, many people don’t know about it!! Same is true for Pluots,Apriums, figs, and many other fruits we all know about (though walmart has started selling most of those now)
@zazlev (Zack) Those melons look good and are well on their way, but certainly have quite a ways to go. Just as @UnderDawgAl said, they should get quite a bit longer. I’m a little worried about the one in the very last photo because of the “point” on one end. In many cases, such pointed tips can be source of doom. Those tips will often start to wrinkle and eventually become soft and begin to rot. HOWEVER, the point on yours isn’t all that sharp, and the melon is small enough that it’s probably still growing and I think the “point” will fill in round-up and be fine. I just wanted to mention that there is a small possibility that you could loose that one…but I think it will be fine. @rayrose , does that “point” worry you at all?
BTW, Zack, it seems quite appropriate to use a wallet as a photo-scale object since we spend so much on fruit. haha. I also relate to having no other object with me when I am in garden and want to take a photo. Most of all, Thanks for using SOMETHING. I always feel bad when folks post some photos of fruit without anything to show scale because such photos really just don’t tell anything at all about what is being shown.
@mamuang - Thank-you for the sympathy. You know what it’s like to battle nature- be it insects or small animals like Voles/mice, squirrels, etc. Something is always out to get our hard-earned fruit!!!
@TheNiceGuy - It seemed like you had a lot of success this year yourself, albeit a small harvest (1 melon as I recall)… Do you have enough space to grow much more next year? Also, how does your weather over there compare with ours? I noticed you put zone 8. Is your weather really pretty similar to our zone 8? Just curious.
Kevin, I’m not that concerned about the pointed end. Some melons
just aren’t perfectly shaped. But I’d keep an eye on it.
Thanks for all the great info @thecityman Kevin! Your postings are very informative and a pleasure to read. I hope your watermelon bandits are rounded up and dealt with accordingly.
Ok, that sounds doable. Thanks Fruitnut. I’m assuming adding a lot of the flower producing fertilizer (P?) is a bad idea?
Cityman, we’ve eaten three so far, and there’s a fourth one ready to pick any time. They were all really good and about the right size. There’s an old lady ‘semi-pro’ farmer who gave us a watermelon today, and it wasn’t sweet or flavorful, so I must be doing something right. My garden has a lot of room if I plan it properly ahead of time. There is a famous watermelon growing area about an hour away near the beach, so I think our weather here must be in the range. Jungle like from June until August, with a bit of snow in the winter.
I had forgotten about your battle with squirrels! As I recall they got HUNDREDS of your peaches and didn’t leave you a single one, right? Well, misery really does love company, and somehow knowing what happened to you does ease my pain a bit! You’re is really much worse IMHO. I mean, watermelons are just an investment of about 3 months. It takes you YEARS to get a big crop of peaches and a lot more work each year than with melons. SO yes, you know all too well about my pain.
@wildscaper , I have in fact seen you talk about your success using shade cloth and it might be worth a try. I suspect coyotes would just tear and pull on it until the melon came unwrapped, but I’d try it. Where do you get it? I must confess that while I’ve seen photos and know what it is, I’ve never seen shade cloth in person and wouldn’t know where to get it. I wonder of some of that tightly woven weed fabric would work?
@zazlev glad I can be of some service. I’ve spent so many years begging everyone else for help and information about growing tree fruit so its really nice to be able to give a tiny bit back from my 30 + years of growing watermelons. I used to do really detailed crop reports on each variety and really should start doing those again to be more helpful. BTW…I hope you just got busy this summer and didn’t have a chance to come over and that my being unavailable that one weekend didn’t make you think you weren’t welcomed! Everything looks awful this time of year but next spring or early summer you are certainly invited to come tour my little orchard if you want to.
@rayrose - I think you are right that the point on that melon isn’t one to worry about and it will most likely round up soon. But I hope you do know what I am talking about when I say melons with sharp points often go bad? Quite often when I have melons that come to a point like that, the point starts to wrinkle and get soft and soon starts to rot. But Zacks doesn’t too much look like those troublesome points I’m talking about. Still, I wanted him to know its possible and not his fault if it does go bad out on that.
Probably my last 2 melons of the season:
I know the likely culprit. This guy:
He also ripped a few peaches off last week, all those those were probably not worth eating anyway. I suspect he also damaged some blueberry bushes before, climbing them.
He could be big trouble in the future. Not sure how to get rid of him. I did see a very tough cat chase him off before.
Kevin you can order it from any greenhouse supply catalog or get it in the outdoor section of Home Depot. Maybe double layered with heavy enough rocks would work? May be worth a try.
I don’t have any problems with critters eating my wm"s but maybe that’s because they r full of cantaloupes. I ended up with 15 nice size melons and 6 somewhat nice size.
I don’t even need to tell you how much i feel your pain do I? Looks like there are fruit predictors all over the world.
I have been going out in the middle of the night with my gun at least twice a night to try and get a coyote or two. I haven’t seen any but at least they haven’t been here since I’ve been on patrol, so maybe I’ve spooked them by going out there.
One very, very fascinating thing I have learned is that I have a ridiculous population of deer all around me. Every single time I’ve got out with my spotlight-no matter what time of night or early morning- I’ve seen 3-8 deer grazing in the soybean field that joins my property. I’ve never seen a deer on my land in the 5 years I’ve lived here, but I bet its just a matter of time before I start having deer damage like so many of you. Boy, the challenges of fruit never end! There are soybean fields on 3 sides of my land and all of them are within 50 yards of my garden and orchard. I bet I’m in for deer trouble at some point!
What about wrapping each watermelon with chicken wire? Or an even finer meshed wire? Or some kind of steel cage weighed down with a brick on top?
Do watermelons continue to grow in size until they ripen?
Mine have grown rapidly during the first month. Now they have little to no noticeable growth in size. Do they stop growing in size and start the internal maturation process or mine just runt out?
I’ve noticed that one sign of a watermelon ripening is when the dusty bloom wears away and the stripes get a little bit shinier. They’re not necessarily 100% fully ripe as soon as that happens, but they aren’t ripe until that happens. Wondering if anyone else can confirm or deny this? I have one that looks halfway there right now :
Waiting to hear the answers to your question. I’ve noticed the same with my Sangria. It was the size of a cherry end of June and stopped growing few weeks ago. Now it’s the size of a large cantaloupe (a little disappointed because I was expecting a Giant of a watermelon) wondering whether to pick it or not.