PDA

View Full Version : What do you think is the sweetest?


Jackie-T
December 25th, 2008, 03:27 PM
I want to grow the sweetest muskmellon and the sweetest watermelon. For watermelon I think it is King and Queen what are your opinions.

fruits&nuts
December 25th, 2008, 04:25 PM
By sweetest I assume you mean highest brix. An average brix is about 8.5 to 9.5. There are quite a few watermelons that are supposed to reach brix readings in the 9-11 range, but many don't make it under average growing conditions.

King and Queen under my growing conditions is not particularly sweet and in this Washington State test it had a brix of 7.9 which is about what I would expect - it's less sweet than average (although I'm not sure it is the same King and Queen I grew).

http://www.agmrc.org/media/cms/Watermelon2004_D9135D38C90B1.pdf

Petite Perfection was the sweetest watermelon in that test (with 9.9) and it often ranks very high in watermelon tests for sweetness.

Summertime is a seedless variety that has a brix reading that can top 12. Poquito is a seedless variety that can top 11. Most of the sweetest varieties these days are hybrids, often from Chinese or Japanese breeding programs. Some are allegedly as high as 14 brix.

The best tasting watermelons are not usually the sweetest though. Blacktail Mountain has high average brix readings but it has great flavor. Melitoplski has very high brix readings but personally I don't think the flavor is remarkable.

Jackie-T
December 26th, 2008, 05:50 AM
Thank you very much for the information. So your pick for watermelon would be Blacktail mountain? What would you pick for musk mellon or cantaloupe? I have grown king and queen and they where very good but again personal taste. Perhaps the strain was different also. I no longer have the seed from the original strain but someone on here was kind enough to supply me with some seeds to start again.

Blanesgarden
December 26th, 2008, 10:08 AM
If I remember right, sacratamato had his Ambrosia reach a pretty high brix into the teens...
Ill always grow these, one of the sweetest Ive ever had!:cool:

wildseed2u
December 26th, 2008, 10:40 AM
OrangGlo which is of course Orange has a brix about 9 or more there has been some talk about super sweet watermelons that run up to 14 on the scale, but I think that they are most likely hybrids. Under certain conditions and lots of care you can pump your brix level up on most good watermelon varieties. I still think that OrangeGlo is tops in my book.
George W. Norwood, MO. Z5-6

Crocodile
December 26th, 2008, 10:57 AM
Whichever varieties you choose, I recommend using black weed-cloth or black plastic to warm the soil for your melons. It will really make a difference.

As usual, I'll give my vote for Petit Gris de Rennes. Burpee's Ambrosia F1 hybrid is really, really sweet, too, if you're open to hybrids.

MichiganderGardener
December 27th, 2008, 04:47 PM
The sweetest melons I have grown in my Zone 4 garden soil are Petit Gris de Rennes and Orangeglo Watermelon. Love them Both. :)

PCKGRat
December 27th, 2008, 08:00 PM
Whichever varieties you choose, I recommend using black weed-cloth or black plastic to warm the soil for your melons. It will really make a difference.

As usual, I'll give my vote for Petit Gris de Rennes. Burpee's Ambrosia F1 hybrid is really, really sweet, too, if you're open to hybrids.

How do you do this with the black cloth?

My melons have been a little unsuccessful. I am trying one more time.

American_Gardener
December 27th, 2008, 08:29 PM
Great Question Jackie..

I don't have answers.. i'm one of those people like you looking for some. I've heard that tendersweet orange is sweeter than orangeglo. Course that's just what i've heard. I've got seeds for both and i'll find out myself next season.

Then like everyone else says.. melons from central asia region are supposedly high in brix. I've been gathering as many of those as i can get my hands on.. especially hami melons. So, maybe next year i'll have some answers.

Like Pckrat.. i have limited success with melons here in my climate. Some do really well.. and others i always seem to be just a few weeks short of growing season to reach maturity. This year i'm gonna start everything indoors 3 weeks before last frost just to see if i can't get em all to mature in time. It's gotta help!

Anyways.. i'm gonna be watching to see what everyone else recomends too. I find this interesting.

Dave

fruits&nuts
December 27th, 2008, 10:01 PM
Thank you very much for the information. So your pick for watermelon would be Blacktail mountain? What would you pick for musk mellon or cantaloupe? I have grown king and queen and they where very good but again personal taste. Perhaps the strain was different also. I no longer have the seed from the original strain but someone on here was kind enough to supply me with some seeds to start again.

I did a thread earlier in the fall about the best watermelons I tasted this year but can't find it right now. I think the three best were Georgia Rattlesnake, Blacktail Mountain, and Orangeglo, with Cream of Saskatchewan also rating highly.

