Watermelon Growing


#822

Maybe @thecityman or @rayrose could give us an answer.

Susu, my wm grew continuously for about four weeks and the growth rate appears to stop. That’s why I wonder.


#823

No they don’t. If its still growing, it isn’t ripe.


#824

Ray,
Mine does not seem to grow anymore and it is a month away from its estimate ripening date. Does it mean this wm is doomed?!!!


#825

I don’t go by ripening dates. The melon shows me, when it’s ripe.
Not all melons of the same variety are going to be one uniform size.
You’re going to get varying sizes, depending upon your growing practices.


#826

Thanks, Ray. This is my first two wm. Blacktail Mountain has a chance to ripen in time. Orangeglo is unlikely but I will keeep it on the vine until frost ( mid Oct).

Next year I hope to start much sooner.


#827

I harvested my second Janosik at the weekend and have to admit, it wasn’t as good as the first one. It was more than double the size but did lack sweetness. I still enjoyed it though. It wasn’t bad at all. I was able to compare its taste to my first blacktail mountain melon. The BM was far superior, though only 1/3 in size.

Did you taste another Janosik? My last one was a little overripe. Do they loose sweetness when overripe, I wonder?


#828

Not necessarily. Give it some time. Some melons take longer to
ripen than others. Each has its own personality, just like kids from
the same parents.


#829

Thank you, Ray. I have three wm plant. Each has one fruit. Technically, they are all the only child. I hope they are not spoiled :smile:


#830

So yes, I’ve followed this thread and the comments about non-red’s and you guys are absolutely right. I’ve never had an Orangeglo but I want one! It’s going to be that and Blacktail Mountain for me to grow next year.

While I’ve had these seeds for 5-6 years, I never grew a full size melon of my own until this year. I also started real late.

‘Cream of Saskatchewan’ here you go:

I had no problem eating half of it as dinner tonite. Next year though. :grin:

Dax


#831

A litte sugar baby

y


#832

Finally picked the first OrangeGlo today. It’s slightly overripe, texture-wise, but it is delicious! It weighed about 18 lbs, according to our cheap bathroom scale. As soon as I touched it with the knife blade, it split all the way down the middle.


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We will pick 2-3 more tomorrow, all just a bit smaller.


#833

In case anyone is keeping count, I have now picked one watermelon (1) and the coyotes have destroyed 47. FORTY FREAKING SEVEN!!! Last night I got up twice and went out with my gun at 11:45 pm and again at 3:30 a.m. no sign of coyote damage. I went out there at 6 am and it was by far the worst damage ever. 13 watermelons destroyed. Most of them were no bigger than a softball. Its the first time they’ve gone after such small ones but probably its because there are no big ones left. What really hurt me was that this time they didn’t just break the melons and eat them. They drug them about 25 yards away. Problem is, these little ones are so attached to the vines that when the coyotes grab them and haul them off, many of the whole entire plants came up and were broken and dragged off by the coyotes…some as long as 10 feet of vine. So I’ve lost not only the small melon, but any potential for future melons. I’m as sick as I’ve ever been about growing fruit. Oh…and there is no longer any question of whether it is coyotes. I got a photo of a coyote in my patch AND I recently tilled my garden before a rain and there are coyote foot prints EVERYWHERE

I’m going to ask a question here that may cause some controversy, but I’ve tried everything else I know to do. A farmer near me told me to use a product called Golden Malrin Fly Bait. He says its so effective that in many cases the coyote won’t make it more than 10 feet and often fall over with their face in the bowl. Has anyone had any experience with this product? Thanks.


#834

There’s got to be some other way.

I’ve thought for a few minutes and what about one of those gumby looking air powered figures they put in front car dealerships or businesses… ?

It doesn’t have to be that tall but a moving presence during the night (there have to be many air-powered options available…)

Good question @thecityman. Maybe you could try renting one of those for a weekend to see if it might work.

