Author Topic: Watermelons  (Read 668 times)

Online LakeRat1

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Watermelons
« on: July 18, 2019, 12:48:21 PM »
Could one of U give me a Idea of about how long it takes for them to be ready for harvest, something tells me about a 100 days, I Planted some the first couple days of July, Just wondering How long I will have to wait

Thanks

Rat
zone 8
Concordia Parish La.
18 Pecan Trees 11 Raised Beds
Live on the Banks of Lake St. John
about 1/2 Mile from the Miss River
Has to Be Next Door To Heaven
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Offline 2010 National Champs

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019, 01:52:17 PM »
The age old question: How do I tell when my watermelons are ripe?....answer: hell if I know....i pulled one this morning just to check and see if they might be ripe.....
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Offline Ben

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 01:04:26 PM »
Hi Rat, with days to maturity varying from 76 for the small icebox variety to 120 days for the ole heirloom varieties such as Jubilee and Black Diamond it is almost impossible to know the maturity days so we need to determine when it will ripen.

Here are some tips to determine when a watermelon is ripe or when it will ripen.

Observe the melon.  If it is bright and shinny, it is not ripe.  Observe the ground contact spot on the bottom of the melon, If it is still white, the melon is not ready.  The observed melon will be dull and the ground spot on bottom will be yellow if the melon is ripe.

Next observe the vine where the stem is attached.  There is a curly spring looking tentacle where the stem attaches to the melon.  If this tentacle not brown and fully dried out the melon is not ready.  If it has just started turning brown and still green the melon is about 2 weeks from being ripe.  If it is brown and brittle the melon is ripe.  The first leaf from this tentacle toward the end of the vine is the ripening leaf.  If it is wilted shows ripening, if brown stem where it connects to the vine, then it is ripe or very close to ripe.  One last tip is making a thumbnail print on the melon.

I have had some experience in growing melons.  Prior to selling our farm in 2012, I had a 3 acre watermelon patch.  Raised lots of melons.

I hope this tips will help you in determining when your melons will ripen.

Ben
Northwest La. zone 8b

Online LakeRat1

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 05:44:20 PM »
Thanks Ben, That gives me a lot to go with, I will print out a copy of your Info. to have something to check back on,

 I don't know what kind of watermelon this was, I bough it from a Guy selling watermelons near Pineville La. he said it came from Sugar Town, it was a big stripped melon, very sweet, so i planted the seeds from the melon first couple days of July, i had lots of them come up, i thinned out to about 2 ft. i have about a dozen plants, Maybe I will have some watermelons in Oct

Rat

zone 8
Concordia Parish La.
18 Pecan Trees 11 Raised Beds
Live on the Banks of Lake St. John
about 1/2 Mile from the Miss River
Has to Be Next Door To Heaven
Toro ZTR Mower >< Lots of Grass

Offline Ben

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2019, 12:59:48 PM »
Hi again Rat--thanks for the additional information on your watermelon.  It is very useful.  The sugartown  melon is a melon that comes from an area around the town of Sugartown, La.  It is a strip of land that is on the DeRidder, La. Oberlan, La hwy.  It is about 10 miles wide and 30 miles long consisting of some of the best natural soil for growing watermelons.  It is like the Vidalia onion and refers to the area where it is grown and not a variety.  The variety of choice planted in Sugartown is the Jubilee.  It weighs about a 40 pound melon and matures in 90 days.  It is a long melon light green melon with light green strips and dark green strips.  Although it has a yellow meat variety the major seller is the red meat variety.  It has a firm rhine and ships well.

Planting late season melons has its advantages and disadvantages.  One advantage is less insects.  Disadvantage is cool growing season.  The cool season could mean increasing the maturity date from say 90 days to 96 days.  Exposure to  frost and freeze.  One year I was hit by early frost and freeze.  The next morning I went through the patch and cut the melons from the stems to keep them from roting.  Advantage I had was no competition during October and November harvest.  I had a prime location to sell and could sell out an entire pickup load in as little as 15 minutes.  Customers asked when was I coming back.  I had a route man for Porters Cleaners from Shreveport, La. that would buy 15 at a time, twice a week when he made his Natchitoches route and haul them back to Shreveport and sell them too his lady friends. 

Rat, I checked a map and find that you are located due east of me.

Just remember in the cooler weather the maturity days will increase.

Have fun it's a challenge.  If I could help just let me know.

Ben








Northwest La. zone 8b

Online LakeRat1

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2019, 10:36:55 PM »
Thanks Ben, Thanks for the additional Info, I am thinking I will be good, I think if i make any Melons they should be ready sometime in Oct,

One time many years ago, I found a Man with a truck Load of Melon, Big Melon some were around 75#, He was from Tenn. said he had a Late crop, I think it was in Oct. any way i bought one, to cool it I placed it in a wheelbarrow and iced it down, I called some friend over that Night, They could not believe the size of the melon, it had a thick rin and very sweet, it must have been 30 inches long, we cut it in 1/2 and was able to put the other 1/2 in the Fridge, i had never seen melons that big being sold, and never have seen that since