I don't grow musk melons/cantaloupes. I prefer the Asian melons like the Hami melons and Collective Farm Woman.

herb girl
December 28th, 2008, 07:02 AM
Unfortunately, I've never grown a successful watermelon. My children are always so disappointed. I need a personal Pennsylvania watermelon tutor! :) Is Orangeglo easy to grow? How about petite perfection?

fruits&nuts
December 28th, 2008, 10:36 AM
Orangeglo is very easy to grow. You should be able to grow it in southern PA if you have decent soil.

Crocodile
December 28th, 2008, 02:30 PM
How do you do this with the black cloth?

My melons have been a little unsuccessful. I am trying one more time.

Melon Growing Methods (http://www.mastergardeners.org/projects/ninepalms/2006/melon.html)

I start my melon seeds three weeks before I want to transplant them. At that time, I tack down a layer of black fabric that they sell as a weed-blocker. That will give the soil lots of time to get nice and warm.

You should be able to see how some California Master Gardeners did it in the first picture in the link I'm posting, though they used black plastic. The cloth is easier for me to find where I live, so I just use it, and it works fine.

Melons really thrive on warmth, and the black cloth/plastic can give that extra bit of warmth that really makes a difference. Once it's time to transplant, I just cut an 'X' in the cloth and transplant normally. You might need some weights or stakes to hold down the cloth until the vines get bigger, especially in windy areas.

Soil temperature is apparently the factor that is most responsible for total yield, growth rate, and maturity rate, if this little mini-study is to be believed.

reubenT
December 28th, 2008, 08:32 PM
the sweetness of a melon, (or any fruit or veggie) starts with it's genetics. But I'd put the genetics at determining maybe 20% of the resulting brix. It has a lot more to do with the balence of avalible minerals and nutrients in the soil. Using a reasonable amount of compost and some mineral supplements will go a long ways toward the goal of sweet fruit. Getting the right amount of calcium, phosphate, nitrogen, etc. And the different classes of plants need different levels for best production. I've been getting very good results using Dr Reams basic discoverys from his research. The soluble levels of 3000 lb calcium, 400 phosphate, 2-1 P to K ratio, and 80 lb nitrogen. using high calcium lime and soft rock phosphate for the main mineral supplements. It is posible to push the brix of just about anything 'through the roof' once the balence is correct. And when that happens it gets much more nutritious, and keeps better in storage, besides tasting like super gormet. It is also very helpful to understand the workings of nitrogen and how to switch it back and forth as desired. Nitrate type for leaf growth and amonia type for fruit. Ya want a primarily nitrate nitrogen untill the plant starts blooming and then switch it. Heat will help it switch, (warming weather) high ph will impede it. acid will help it. so when I want a really big plant I can have lots of calcium on there to keep that ph high, then when blooming time hits I can lay down some acid, (the higher the ph the more acid it takes) usually mixing in some extra nitrogen in amonia form and some carbon with the acid. That will throw the soil over into fruit production mode and really go at it. blossom drop, fruit rot, slow fruit growth, etc are just about always due to either low mineral levels or too much nitrate/not enough amonia.

Doug W.
December 28th, 2008, 10:19 PM
I've read that Golden Gopher muskmelon had a high brix number. I grew it in the past, and was quite pleased with it.

springfever
December 28th, 2008, 10:46 PM
reubent I have a large raised bed that doesn't do well for much. I was thinking of trying melons there this year since it is mostly in the sun. The ground is bad. I have tried to help it. Would the ashes that I get from my fireplace help or hurt as far as melons?

reubenT
December 29th, 2008, 11:04 PM
probably hurt more than help. wood ash is full of potasium, (the K in the usal NPK chemical fertilizer mix, except it's usually potasium chloride which kills the good soil bacteria) when you get enough organic matter in the soil to grow something, yer going to have enough K already, it's real easy to get too much. we have a walnut tree that many years ago had a bunch of wood ash dumped near it, even though theres not a trace of the ash left visibly it never makes good nuts, and I know the ash is the cause. Compost, adequet calcium, phosphate, and nitrogen is what the melons need. If ya can't get soft rock phosphate, bone meal is second best. But the phosphate is much cheaper than bone meal in larger amounts. (around $140 per ton + shipping) Root crops can use a little more potasium, potatoes carrots beets etc.

sacratamato
December 30th, 2008, 02:34 PM
No doubt about it:

Melon...........Ambrosia...Over 14% BRIX, with my refreactometer.
Watermelon...Densuke....Over 12% BRIX, tested by me!

Both of these won my neighborhood informal taste tests last year.

Ambrosia,
Naturally!

