Watermelon & Melon Growing 2019


#61

I have planted around an 1/2 acre of watermelons. I have close to 200 acres of land


#62

How does the big stripe taste


#63

I guess I’m the one that has gotten people interested in Big Stripe.
It’s a crimson sweet type, but much larger, and is one of my favorites.
My biggest one was 67 lbs.


#64

How do you judge the ripeness of Savor Melons? It’s my first year growing them. What color are they when ripe?


#65

They turn yellow and the stem pops off. That’s if you are lucky. Unlucky you pick when they split. It’s only 1-2 days yellow and they are ready.


#66

@rayrose is correct in that I planted Big Stripe last year based on his recommendation. They were great last year, but I wanted to see if I could get some bigger ones this year. However, they undoubtedly won’t hit 67 pounds!


#67

It looks like a good melon from pictures has anyone planted them and starbrite both. Just curious which was better tasting.


#68

@Stephen03, I think @fruitnut has planted Starbrite, and I can’t remember what all @thecityman has planted. From multiple accounts, some folks have great success with Starbrite, while others not so much.

I had great luck last year with Raspa. They were simply incredible. We’ll see how they turn out this year. I’m at day 80 right now since planting, so I’ll have what @rayrose calls a sacrificial melon in just a few days.

Two last questions: (1)What did you do with that truckload of melons? (2) Can you bring me about 50-60 of your 200 acres? I could sure use the land.


#69

I haven’t grown either of those, but I will soon!

@Stephen03 Those are amazing looking melons. What do you do with so many? You may have seen my story before, but a few years ago I had a huge surplus of melons so I piled about 35 right by the road so all my neighbors could stop and get a melon or two. Instead, one car stopped and loaded up all 35 melons. It just destroyed my faith in humanity! ha.

@rayrose I wouldn’t have expected anything else, but that photo of the inside of your big melon is, to me, the photo that ought to be in in the dictionary beside “perfectly ripe melon”. I can tell a lot from the look as I’m sure you can. The texture of that area in the center where the melon was pulled apart instead of being cut tells me most of what I need to know…that melon had to be good!!! The well defined rind/meat line of separation, etc. Man that looks good!

I haven’t even picked my first melon yet and some of you are almost done! I lost so many to coyotes 2 years ago that I only planted a few the last 2 years and put them 10 feet from my backdoor-so far coyotes aren’t QUITE brave enough to come that close to my house.


#70

My brother and I sold them. I moved them pretty quick. Once people got a taste of one they just kept coming back for more. I actually didn’t have enough of them to keep up with demand. Yeah good land is hard to come by.


#71

I used a 2 fence electric fence to keep deer, coyotes, and coons out. I run a strand at 3” or 4” and one at 10” on outside fence, then put a fence 3’ inside of that one with a strand at 20” and 30”. This set up worked to perfection.


#72

Still no fruit set on the vines


#73

I’ve grown Raspa before and it’s a very good melon. I’ve tried so
many different melons in the past, sometimes as many as 15
at one time. You quickly discover which ones’ work for you
and which ones don’t. If I had Stephen’s land, I’d probably grow
more varieties than I do.


#74

To that end, I’ve thought about planting only a single variety one year – 12 to 15 plants of, say, an orange-fleshed variety, but it’s hard to show that kind of resolve when looking at catalogs from Willhite’s, Twilley, and Fedco all winter long.


#75

Is there a way to stop watermelons from splitting?
My vines located in sunnier dryer soil all of them are splitting before ripe. I’ve just started trying to give them some water every day and put shade cloth over some of the fruits. Not sure if it will help.
The rest of the vines get partial shade in the morning, and have landscape fabric over richer deeper soil. No problems with them so far. I just harvested the first one last week and it’s very good.


#76

Once melons attain a reasonable size, I stop watering them.
If you feel you must water them, do it early in the morning, before
it gets hot. Consider the melon an inflated balloon that’s under a lot
of pressure. As the temperature rises, so does the pressure inside
the melon. If you add water at that time, it only increases that pressure, and the melon will usually split.


#77

I would stop watering after fruit set for a few weeks. Water is crucial during fruit set but not needed after they start growing. The best watermelons are grown in soil that dries out fast and gets lots of sun. Normally splitting happens when u get heavy rain then lots of sun behind it. Melon types that are round and ball shape seem to be the ones that spilt. So I wouldn’t water and pray you don’t get any heavy rain.


#78

Summerflavor 720


#79

We picked our first melon today, but it’s not a watermelon. Here’s my son cutting this Prescott Fond Blanc cantaloupe from the vine.

We’ll eat it in a couple days. We hope to also pick a watermelon or two in the next couple of days.


#80

We picked this 22-lb Raspa two days ago, 84 days from planting. It was excellent!

Then, yesterday we picked these three. On the left is a 29-lb Raspa. The middle one is a 41-lb Big Stripe. On the right is a 21-lb Tendersweet Orange.

Tonight I cut open the Tendersweet Orange, which was a disappointment. The melon externally showed signs of ripeness, such as they are, and I saw the seeds were mature when I cut it open. However, the pale yellow meat was dry rather than juicy and succulent like a watermelon ought to be. Too, it was developing a little bit of a hollow heart. Nevertheless, I ate more than I should have before taking the remainder to the compost pile. I’m hoping the others still on the vine will be better.