Carolina Cross watering question

wayne_perrier(z9 CA)June 20, 2005

I have a Carolina Cross plant growing again this year. This time I'm going for size and it's got its own dedicated hill with a single plant; I also bought seeds from P&P. The plant is doing well and is about 2 feet across right now. A couple of vines have formed and are growing.

Question: I am giving it about 2 2/3 gallons per day (broken up into two watering times: 5:00 am and 1:00 pm) right now, although most of my surface soil around it is dry. Could someone provide a "watering profile" for the appropriate amounts of water at different stages of the plant's life ? For example: early growth(now), flowering/pollenating, fruit growth stage.

I'm shooting to get a 100+ pounder, and plan on culling down to one watermelon on this vine.

thanks in advance.

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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Plant is about 6 feet long right now. The first two female flowers are present although they haven't opened yet. It will happen any day now. They look good -- they are oblong stretched football ovaries that, if they keep that shape, will develop into the type of prizewinner melon that I've seen last year.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 11:52PM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Pollenated the first flower yesterday. Looking good.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 1:49PM
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tohechito(3-4)

Sounds good Wayne!! Good luck. Later Scott

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 1:41PM
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sandbagger(Eastcoastzone7)

Boy these giant melons just sit there....waiting...waiting......

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 2:21PM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Pollenated the second flower this morning. First one appears to be swelling a little, but it's still tiny, the melon portion is about 3/4 inch long. Nice thing about both of them is that the shape is a nice oblong stretched football. All the prizewinners I've seen were that shape.

Last year I grew two plants in the same hill and got two melons, a 47 and a 37 pounder. I don't know if they were from the same vine or not. The 47 pounder was a strange "squashed apple" shape while the 37 pounder was shaped like a large strawberry, tapering off toward the blossom end slightly. In other words, neither were oblong, classic watermelon shape. That's the reason I bought the special P&P seeds this year.

Since you guys are showing some interest in this thread, do you have any ideas about the proper "watering profile" for these plants ? I haven't been able to find anywhere near the wealth of info that the giant pumpkin growers have access to. Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 2:29PM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Just doused my watermelon plant with two full watering cans, probably about 2 1/2 gallons. I'm testing a theory -- I've heard that when there's heat or water stress, pollenation doesn't take well. So I figured that since I just pollenated two melons this week, rather than watch them possibly wither and die, I'd help them along with some serious watering. Will see what happens.

Also, I have a perennial spider mite problem here and they love dusty conditions. Going to try to control it with water this year rather than insecticidal soap.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 3:01PM
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tohechito(3-4)

I'm not real sure about watering. I'm still experimenting. When it's hot mine dry out daily and need watered every day or they wilt. We don't want that. The odd shaped fruit is caused by improper pollination. Spider mites can be a real problem! Don't fool around with them. Blast them with a good systemic. Later Scott.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 3:31AM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Hi Scott: thanks for the answers. I'm actually watering twice a day for 10 minutes at a time. I'm not as sure as you about the odd-shaped fruit. Let me elaborate on this (I have a theory).

I believe that the final shape of the watermelon is determined by a combination of pollenation but also by the shape of the female ovary. The CC melons I had last year did not have an oblong football-shaped ovary when the flowers were coming out. Rather, they looked similar to the final fruit I got. This year, the female flowers are looking completely different, ie, they're looking like those prizewinners -- nice oblong football. I find this extremely interesting. I pollenated the heck out of them, with 2-3 male flowers. I betcha they maintain that shape. Should be interesting.... anyway, that's my theory.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 12:18AM
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tohechito(3-4)

You might be right? I'll have to look a little closer the next time I'm in the patch. I never really paid much attention to the lobe shape, number of lobes yes, shape no. Good luck. Scott.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 3:18AM
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douglas14(z3/4 MN)

Wayne,
I saw some 100+ lb. watermelons at the weighoff I went to last year, with my pumpkin. They were impressive. They all had a similar oblong shape. I think your seed has some fine potential. It should be fun to watch. Maybe I'll try watermelons next year.

Douglas

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 10:25AM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Another nice thing about the CC watermelon is that they were quite tasty last year -- better than anything you'd get at a store. That was an unexpected bonus !

I hope to have a website up and running one of these days with a pictorial diary of all of this fun !

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 11:11AM
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henry_garden

I haven't grown the carolina cross breed watermelone yet. But I am looking forward to growing one next year. I won at the state fair with a 36 pound crimson sweet watermelon. I try to only water once a day. The reason for watering once a day is, I use a water gel bag and it keeps the soil moist and the roots wet. Its just a thought maybe it would make the difference for you. I know it has for me. Good luck hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 12:01AM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Henry: I ended up with a 63 pounder last year with nice shape. This year I'm growing 2 plants, one in the same spot and another in another part of the garden. Both are doing well. Still shooting for 100 pounds. The upper plant looks like it could do it -- wetermelon is very broad. The lower plant has a watermelon that is more zeppelin in shape. We'll see.

36 pounds for Crimson Sweet is a big achievement. I'll check into the water gel bag, thanks for the tip. Where did you get it ?

Wayne

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 1:14AM
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henry_garden

Wayne, I got the idea before I left for vacation, I was leaving it up to my brother to water my plants but he's not real reliable and I was worried about my watermelons. So I went to Menards looking for a soaker hose to drip faucet my melons and I stumbled upon the gelatin water bags. Their inexpensive about 1.69 for a small bag and the larger ones were 3.00 a bag. It really makes the difference in watering constantly. I've also changed my fertilizer to a 10 10 10 instead of the Miracle grow which has 24, 8, 16, it makes the differnce in the flowers and the growth of the watermelon. with the Miracle grow I was geting more vine than anything else but now I changed it to a 10, 10, 10, feed and seeing a greater difference in weight gain and flowers. I also heard if you want to grow really big cut off all other watermelon so the plant focuses all its energy on the one fruit. I really dont know if that is true or not but ask around. But I am seeing a difference in the flowers and fruit weight gain using the different fertilizer.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 12:54AM
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melon2melon

Wayne,
I e-mailed you directly, but I thought I could get an answer faster, or maybe even from someone else that is growing a Carolina Cross Watermelon. Mine is approx 120 to 140+ lbs now, but I don't know when to pick it. I picked 1 that was 50 lb 2 weeks ago and it was not ripe. I sure don't want to mess up on this one. This big boy is still growing. If anyone has any suggestions for me I am looking for all the help I can get.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 11:11PM
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davidedjunkie_gmail_com

Well, you should wather it once per day or 2 days (Carolina cross) and the irrigation canal must not be too close from the roots, about 10cm (4 inches) then if u whant a rlly big exemplar you just gotta keep just one melon per plant...
i have a sandy soil mixed with just a bit of cow manure mattured fertilizer... clay soil is also great. my bigger got 27kilo (about 60 pounds) ty.. you can email me at davidedjunkie@gmail.com

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 1:27PM
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