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Gary350
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

I was lazy for a few days the water melon vines grew over to an orange tree where there is irrigation when I tried to move the vines they won't move. After CSI investigation I see the vines have grown roots and are attached to the ground. LOL.

I learned something today I did not know about melons. The vines grow roots any place they touch the soil just like sweet potatoes do. That is cool.

Zig Zagging my vines back and forth across each other is the wrong thing too do vines can not touch the soil and can not grow new roots. The extra roots add extra water and nutrients to sweet potato plants helps make more and larger potatoes, I bet it does the same thing for melons.

I bet if you cover the vines with soil in several place it would produce much larger melons. I wonder if that is how people grown those record breaking 100 lbs melons and 800 lb pumpkins I see at the country fair.

I wonder what size does to the flavor? I would rather have a 20 lb good flavor melon than a 100 lb melon with poor flavor.

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jal_ut
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

Very nice! I love watermelon, yet have a hard time getting any here.

Quote: "Hmmm. Looks like Charleston Gray is only 85 days. "

I discovered Charleston Gray several years back and it is the only melon that
ever did good here. It doesn't come in 85 days though. Maybe it would in Gary's sunny Arizona. I believe it takes so many heat units to make the melon not necessarily x number of days.

I have been saving seeds from my best and earliest melons for several years, and it seems they are getting better adjusted to this locale. I have offered before, and the offer still stands, you can have some seed for an SASE.

Here is an interesting read on Watermelon Roots
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

This is from a previous season, but it is a Charleston Gray melon. Yes, grown in my garden. They really do work for me. Its a ways off this season though.

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Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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TheWaterbug
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

TheWaterbug wrote:Hmmm. What should I do this weekend?
Well I never did end up planting any more watermelons, but I did save some seeds from a Hami melon my parents brought over. They're in the cantaloupe/muskmelon family, but they're crisper than a cantaloupe. I sowed seeds about two weeks ago, and they nearly all germinated, and I've got ~2-3 true leaves on each right now.

I'll probably have to cull down to 2-3 plants per hill, soon.

For my older plants, the watermelon is vining well, with lots of male flowers, but no females yet.

My two cantaloupes are doing similarly, and I just spotted my first fruit:

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I've got a cage over it, so the peacocks shouldn't be able to eat it like they ate all my cantaloupes last year.

We don't really get our heat in Los Angeles until August and September.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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Gary350
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

Watermelon vines are every where in the garden getting out of control pretty bad but no melons in sight. I used a shovel handle to move the vines and found 6 large 30 lb melons that should be ripe any day now. There are 2 melons about 20 lbs not ripe yet. There appears to be about 15 melons 6" long that have several more weeks to go.

4 Ripe cantaloupes, 6 more large melons on the way soon. Plenty more where those all came from all hiding in the vines.

1 ripe Honey Dew melon and 6 more large ones that I can see. Might be more hiding in there some where.

WOW.

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TheWaterbug
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

That's so awesome. I find squash and pumpkins that way, but never melons.

Pictures, please!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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Gary350
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

TheWaterbug wrote:That's so awesome. I find squash and pumpkins that way, but never melons.

Pictures, please!
Here are picx. Not much to c melons r hiding. Look close in 2nd pix u can c a small part of 2 melons.

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Gary350
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

I have learned something else interesting about melons. If you water the vines you get larger melons.

The vines will grow roots any place they touched the soil, the extra roots take in water and food for the whole plant. I turn my vines to make them grow back and forth across the melon patch to keep the patch small. Many of the vines are several inches above the soil. If I water the vines they grow roots to no where several inches long. I think the roots are sucking up water each time I water the vines. The vines that I am not watering have melons about 1/3 smaller than the vines that get water.

I dumped a 5 gallon bucket of compost on one vine in 2 different places. I am hoping the compost will cause the moisture in the soil to come up to the surface so the vine will grow a good quantity of long roots in those spots. The vine has been covered up for 2 weeks with no bad effects to the vine. It is too soon to tell if this will produce larger melons.

I water all the melon plants every day but not all the vines.

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jal_ut
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

My garden conditions: Soil about 2 feet deep, black silt about 20% clay.

Sunny. We have few cloudy days here at this high altitude.

Temperatures, from 55 low to to 95 high, most days through summer. It is rare to ever hit 100.

Water: This is desert country. If we are going to grow anything it needs irrigation. I water my garden deeply once a week. We have sprinkler irrigation, gravity fed. I use 4 inch field type lines with rain birds every 40 feet. I let each line run 12 hours per week. (It takes 3 lines to cover my lot) The irrigation system is a joint effort of many landowners. There is a reservoiur and canal system and the water comes from the canal to me in a pipe, gravity fed, no pump needed to get sprinkler pressures.

Over the years I have tried several types of watermelons. The Charleston Gray is the only one that has consistently made a melon for me. I have some coming on now, but none have ripened yet.

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Picture of the reservoir.

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Getting watered. (This is a past garden, not this years.)

