Black Diamond Watermelon

samsthumbJuly 7, 2012

I am in central Missouri. We are in a drought with 7+ days of 100+ degrees. Despite this my melons plants look pretty good with watering. My concern, I know getting a crop of black diamond in my area takes forever...with the mild spring and cool nights my melon plants just sat there from May 10 when I planted them to June 1. June 1 I gave them a shot of Miracle Gro and a good soaking. It has been hot and dry since then. Only 2 inches in two rains since May 2. I use a soaker hose and water every 3 or 4 days for 2 hours. My plant leaves look healthy, some flowers mostly male. That's the problem, not many female. I have 12 plants and only 2 golf ball sized melons total. Am I just being impatient or am I not going to get any melons this year. This is my first year with Black Diamond. I've grown several other varieties in the past. Any ideas?

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Patience should pay off. Black Diamond can be a bit more tricky than other watermelons, but it is usually in the area of ripening properly. They normally set ok, just take a long time to ripen and are prone to white heart.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Do they need any nutrient to increase flower production? I am leery of MG again as it promotes leaf growth and that is not my problem.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:23PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Have you tried hand pollination?

The female blossoms are out near the far end of strong runners. They have minature fruits behind the blossom and need pollination before noon. To pollinate, pick a male blossom [bright gold color] and pick off the petals and kiss the female [light yellow with green center] blossom lightly and thourally.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:44PM
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Which variety of BD are you growing? If you're growing regular BD or Florida Giant, you're going to have a long wait, and maybe not full ripening. Yellow Belly BD is much more reliable and a better producer. We're having the same weather and I'm watering mine for an hour every day. I get a second crop with YB, and they size down well.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 8:57AM
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The package didn't say what variety. I will remember yellow belly for next year. I was hand fertilizing the few females I had found. I have to do that this time of year for canteloupe as the bees are having an orgy in my daylilies and could care less about little yellow flowers. Thanks for the advice. I guess I need to water more often, as every 3 days is probably not enough with a drought.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:50AM
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