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View Full Version : Growing Watermelons - tips ?



treacle
09-12-10, 01:59 PM
..... anyone have any tips on how to raise really sweet watermelons ?

RTB
09-12-10, 02:14 PM
My pop grows the sweetest (and stickiest) watermelon.
He puts dark rocks around the watermelons as they grow, something about the warmer temperature making the starches easier to turn into sugars. So keeping the heat on the watermlon constant SHOULD make it sweeter.

To make it sweeter when you're eating it, put the littlest bit of salt on it, makes the watermelon flavor pop.

Renvers
09-12-10, 02:23 PM
Yes, they like hot weather. The rocks are a great idea, RTB. You need to keep feeding your soil and keep the water up to them. Having said that, the kind of weather we're likely to have this summer won't be ideal. Do you have flowers/fruit yet, treacle? I don't bother with watermelons down here as we usually don't have enough water but I do grow pumpkins and the theory is the same. I hand pollinate mine with a paintbrush as our weather is so crazy the males and females don't coincide for long.

dilutesrule
09-12-10, 02:34 PM
in light of your reply on the rum balls post......roll them in coconut!!

Nicko
09-12-10, 02:49 PM
Stick the seeds in the ground and stand back. Things are going rampant up in SE Qld a the moment. The thing to look out for is powdery mildew. If you don't want to use chemicals, spray them with 50/50 milk in water. Copper Oxychloride is another safe, but very effective fungicide. You can buy it pre-made in a packet or make your own from hydrated lime and copper sulphate.

Autumn
09-12-10, 04:19 PM
They do like a long hot growing season which can be a problem in the southern states. Ive got a little known French variety of rockmelon growing this year and Im keeping my fingers crossed for some fruit.

For better quality fruit you are better off to not allow to many melons per bush - just keep it to two or so per runner. Plant might run out of summer and strength if trying to ripen too many fruits.

My other attempts at watermelon have been unsuccessful because it was just too cold too early.

cbrown
09-12-10, 04:35 PM
They do like a long hot growing season which can be a problem in the southern states. Ive got a little known French variety of rockmelon growing this year and Im keeping my fingers crossed for some fruit.

For better quality fruit you are better off to not allow to many melons per bush - just keep it to two or so per runner. Plant might run out of summer and strength if trying to ripen too many fruits.

My other attempts at watermelon have been unsuccessful because it was just too cold too early.

Rick Steins French Odyssey has a lovely sounding recipe for Charentais melon salad with tomato, cucumber and chevre. If you like I can scan the page for you, it sounds like your melons-to-be would be perfect.

Harriette
09-12-10, 04:36 PM
lots of organic matter and fertiliser,

water well initially, and dry them off as they finish, stops the dilution effect.

classically melons are grown best on stored soil moisture, valley bottoms and flood plains are ideal, as the fruit finish the ground has naturally less water to offer, so yields sweeter smaller fruit, less full of water.

Autumn
09-12-10, 04:42 PM
cbrown - sounds great, can you post it here?

The variety Im growing is called 'Prescott Fond Blanc' - heirloom French one.

vixen
09-12-10, 05:43 PM
Nigella also makes a lovely watermelon salad.