So I am going to suggest that watermelons need lots of sunshine. A variety suited to the environment (Not all varieties have done well here) 120+ frost free days.

Over the hill in the next valley, the altitude is a bit lower and the temperatures a bit warmer and melons do very well there. Here at 5000 feet elevation, it seems borderline for melons.

It is kinda fun to grow melons and I like to eat them. If you have not tried them, perhaps you could do some experimenting.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

greenstubbs
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

I just picked my 4th & 5th Honeydews of the year and have a bunch more coming. Every year I have grown some type of melon, C-lope, H-dews, or H2O's and they always have had a really sweetness to them except for this year's crop. I can't figure why as I have done nothing different from the past? The weather here is just like the central valley of Ca., tons of sun and very warm to hot weather. I do know H20 melons like hot weather and you certainally have that in Az. My garden gets all day sun as well so I do get a good crop of everything each year. At times when it gets really hot I have to pitch some shade for the cukes and the like to cut down on the heat/sun stress with that some crops get in extreme weather.

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sheeshshe
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

i have canteloupes growing just fine, but no watermelons setting yet! I don't think i'll get any either. :(
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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Gary350
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

I can't see the water melons without poking around with the garden hoe until I hit something hard then move the vines to see what is there. I found 14 large water melons and several small ones. There are 8 melons in the first photo can you find them? If you double click the pics they get larger.

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TheWaterbug
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

We picked our first one today!
image.jpg
image.jpg (28.52 KiB) Viewed 835 times
This weighed in at 32.6 lbs on our bathroom scale.

It's chilling now, and we'll see how it tastes tonight.

Fingers crossed!!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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applestar
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

Oops, I guess I cold have posted mine here, but I forgot about this thread. :oops:
...my little wannabe is nothing like your gorgeous harvests though. :lol:
-- I might come back and splice it in later --
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Gary350
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

TheWaterbug wrote:We picked our first one today!
image.jpg
This weighed in at 32.6 lbs on our bathroom scale.

It's chilling now, and we'll see how it tastes tonight.

Fingers crossed!!
That is a nice melon. I hope it tastes as good as it looks. Maybe when we stop having 110 degree weather I might have melons that size. I water my melons 15 minutes every day at sun down not sure that is enough.

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jal_ut
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

I tried unsuccessfully for years. then discovered Charleston Gray melons. These have been making it here at 5000 feet elevation in our rather cool short season. I just picked one yesterday. It was sweet.

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Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Gary350
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

I have a dilemma, too many ripe melons all at the same time. It appears the water melon vine knows how old it is so all the melons on that vine are all ripe at the same time. It makes no different if melons are large or small they are all ripe. I picked 8 ripe melons this morning. Most are 20 to 18 lbs on the bathroom scale. I need to pick 6 more melons. How am I going to eat 250 lbs of melons before they go bad? Water melon eating party at my house tomorrow at 12 noon, everyone come. LOL

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jal_ut
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

Very nice. Hey, believe it or not, Jack Frost held off long enough that I am actually getting some ripe melons this year.
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TheWaterbug
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

Gary350 wrote:
TheWaterbug wrote:We picked our first one today!
image.jpg
This weighed in at 32.6 lbs on our bathroom scale.

It's chilling now, and we'll see how it tastes tonight.

Fingers crossed!!
That is a nice melon. I hope it tastes as good as it looks. Maybe when we stop having 110 degree weather I might have melons that size. I water my melons 15 minutes every day at sun down not sure that is enough.

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10 days later, and we're still eating it!!

It's a really good melon. The rind is pretty thick on this; I typically cut away a full inch of rind when I cut a "wagon wheel" slice into cubes, so that there's absolutely zero white stuff left*. But the melon is so darn big it doesn't matter--we still have lots of melon to eat.

It's crisp, sweet, and juicy. It has a fair amount of seeds, but I just swallow them.

As soon as we're done with this one there's another in the garden ready to go. And then another one following that one.

* I had other varieties where the innermost white portion isn't objectionable, but on this melon any whitish part tastes pretty horrible, so I trim aggressively.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

jal_ut wrote:I tried unsuccessfully for years. then discovered Charleston Gray melons. These have been making it here at 5000 feet elevation in our rather cool short season. I just picked one yesterday. It was sweet.

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Here's a picture of ours, cut:

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It looks like the thickish rind is a characteristic of this cultivar. That's OK if they keep growing big like this.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

I thought melon #2 wasn't as big, but I guess that was two weeks ago. Here it is now:

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It just barely fits.

I think the location in the garden made a huge difference. The last time I tried to grow watermelons I had them on the other side, where they'd get shaded in the afternoon, and I didn't get anything worth eating or photographing. In their present location they get full afternoon sun.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Re: I harvested my first water melon today.

Mmmmm. This one is even better than the first one. That one was very slightly under-ripe.

This one is either perfect, or perhaps very very slightly over-ripe. There's no mushiness to it at all, but it is very, very ripe, as you can see by the internal crack at the bottom right :

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I'm eating half a wagon wheel at every meal, and it's still gonna take us forever to eat this!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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