watermelon plants huge but no watermelons

infinitedreamsJuly 28, 2011

I've got four watermelon plants growing from a 3x3 square. They have sprawled all over the place, climbed the fence, and begun their escape. What they have not done, however, is produce watermelons. I planted them a bit late, and that may be the trouble. Is there anything I can do to encourage them along in producing, or should I just continue to wait?

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Bryan Scott

First, what area are you in (city,state)?

My experience with watermelons is that sometimes they just don't get good cross pollination from bees and such. In our SFG bed, we ended up having to "hand-pollinate", which, you find a female flower (has a small bulb below it), and a male flower (no bulb). Open up both flowers and rub the male flower's pollen center into the femail flower, getting as deep into the flower as you can without hurting it. Yeah, sounds dirty ;o)

Also, watermelons require a ton of water, so make sure your soil does not dry out. If you get watermelons, then just before harvest time you want to back off on watering so that the watermelon's sugars concentrate inside (they don't get watered down), and you will have a sweet watermelon.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 10:44AM
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Thanks for the advice.

I am near Nashville TN.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 12:44PM
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Bryan Scott

...Just had to hand pollenate two female flowers this morning. We have had a ton of male and female flowers lately, but no takers (no bees and very few wasps around right now). So this morning I noticed two females open up and I went and pollenated them before I left for work. We'll see if they take and I'll post some pics if they do- we'll know in a few weeks as the little "baby" goes from the size of a dime to the size of golf ball.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:40AM
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Bryan Scott

Well, after three days of hand pollination, we have a baby!

Watermelon at 5 days old.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 9:43AM
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just want to piggyback this old thread, i noticed my younge or starter sugar baby watermelon only popping out male flowers but no female flowers, do they come later in the summer or something??

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Bryan Scott

IMO, Sugar Babies are the best! I had the same experience- saw a lot of male flowers at first, but then at some point female flowers came out. Sorry, don't remember how long that took. However, I've heard of male and female only plants- kind of a luck of the draw situation. Hopefully that is not the case.

I used to take a "morning tea" stroll around my beds to look at things. If you do not have bees or any other pollinators around, then at first sight of a female flower you will want to hand pollinate. Rub gently or use a q-tip to transfer pollen.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 9:53AM
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