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Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

Posted by kr222 6b (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 15, 09 at 10:29

Have any of you tried to grow Sugar Baby or Bush Sugar Baby watermelon in your SFG? I'm starting my first SFG this coming season and would love to try and grow my own watermelon. Could you tell (or show) me the difference between the two? Things such as number of fruits to expect, how long the vines get, how many square feet they take up, how to trellis them (if possible), etc. Any information or suggestions you can provide are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Kim


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

I threw one in the garden last year, but it never grew. Probably more my fault than anything as it got overshadowed by the cucumbers.

Sorry I can't be more helpful, but I'm trying again this year.


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

I planted Sugar Baby under my corn last year. I picked one melon that I thought would be ripe, but it wasn't. I was told on one of the forums not to pick it until the tendril has been brown for a week or so (after I picked it). I had one more small one that would have been pretty good if it had another week or 2 to ripen, but cold weather came before then. I picked it one very cold night, and it was almost sweet.

I'm going to try again. Next time, I'm planting on a trellis in full sun with black plastic mulch. Our days are warm, but the nights are quite cool here. I think the melons needed a bit more heat.


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my posting. I'm glad I'm not the only one that has questions about how to tell when the watermelons are ripe. I don't want to mess that up since it sounds like I might get only one or two from one plant? Is that correct for Bush Sugar Baby versus Sugar Baby? I'm only going to have enough room to plant one or two, so I want to know as much about these two as possible before I decide on which one to get seed for. As of now I think I'm leaning to Bush due to my very small yard (<1/4 acre). If anyone else could post their experiences with these two varieties, I would love to hear what you have to say. Thanks.
Kim


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

I'm posting a link to the FAQ on the Vegetable Gardening forum about melons, it may help.

When I posted about my unripe melon, this was one of the replies:

RE: Sugar Baby Sadness

Posted by iheartroscoe Zone 5, Northern IN (My Page) on Fri, Aug 29, 08 at 6:47

I had the same problem with Sugar Baby this year. How long after the tendril turned brown did you pick it?
The first one I picked right after the tendril turned brown and it was white inside and not ripe. The second one I picked about a week after the tendril turned brown and it was ripe. I have one more on the vine and I'm definitely waiting about a week after the tendril turns brown to pick it.

Every other watermelon I grow, I don't have this problem. For some reason, Sugar Baby just isn't ripe for me right after the tendril turns brown.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vegetable Gardening FAQ / Melons


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

I trellised sugar baby watermelons in my sfg no problem.

EG


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

I grew sugar baby last year and trellised them. I had two fruit that only got to be the size of a large grapefruit, but when I picked them, they were ripe and the kids were delighted. I'm going to try blacktail mountain this year because they are supposed to be good for short seasons.


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

EG and carolynp,
I'm happy to hear that trellising these should work out. What were your trellises made out of?
Kim


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

Here's a direct link to a post on my blog that shows the trellises. They are constructed with 4x4 posts, 2x4's, and wire mesh.

EG

Here is a link that might be useful: trellises


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

I grew the Sugar Baby melons two years ago. I spaced them one per square, I think. Got maybe 3-4 melons from two vines. Only problem I had were the vines sliding down the strings on the trellis due to the weight of the fruit. I made my trellis with 1/2" electrical conduit with poly line stretched vertically from the top rail to the bottom.

I am going to grow them again this year, but I am probably going to use some type of netting for the trellis. I will also support the fruits some way as they get heavier.

Good luck!!

TheBug


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

EG- Gorgeous trellises. I would love to have a set up like that, but I'm working with a very small garden. Less than 1/4 acre with close neighbors on both sides. I am going to construct the trellises noted in my SFG book. I'm going to try and trellis pumpkins (Orange Smoothie or Small Sugar...haven't decided yet) and Bush Sugar Baby watermelons. I've never seen pictures of a watermelon trellised, so I'm interested to see how it turns out.

TheBug---I'm glad to hear that trellising was pretty successful for you also. This is very encouraging. I think I might try the pantyhose idea to help support the extra weight. It's worth a shot.

Thanks everyone for all of you helpful information.
Kim


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

I used the ultomato set up. Most people will tell you it's a bad choice, but I really liked them. They are hanging together ok, but I didn't have to be much of a carpenter for them, either, lol.


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

Thanks for the compliment, kr222. I tend to build things a little stronger than necessary. :) You've never seen a picture of a melon trellised? Here's a picture of a nice sized cantaloupe from last year...

EG


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

Wow! That's not a small melon. Are those panty hose you have it supported with? Great picture!
Kim


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

kr222 - This melon is supported with a knee high. As you might imagine, it worked better than expected. I'm glad you enjoyed the picture.

EG


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

I have been told many times that Mississippi is the poorest state in the entire country, but it amazes me what we get for our money in this state when I read about the silly things that northern gardeners do with a trellis. I may not have a lot of money, but I live in a warm state with enough sunshine and land to grow a watermelon on, and if I start early enough, I can grow any kind of watermelon that I want on my land because land is cheap in Mississippi. However, this is my first year to attempt to grow Sugar Babies. I selected that variety because I am planning to sell them at a roadside market and thought that people who have smaller families than they used to would want smaller watermelons. The little ones seem to do well at the grocery store. My first ripe looking watermelon has come in, and I want to know if it is indeed ripe. It has changed its color to dark green. I am told that Sugar Babies do that. It also has a bright yellow spot on the bottom. So far so good. It is soft ball sized, but I am not considering the size as important because I know watermelons better than that. However, the tendril has not changed. Should I consider this to be important? If you ever get tired of being cold, feel free to check us out. We are somewhat due south of Chicago, Ill, but it seems like it's on a different planet.


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

janette,
Choosing to trellis has little to do with the price of land. I've got plenty of space- I could grow watermelon vines all over the place if I wanted to. Space isn't really the issue for me - it poor soil and lack of water. By trellissing my vining plants, I save water by only watering a small area of well-amended soil instead of having to use a sprinkler over a wide area.

(you may also notice, the poster who's pictures appear on this thread is from Alabama...)


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RE: Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon

The gentleman was right about the tendrels drying up. I picked oone of my sugar babies and if I had waited a week it sure would have been a lot riper. Its alright though it was a small one, about 8 lbs. I have some in my patch that weigh over 15 lbs. I also have 8 hills of striped melons with 30 to 40 growing and some that exceed 25 lbs. I planted 2 hills of sugar babies and I have at least 20 melons that have almost reached maturity and another dozen developing. I just moved to south east texas in april and was told that melons grow good here. I didn't realize how good untill now. I just picked a dozen cantalope that averaged 5 lbs. I planted 8 hills and have several hundred growing in my patch. I wanted a few cucumber to eat so I planted 3 hills. Now I am picking 30 to 40 every 3 or 4 days. If they keep growing like this, next year I will plant an acre of garden and open my own farm market.

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb


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