Rat

PS. Ben I will let U know how it Goes with my Late Melon Project
zone 8
Concordia Parish La.
18 Pecan Trees 11 Raised Beds
Live on the Banks of Lake St. John
about 1/2 Mile from the Miss River
Has to Be Next Door To Heaven
Toro ZTR Mower >< Lots of Grass

Offline Lost in Lebeau

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 07:44:27 AM »
I have been getting Sugartown melons from a friend the last few weeks and YES, they are some of the sweetest melons I've ever eaten! I asked my friend to ask the vendor if they were hybrids and could I plant the seeds? She said they were hybrids and that I probably would not get the same sweetness, etc by planting the seeds. She did, however, share the name of the variety. It's Royal Sweet. The melons she has been bringing me have ranged from 35-45 pounds, small black seeds, and extremely sweet and juicy. My son said he almost needed a snorkel to eat them because they were so juicy lol.
Rat - I hope you have good luck with your plants! It would be great to eat a good melon later on in the season. So much better than the store bought melons that have almost no flavor.
Shane
45 acres in the metropolis of Lebeau, LA (Latest Census recorded a whopping 110 residents!). Zone 9

Offline 2010 National Champs

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2019, 02:08:10 PM »
1st time growing "stargazer" watermelons and have pulled two....not as big as i would have liked, but it is a very good, sweet watermelon....i will not grow again due to smaller size compared to jubilee and crimson sweet, but they do not lack anything in taste
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Online Gymgirl

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2019, 12:12:49 PM »
Here's a way to enjoy your watermelons into the winter:

"Hamidah's Watermelon Lemonade Concentrate":

12 cups watermelon, pureed (pulp and juice only)
12 cups of sugar (it's a concentrate)
8 cups lemon juice (I use the two-pack ReaLemon from Sam's Club)

Puree the watermelon & strain the black seeds
Bring to a simmer, & add the lemon juice
Bring to a simmer & add the sugar.  Heat to 190 degrees.
Ladle into clean pint jars.  Affix lids and rings.
Water bath process for 10 minutes.

To serve, add 1 can concentrate to 3 pints of cold water.

Yield: ~12 pints.  One pint of concentrate makes one half-gallon of lemonade

Side notes: 
►Chill the concentrate before you put a batch together.
 
►Use really, really cold water.
 
►I've been enjoying this addictive beverage, ice cold, with a capful of Bacardi Rum.  The refreshing fruitiness is amazing!
 
►The original recipe calls for 3 pints of cold water/pint, but, I adjusted to 2-1/2 cups water per pint, for my sweetness preference, and to accommodate the Rum. 

But, you do you, LOL, and lemme know how you like it!!!
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Offline 2010 National Champs

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2019, 10:52:10 AM »
gymgirl, on the recipe for the watermelon lemonade, it calls for 8 cups of lemon juice....i am guessing that it would not be 8 cups of CONCENTRATED lemon juice....would that be correct?.....we want to try it but we only have one bottle of lemon juice concentrate, 32 ounces....what say you?
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Online Gymgirl

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019, 12:18:27 PM »
Champs!!!!

I am JUST seeing this, and I am sooooooooooo sorry.  I use ReaLemon in the 2-pack bottles from Sam's Club.  The bottle says it's 100% lemon juice. 

Remember, you ARE making a concentrate that you will dilute with 3 pints of water when you're ready to make a half-gallon batch.

Next time you need a fast answer, and I'm not replying, send me a d-mail!!!

230.5 sf of raised bed gardening; the "eBucket Queen" :-* ; Geobin composters; Mittleider "in-the-garden greenhouse" & PVC A-frame mini-greenhouses; compost fork with a green handle; coffee grinds & bunny berries forever; baby shampoo forever; cedar fence pickets forever, PVC hoops and hoop covers, forever! :-*

Online LakeRat1

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2019, 10:07:57 PM »
Thanks Gymgirl, I will save this recipe to may recipe file, The watermelons are doing well, I see some the are about 8 inches , they sure grow fast when they first show up

Rat
 
zone 8
Concordia Parish La.
18 Pecan Trees 11 Raised Beds
Live on the Banks of Lake St. John
about 1/2 Mile from the Miss River
Has to Be Next Door To Heaven
Toro ZTR Mower >< Lots of Grass

Online LakeRat1

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2019, 08:57:42 PM »
Reporting Back about The Late Planted Watermelons, these were Planted using the seed from a melon we bought at a road side stand, it was big oblong striped melon.it may have been some sort of Hybrid, the reason i say that, i have 3 or 4 different looking melons, most are round, I picked a round striped one yesterday, weighted 25#, put it to chill this morning, cut it this evening, it was very sweet, make your hands sticky, i also have some round light green melons, also some oblong light green & some oblong striped, i have counted 30, i am sure there there are some hiding,

I Used the dead curly stem method to pick a ripe one, land that works, Just as many of U had said,
zone 8
Concordia Parish La.
18 Pecan Trees 11 Raised Beds
Live on the Banks of Lake St. John
about 1/2 Mile from the Miss River
Has to Be Next Door To Heaven
Toro ZTR Mower >< Lots of Grass

Offline virginiagardener

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Re: Watermelons
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2019, 09:07:25 PM »
That's great! I'm glad they worked out for you! There are few things quite as good as a watermelon fresh out of the garden.

~~VG