Our First Watermelon

This year, Nancy and I tried to grow watermelons in the garden. *Tried* being the key word. We didn’t know if we had the climate or a long enough season for them, but we figured why not? The plants have been so-so the whole season. They were slow to sprout (veeeeery slow) and there have only been a couple melons on the vine all year. The first couple baby melons we had dried up almost right away, and one of the three that were looking to get decent size decided a couple weeks ago to rot from the ground up.

I was asking my coworker (who gave us a couple of the seeds to plant) how we would know when the melon is ready to be picked, and he said that they almost pick themselves (something about “slipping” from the vine). Well, our biggest one (even that one isn’t too big, these are the “sugar baby” variety, which yields a small melon a tad smaller than your average cantaloupe) hasn’t shown any signs it was wanting to be free of it’s vine, and it’s been a beautiful green this whole summer. But I noticed a day or two ago a small bit of yellow coming on the top of this one. So I figured, it’s time to pick it and see what it’s up to.

Not a huge watermelon, and you can see where it was starting to yellow up top
Not a huge watermelon, and you can see where it was starting to yellow up top

I plucked it (okay, I cut the stem with my pocketknife) and cut it open. It looks and smells like a watermelon! I tried a little bit of it too, and it tastes watermelon-y, but I think I should have picked it last week. It’s a bit soft, especially toward where the yellow on the rind was.

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The interesting thing is, there are a couple more small melons that have started (does this lil plant realize it’s September? I won’t tell if you won’t!) and there’s still the one that was on there the most of the season as well. Perhaps we’ll get a chance to pick another, earlier so it’s more firm and as it should be. There’s so much to learn when gardening new things!

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4 thoughts on “Our First Watermelon

  1. I think we don’t have the right conditions to grow them, and I had heard they’re hard to grow. I also like things that tell you when they’re ready to pick, not make you guess if it’s time or not.

    1. Mikey said up in the north part of the state where he grew up they grew the big huge watermelons, so he doesn’t know what the problem is either. We got a bigger fruit than he did.

      1. Well then it’s good to know it’s not just this ground or something. You just never hear of gardeners here growing them, so I always figured people knew they wouldn’t do well. It was fun to try, and every garden teaches you things for the next one.

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