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Old October 1, 2021   #1
GreenThumbGal_07's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 300
Default Hey (Sugar) Baby!

Follow on to my earlier post of "Watermelons - female flowers first?"

"I'm growing Sugar Baby and Blacktail Mountain watermelons this summer.
Last summer I grew these watermelon varieties: Sangria F1, Crimson Sweet, Bush Sugar Baby. All three varieties had male flowers first, followed by female flowers.
This summer, Sugar Baby and Blacktail Mountain had the female blossoms open first! Blacktail Mountain was the first, followed by Sugar Baby (two female blossoms open today) a day later.
I don't know what caused this, but I do need to have some of the boys show up so we can get the pollination going (and I will have to do it manually, since the bees aren't as enthusiastic about watermelon blossoms as they are about melon blossoms).
I don't know what caused this, the plants were starts set out on May 29 (some Sugar Baby seeded directly outside May 9). This May was pretty overcast and chilly and the weather didn't start warming up until the second week of June. I've never seen an open-pollinated cucurbit with female flowers showing up first; generally there's about 10 days of male flowers before the first girl steps on the dance floor.
Anyhow, the vines look healthy otherwise and I do hope to be able to try a melon or two by September."

Pleased to report that I DID get watermelons this summer after all!

Blacktail Mountain - almost ripe (had to clear the plants out), stem tendrils brown but no yellow ground spot, seeds not fully developed, pink inside. Rind was deep forest green. Sweet, good flavor. Got several small fruits from 2 vines grown in a 7-gallon pot with Black Gold potting soil. (23.92 oz, 34.43 oz., 42.43 oz.)

Sugar Baby - riper, red inside. Stem tendrils brown halfway down, bright yellow ground spots. Some fully developed seeds inside (riper than Blacktail Mountain). Juicy and sweet, good flavor. Crisp. Five fruits total (I had to pull all the vines): one small 5.75 oz. and one tiny 0.74 oz., 21.09 oz., 33.72 oz, 47.76 oz.. Deep dark green rind, shiny, almost black with a blue sheen. Very heavy for their size!

Anyhow thank God for summer and for watermelons!
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