Watermelon & Melon Growing 2019


Black Diamonds that are less than 20 lbs. will not ripen, no matter
what you do. If you do get one to ripen, it’s pure luck.


Thank you,@rayrose. It will be off my next year’s list.


So I talked to my friend who says you can determine ripeness by the stem color. He hasn’t cut the melons yet but is still confident. He said the color change happens 1-2 inches away from the melon, closer to the vine, not the whole stem like I was thinking. I went out and tried to see what he was talking about, I could not…


Your friend is probably talking about the tendrils, which are the little pigtail looking things the vine uses to anchor itself. In many varieties they are good indicators of ripeness when the one closest to an individual watermelon turns brown and dries up. Some years and with some varieties the tendril method doesn’t work. I had a fit this year with several varieties picking a ripe one.


We talked about the various indicators, he really means the stem, believe me I’m just as puzzled.


Oh well, let us know how it goes.


Honestly, if a method of picking watermelon is straight forward and effective every time, every website, every experts would have said the same thing by now.

Even experienced growers still get it wrong.


May I ask why? Change in attributes or just less space for seedlings


Crimson Sweet 33 lbs. Brix at 12 excellent texture and taste.


White Sugar Lump and White Wonder 10-11.5 brix
15 pounds ish give or take. Fruity. Hints of Citrus. Loads of water - as the rind has a tendency to fracture when you cut, as it as the “e” gene for exploding rind.

Petit Gris de Rennes and Ha’ogen are probably still my favorite. Kiku chrysanthemum is reliable. Tigger was a let down. Collective Farm Woman, okish. Minnesota Midget ok. Kajari - okish. Sweet Siberian and Orangelo good too.


Looks perfect Tippy!


We picked it by counting days :smile: 104 days from transplanting or 55 days from fruit set. Worked out perfectly.

It tasted great. Have 5 other people besides my hubby and I tasted it this evening. They loved it.


Any pictures of the Petit Gris de Rennes melon ? Thanks


PGDR ended a few weeks ago. It’s called the “champagne of cantaloupes” by Amy Goldman (Book: Melons for the Passionate Grower). Brix was 13-14. Best orange fleshed melon I’ve trialed ever (probably 10 varieties). Lower productivity like most heirlooms (relative to commercial hybrids). Sensitive to overwatering - can burst. Very floral smell. I can smell it just from getting close to the patch.

Can’t find any pictures right now from this year. But it looks very similar to Ha’ogen, with the ribs more pronounced. This is PGdr.Read post#185. Ha’ogen is more productive but green-fleshed more akin to honeydew


Raccoons got into the melon patch, that’s it for the year.


Thanks, just wondering how your PGdR looked like. Tried twice, both times three (?) weeks away from being fully ripe before the insects came to end the show. Will still be trying again, this time with more intensive organic practices and inputs to keep them at bay.


I’ve grown it successfully for the past 5 years. PGdR is probably one of the hardest melons to successfully grow even with conventional pesticides and insecticides. It’s terribly temperamental. It’s from France, so similar climate helps. Not too hot, not too cool. Very sensitive to water logged soil.

I don’t use conventional insecticides, but I do use mancozeb on occasion and permethrin for a full clearout if needed. I think Noire de Carmes would be easier to grow if you want to go organic and similar though somewhat different and good in its own right.


I’m not too far from you but in what I think is a more wooded area. Raccoons are the bane for corn. They didn’t seem to touch the melons. The deer do go for the melons though. This year it was more about the late heavy rain we’ve had that really stressed the harvest. We still have Ha’ogen and Minnesota Midget as well as one late growing Orangelo still on the vine.


Last one of the year. It appears to have some moon & stars in its parentage


Never had this happen before, but they came back the next nite.

I fear they now view the garden as a source of tasty food.