watermelon question

cjtabares(MA Zone 6)August 21, 2012

How do I tell if a sugar baby is ripe.

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cjtabares(MA Zone 6)

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    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:55PM
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cjtabares(MA Zone 6)

Last pic

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:56PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

It just has the look of not being ripe. The tendril isn't dead, the vine looks too healthy, and the melon looks too young. It'll get a little rougher looking when ripe. The yellow spot isn't a good indicator....it's been there for a while. I would suggest rotating it so the yellow spot is on top for even ripening. Unless the melon has been on the vine for 7 weeks, I would say you are at least 2-3 weeks away from ripe. When did you set them out? I think Sugar baby is about 85 days. In short, just from my experience growing watermelons up north for a few years, it just isn't ripe yet. Not sure how many you have to waste to find out the hard way. Be a little more patient.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:02PM
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glib(5.5)

Not ripe. Put a brick or board under that thing, if you have voles they will tunnel into the fruit from below.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:06PM
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cjtabares(MA Zone 6)

Ok thanks, I read that when the bottom turns yellow it was ripe but the vine still looked alive and not dry so I was unsure. 2-3 weeks would be around 85 days since I put them out so that sounds right. I will get something under it tomorrow. I have another fruit about a week behind this one. Do you think they will taste sweet with the days getting shorter, I think I read they need a lot of sun to be sweet.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:43PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

IMO, yes they should be sweet. Some suggest cutting back on the watering to increase the sugar. Only water when necessary, and definitely no fertilizer.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:37AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

cjtabares,
In picture #2 you can see that the adjacent tendril is still green. What I do is get acquainted with the watermelon fruits as individuals. Watch them grow. They will cease growing before they are ripe. Now, as they are done growing, watch that tendril. It will start turning yellowish and then about 4 days later it will be brown. At this point I hold off harvesting for about 10 days at least [unless it is a Dixie Lee] to let it sweeten up some more..

I never have trouble with watermelon damage from laying on the ground. Cantaloupes do need rotating or have something placed under them [I rotate].

Ad for watering. On really healthy plants, you may have 2 fruits maturing and 2 or 3 more still small...don't hold the water in that case [I don't anyway and have sweet melons.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 1:14PM
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