SPierce wrote: Can you maybe build a miniature greenhouse around your watermelon, so they'll be sheltered until they ripen?
I might be able to cover them. They are in a raised bed that I haven't finished filling with soil, so they are recessed. Plus, we might have an extended fall. The last two years, I have been able to save my plants up to mid-October.
I've been trying to pollinate the first plants to give me female flowers, which were the Burpee Fordhooks. So far, though, I haven't had a male and a female at the same stage of maturity. Either the male is ready to go and the female only partially open or vice versa. The Fordhook is a larger melon at 14 pounds mature weight, so I would really need to have a viable female soon.
Yesterday, one of the Sugar Babies had a female flower. (Yay!). It's my understanding that these are a small melon, maybe four or five pounds. I'm betting that if I can get at least one going soon I will make it.
I'm mostly annoyed at myself because I started plants in plastic pots rather than peat pots, as is recommended. Supposedly, watermelons don't handle transplanting well, and disturbing their roots probably contributed to the weakened condition that made them die when we got the snow. I covered them, and IMO they should have survived the cold. They froze a little, but they still had a green leaf or two, and I've seen many a plant make it through that much damage.
Additionally, the soil was just too darned cold until the first week of July, and the seeds I planted to replace the frozen seedlings stalled for a long, long time. Someone mentioned aquariums earlier this year, saying they were great for starting watermelons early. You just flip them upside down, and they warm up the soil like nobody's business. I'm not giving up on watermelons. Next year, I'm going to try an aquarium.
One day, wait and see, I'm going to grow a Carolina Cross! Next year, though, I think I might try a Minnesota Midget so I can get something, anything