Watermelons: has anyone ever checked the correlation

wayne_perrier(z9 CA)July 17, 2006

between the shape of a female watermelon "ovary" and the final shape of the watermelon it produces? I have a theory that if the flower is already "non-optimal" then the fruit will be too.

For example, some flowers show a distinct curling near the blossom end as well as a narrowing, rather than being perfectly shaped like a baby watermelon. My theory is that at the very least, the blossom will end up off-center, and at worst, the melon will be misshapen.

I don't particularly care about this for most of the watermelons that I grow, but I am extremely interested in this wrt Carolina Cross watermelons. I suspect that the best-formed females grow into the largest melons.

Any comments ?

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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Damn. I guess nobody else grows CC watermelons...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 9:06PM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Well, I'm seeing an extremely good correlation between the shape of the female flower and the resulting fruit, particularly the location of the blossom.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 12:17AM
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elder(6VA)

Wayne: Don't get discouraged by the lack of response, but continue your observations and give us a report when it becomes definitive, one way or the other. Your theory sounds logical!.....Elder (Lou)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 10:53PM
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gianteggplant(z9CA)

Good advice, Elder. This is my first year at giant watermelon and so I have no such experience, but I will keep an eye on this theory, Wayne.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 4:29AM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Thanks guys for responding. Interestingly, both of my CC plants were from the same melon (a 200+ pound prizewinner) and both of the melons I have growing right now have an off-center blossom. The blossom curls downward, so the bottom of the watermelons is flatter than the top. They're both about 14 inches long right now and about 24" circumference. They are tracking each other precisely (I'm measuring daily and charting).

Another thing that's interesting is that one of the plants just set out 3 female flowers that are all perfectly shaped. I'm very tempted to let them grow a little bit and cull the existing watermelon if these are well-formed. Time will tell. Could be pretty risky though. I'm guessing that the current melon weighs about 15 pounds and is adding 2 pounds daily.

Wayne

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 2:29AM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Well, the three new female flowers aborted. Both melons (I have 2 plants going) are 17 inches long and 31 inches circumference. They're showing no signs of slowing down. Any advice on fertilers ?

Wayne

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 2:42AM
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gianteggplant(z9CA)

Wayne, nothing grew after the weather cooled down. I culled the fruit from the 5 gal continer after it reached 10 lb and stopped. It was only 40 days old. I also culled two from my 206.5. Don't like it will have another female. :-(
As for ferts, I say none or just 20-20-20.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 2:39AM
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luvorganic

wayne i was reading the news and a guy in alabama grows cc watermelons every year he entered one last year that weighed 192 lbs he starts them in late march he uses compost and manure only no chemical fertilizer he waters daily 6 gallons per plant

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 6:36PM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

It's been an interesting giant watermelon year. They are still growing although the plant in the back has had about half of its leaves stripped by a baby deer. I've since got my electric fence running all day to try to prevent this. That watermelon is a nice hindenberg shape and I'm guessing is about 60 pounds right now.

In my "upper patch", the CC plant is doing great -- showing no signs of decline at all. Whenever I see my watermelon lurking there in the grass I keep playing the "Jaws" theme in my head -- it's a big one. Interestingly it's not a round cross-section, but rather it's flatter and broader. I've stopped measuring the circumference on it, but it's about 30 inches long and almost a foot and a half across, although possibly only a foot high. Pretty sure it's over 60 pounds but don't know how close it is to 100. I'm guestimating 80 pounds....time will tell.

How is everyone else's CC doing ?

Wayne

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 2:37AM
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henry_garden

Wayne, have you tried to measure the weight of your watermelon on a bathrom scale. I know it sound silly but that's how I weighed mine to see the weight is instead of guessing? I've tried using the measurements from the pumpkin online weight measuring kit. Where you measure the height, length and stem to stem but the measurement were far below what it actually weighed. So I knew it had to be more than what it said. So I took the bathroom scale out and measured it that way. I know it sound weird but give it a shot if your really interested in knowing the weight of it. Hopefully it will be the 200 pounder. You just never know. Good luck wayne.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 2:00AM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Thanks Henry: I'm certain I don't have a 200 pounder based on the ones I've seen. Of my 2 watermelons, one is lucky to be 60 pounds right now and the other is somewhere between 60 and 100 pounds. I will try the bathroom scale technique. thanks.

Wayne

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 9:47PM
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