Dax


#835

@thecityman, sorry for your loss. Killing a couple and putting the bodies on display for others might be the only your option. Maybe infusing several watermelons with something nasty via syringe will teach them a lesson and taught them aversion to watermelons. Something very bitter or spicy, might work. Also to put some wooden or plastic boxes to cover watermelons with rocks on the top so they could not move them (I am not sure how strong they are).


#836

That’s an excellent looking melon and doesn’t look over ripe to me. When
a melon splits from end to end like that, it’s a sign of perfect ripeness. They’ll
keep in the refrigerator for a long time, and should be placed there after picking.
If you don’t already have one, you’ll find it necessary to have one designated
just for melons. I have one in my garage and am contemplating buying another
one. Now you know why it was worth all the wait. Congrats.


#837

Kevin, I’m glad I don’t have your problem. I know you have a large area, but the
only sure way is to fence off the area. Maybe you could do some type of barbed wire fencing, in order to reduce the cost.


#838

Now THAT is a creative idea! And I appreciate you and @TheNiceGuy, who had some very practical suggestions- I’m going to try chicken wire. The problem with the dancing air guy is that 1) I have to way to get electricity out there in my melon patch and 2) they always strike in complete darkness so I’m not sure they’d be able to see it enough to do any good. But again, I appreciate your out-of-the-box thinking.

BTW, @Barkslip (Dax) I wasn’t clear on what your opinion was of the Cream of Saskatchewan. It sounded like you really enjoyed it, is that the case? If so, that’s great but certainly hasn’t been my experience. I’ve grown 3 varieties of “white” watermelons and all 3 tasted about the same- and for me none were very good. They weren’t terrible, its just that they had very little sweetness at all. Just wondered how you felt about yours?

@Ztom- I definitely think you are onto something in terms of using the “shine” of a melon to determine ripeness. But I’d have said the opposite of what you’ve found. My melons tend to actually loose a tiny bit of shine when they are ripe. I definitely DO agree that there is a point on many melons when it looses a little of the “dusty bloom” at one stage and when that happens it does appear a little more shinny after that dusty look goes away. But then several weeks later when the melon is actually ready to pick, I find that mine actually loose a very very slight amount of sheen. It’s so slight that I normally wouldn’t suggest it as a way for new growers to determine ripeness, but ripeness does involve such a change. You are very observant to notice the change in “shine”.

Thanks to @rayrose and @Antmary as well. You guys are among my favorite folks here so just knowing you all empathize with me and my plight really helps. It looks like I am going to have to do some kind of fencing. Bobwire would indeed be one of the cheapest ways to fence, but a man I know about 2 miles has lost a lot of sheep to coyotes and says they go right through his barbed wire fence. I’m thinking another fairly cheap and easy method would be to run just one strand of electric fence around my garden. I was thinking I’d put it about 18 inches high. I know they could jump over that if they learn about it, but maybe that first big jolt would be enough to keep them away?

Its so strange that I’ve grown melons here for 5 years and each year before this I’d only loose maybe 5-7 melons all year. I just don’t know why this year is so dramatically different?

Thanks again for everyone’s interest and concern.


#839

I haven’t lost any to coyotes but a fox came up on my back porch last night and bit a hole in one melon. I don’t think a fence will help unless it is a serious fence.


#840

I was going to suggest fence but then I thought that it should be 4-5 feet high to prevent them from jumping over it and then they can actually dig under. They are smart animals to learn to avoid the single electric wire too. Here is the link to denatonium, the most bitter substance. Denatonium It is cheap enough and not poisonous. If I had bad problems with animals even squirrels or racoons, I would try it. In theory it OK to ruin several fruit to save many more in the future.


#841

@thecityman, my impression of Cream of Saskatchewan is mediocre at best. The center of the melon is good,not great, but sweet and the next couple chomps are also sweet but then 2" from the rind it’s water and a bit of bitterness.

I’ve never fed my dog anything except dog food but I was so happy to have a melon I decided to see what she thought. She loved it. I can’t wait until next year for both of us.

Dax