We finally got the watermelon to begin growing--it started a week ago and
now, how long to I wait? I ahve read the post about seeing how ready they
are--but size? Does the outside become mottled?
There is a simple and sure way to tell when a watermelon is ready to
eat (ripe). Where the melon joins the vine, there will be a leaf and
what is called a "Curl". No doubt, you have noticed some of these
curls up and down the vine- -but the only one you are interested in is
the one where the melon joins the vine. When it is totally
brown(dead), the melon is ready to harvest. If for any reason, like
thumping the melon, or any other method, you harvest the melon before
this occurs- -you waste your melon.
I raise melons every year, and have for many years. This year I
raised in excess of 200. To see a picture of some I raised go to
<http://www.rogerandpeggy.com check the last photo on the page.
Size has nothing to do with it.
Have a good day Rogerx
On Sun, 05 Sep 2004 03:07:14 GMT, "downsized diva"
I have checked my melons in years past, and when that tendril and associated
leaf were completely dry, the melon was still not ready. I blame that on
the fact that I had started the seeds inside and then transplanted them
outside. I have no proof, but I don't think the tap root was allowed to do
what it was supposed to, because the plant was kept in the planter too long,
and the lack of moisture caused the tendril and leaf to turn brown
prematurely. I have seen melons started from seed planted in the hills,
that responded like they were expected to. What is your opinion?
If the associated leaf(the leaf where the melon joins the vine) is
brown--no doubt, you have a vine problem and you would expect the
curl(tendril) to be brown, regardless to the condition of the melon.
Possible causes could be nematodes , vine bores, grub worms(anything
that could damage the tap root (where the plant waters), or simply a
lack of water, or too much fertilizer.
In short, if the vine is healthy(the associated leaf green) and the
curl is brown the melon is ripe.(this has been true since my earliest
recollections of planting melons back in the late '30s).
Eat a melon and have a nice day! Rogerx
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