Watermelon & Melon Growing 2019


#1

Is it too early to talk watermelons for this year?

I’ve got a 35-foot row for which I’m installing drip irrigation and putting down black plastic sheeting–the former to simplify watering and the latter to both heat up the soil and provide protection against weeds. I’m hoping that the combination will give me larger watermelons here in this Northern Virginia zone 7a climate. 30+ pounds or bust!

Last year, we ate or shared 31 watermelons from that row. This year, I’ll space the plants a little farther apart to reduce competition.

As it stands right now, I’ll plant them two feet apart, giving me room for 17 plants, 15 of which will be watermelons while the remaining two will be cantaloupes.

Planned watermelons for this year:
(1) Tendersweet Orange from Willhite’s
(2) Raspa from Willhite’s
(3) Moon and Stars from Willhite’s
(4) Verona black diamond from Fedco
(5 maybe) Big Stripe or Legacy, both being leftover seed from last year

Planned cantaloupes – Hale’s Best Jumbo and Super 45

What about y’all, or are you even thinking about them?


Melon growing 2019
#2

Yup, started my seedlings.

watermelon-- Crimson Sweet
melons–Petite Gris, Kansas

I do the black plastic method as well. Petite Gris preformed for me so well that I think it will be staple in my garden. Finding melons that will ripen outside in my area is difficult but it is worth trying a new variety each season. I did Orengeglo watermelon two years ago and had one heck of a time deciding ripeness. This year I chose Crimson Sweet but I am finding that they don’t have a great germination rate.


#3

Watermelon:
Ali baba
Big stripe
Jubilee II
Two plants each on a 33’ row with plastic and drip tape

Melons:
Minnesota midget
Hannah’s choice
Savor
Sugar cube
Grown vertically on a string trellis on plastic with drip tape. These are all grafted onto african horned melon due to bad nematodes which always cause plants collapse just as fruits size up.

Also trying to grow delicata squash for the first time.


#4

I will be trying out Orangeglo watermelon and Ananas D’Amerique A Chair Verte melon. Crimson Sweet watermelon works well for me here, so I will grow that as well.

My neighbor is offering to give me some of his concrete wire mesh cages. If I wind up with more than I need for tomatoes, I’ll probably use the cages for the Ananas melon (watermelon is probably too heavy…) and some other things like bitter gourd and long beans. I borrowed one of his cages last year for the bitter gourd and it worked out great. I tried training the long beans to go up some twine last year and it turned out to be a big mess. The more cages I get, the better!


#5

Growing ‘Blacktail Mountain’ because of my short season, plus some foreign type melon I bought on curiosity.

My impulsive last minute effort last year almost worked. I started too late and got Walmart melons that were simply marked “yellow watermelon”.

They did real well on the hill I made for them with leftover compost amended with micronutrients known through soil tests to be in short supply in my area.


#6

Two feet apart is way too close. Four feet is much better. You’ll
get much bigger melons that way.


#7

Cool, I will grow some watermelons and melons to gurantee that I will have fruits to eat in summer.


#8

Hey Everyone, Need to get my watermelon seeds in 3 or 4 inch pots ASAP so they will be ready for open ground in April. Spring seems to be going rather slowly here in Georgia in 2019 and we are experiencing a few days of dry weather which is awesome. My thoughts on watermelons is smaller is better…nothing really exotic. Sugar Baby, Diana (Fedco Seeds), Early Moonbeam, will round it out for me. Great growing in 2019 to all you watermelon lovers! Randy/GA


#9

Barry:

I grew Delicata squash first time last year and it went well. I had some issues with squash vine borer on some of my winter squash but found Delicata was not hit as hard. I had planned to spray for vine borer but then forgot all about it until the damage was visible.

My seed source had Delicata in regular and bush form. I went with bush. The vines got about as big as a zucchini plant. Just perfect for those with small gardens. The yield was good.

I just have to keep track of heat units and spray for squash vine borers this year!


#10

Throw your seeds of sugar baby, otherwise you will throw sugar baby melons in summer. Too many seeds inside and very small. No one wants to eat them. A waste of time!


#11

I’m with Sophia smaller isn’t better for watermelon. Bigger is way better. Also a big seeded melon is better than one with small seeds. Seeds size isn’t the big deal. Size is. I want 25 lb melons. My favorite is Star Brite. It will average over 25 lbs if properly grown.

Only downside of a big melon is getting it in the fridge. But I always cut out the good part, put it in a tupperware container, and throw all the rind away at once.


#12

Actually I like small watermelons, but definitely not sugar baby. The store should not put the seeds on the shelves. It is cheating. Sugar baby melons mainly consists of seeds and rind, no meat. The taste is not that sweet.
My kids, and I usually spend summers in China with my parents.
Those small melons are that we often eat in China.

image image


#13

I am trying Watermelons this year myself.

Georgia Rattlesnake
Charleston Gray

I have two 200g smart pots (50"x24") that I am going to grow each one in.

The pots were originally for fruit trees but I decided to start them in 45g pots first so I figured they were a good choice.

-Jim


#14

I’m going to try the Torpeda Melon from Baker Creek. Never done melons before, but it seemed interesting, so I’m going to try putting it mulched bed that gets full sun.


#15

Well, I finally got melon seeds planted today. I probably should have started them indoors a couple weeks ago, but we were just too busy.

I ended up planting the following:
–Raspa watermelons
–Tendersweet Orange watermelons
–Moon & Stars watermelons
–Big Stripe watermelons
–Super 45 cantaloupes
–Prescott Fond Blanc cantaloupes

We shall see what difference the black plastic mulch and drip irrigation make. Best of luck, all!


#16

Growing
Petit de Gris Rennes
Tendril
Piel de Sapo
Valencia
Sakata
Chrysanthamum
Ha’ogen
Collective Farm Woman
Sweet Siberian
Orangelo
japanese cream suika
white wonder
white sugar lump
tigger
kajari
minnesota midget


#17

My melons are blooming. I guess an early start does make a difference.!
Now if I can just dodge the hail…!!


#18

Looks great! Maybe the weather will cooperate!


#19

This is my first year growing watermelons I talked to a lot of local farmers to get ideas on growing them and so far so good. They have started setting melons. I planted a variety: jubilee improved, starbrite, summer flavor 720, tendersweet orange, and summer gold.


#20

This is my other patch