watermelon flowers question

charleslou23June 14, 2012

i noticed my young or starter sugar baby watermelon plant is only popping out male flowers but no female flowers, do they come later in the summer or something??

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

The first flowers are always male. After a week or two the females start. On most varieties the males outnumber the female about 10:1 all the remainder of the bloom period. Melons bloom as long as the vines continue to grow.

Hand pollination is best done right after the flowers open which is soon after sunrise. Mine get some early morning shade so it's about an hour after sunrise that I hand pollinate. Later in the day or with windy dry weather the pollen dries up and it is impossible to pollinate.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 1:21PM
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charleslou23

well my sugar baby finally got a couple of small melon, both about golf ball size. But i noticed when i gently touch/squeeze them, they feel a bit soft, not rock hard like a mature melon feels, that normal?
I water them every couple of days with temp mainly in the upper 80's to lower 90's...

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:17PM
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ltilton

Could be it will abort.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:31AM
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charleslou23

just noticed after i gave a good amount of water, the fruit hardened up a bit.... but i take it this is something most folks dont come across since nobody else chimed in.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 1:43PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Well....the small melons, if they take, shouldn't be soft and they should grow very rapidly. You usually know very quickly if you have a viable fruit or not. Sometimes the plant will abort a few, then set a few, and abort the rest. The bottom line...you'll definitely know when you have a good melon. I usually help the pollination process with a small soft bristled paint brush. It works really well.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:04PM
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