Densuke,
1'st time growin' it.
Definetly will grow it again in '09.

My 3'rd melon for 2009,
In my Million $ row will be:

Yubari.

Oh yea,
Be sure to use plenty of black plastic.
No overhead watering.
Etc...
Hope this info helps.

sac
:cool:

fruits&nuts
December 30th, 2008, 09:05 PM
Very impressive brix levels! It's hard to do that even when they have the genetics for it.

sacratamato
December 31st, 2008, 05:31 PM
Very impressive brix levels!
It's hard to do that even when they have the genetics for it.

"Thank You" for your kind words.
That's why I'm the best!
:D

With OVER 2 decades of organic melon growin' experience out back in my humongous Zone (9) melon patch,
"Genetics",
I have found,
Is only a small part of the perfect melon equation!

sacratamato
:cool:

klorentz
December 31st, 2008, 06:33 PM
No doubt about it:

Melon...........Ambrosia...Over 14% BRIX, with my refreactometer.
Watermelon...Densuke....Over 12% BRIX, tested by me!

Both of these won my neighborhood informal taste tests last year.

Ambrosia,
Naturally!

Densuke,
1'st time growin' it.
Definetly will grow it again in '09.

My 3'rd melon for 2009,
In my Million $ row will be:

Yubari.

Oh yea,
Be sure to use plenty of black plastic.
No overhead watering.
Etc...
Hope this info helps.

sac
:cool:


For some strange reason Ambrosia did not do well the two seasons I grew it.I may give it another try this year. Ah yes the 6,100 dollar watermelon.Almost forgot that along with the 23,000+ dollar cantaloupe. Still can get em on Ebay so I better scramble so I can see what the fuss is about. My cantaloupe here that grew so well for us is Superstar and Burpee Hybrid.

Kevin

Alfi
January 9th, 2009, 04:09 PM
Hello,
I am growing watermelons in Germany for a few years now (which is pretty crazy, believe me :D ).
While searching for interesting watermelon varieties to grow this season, I found this thread. I am looking for seeds of the "Petite perfection" watermelon. I cant find any shop to sell them. Where do you get these seeds from ?

And to support the thread: in our cold climate, the best and sweetest watermelon I have ever tried was the Blacktail Mountain.

Thank You
Ralph

Tom King
January 31st, 2009, 10:44 PM
OrangGlo which is of course Orange has a brix about 9 or more there has been some talk about super sweet watermelons that run up to 14 on the scale, but I think that they are most likely hybrids. Under certain conditions and lots of care you can pump your brix level up on most good watermelon varieties. I still think that OrangeGlo is tops in my book.
George W. Norwood, MO. Z5-6

I agree with you on Orangeglo.It doensn t have the brix of some of the reds,but the combination of flavor and sweetness is unsurpassed. I wish they weren t so fragile. I found out from Willhite seed company that Orangeglo was a mutation or sport of a melon called Texas Golden,and was better than the parent. Willhite donated the seed to the USDA gene pool and stopped selling it 2 years ago.

wildseed2u
February 2nd, 2009, 02:05 PM
last yers I grew a few rare korean watermelons that came close to 11 on the Brix scale, but lacked any real complex flavors that the muskmelons have. To me OrangeGlo has more flavor over many very sweet watermelons, which taste like sugar water. One small Korean watermelon that I grew was called Boksubak and you could peel off the thin rind and eat it like a apple rather than cutting it up like you would a large watermelon. It had quite a bit of fiber in it and although it was very sweet it wasn't really sugary like some that I have tried.
George W. Z5-6 MO.

fruits&nuts
February 2nd, 2009, 03:48 PM
Hello,
I am growing watermelons in Germany for a few years now (which is pretty crazy, believe me :D ).
While searching for interesting watermelon varieties to grow this season, I found this thread. I am looking for seeds of the "Petite perfection" watermelon. I cant find any shop to sell them. Where do you get these seeds from ?

And to support the thread: in our cold climate, the best and sweetest watermelon I have ever tried was the Blacktail Mountain.

Thank You
Ralph

Hi Ralph,

You will have a hard time finding Petite Perfection outside the US. It was bred by Dulcinea Farms in California for commercial growers and often comes in first or second in taste tests. It was also bred for California growing conditions. If you still want to try it, your best chance of trying it would probably be to write to Dulcinea Farms or the University of California Cooperative Extension and ask for samples to test in Germany.

For cool weather growing I would try Cream of Saskatchewan if you haven't already. It is a very good watermelon.

There is also a Colorado seed company that has bred some watermelons that grow well in the cooler climate of Colorado. Most of the watermelon seeds they sell are not from their breeding program, but I believe Colorado Sunset, Crestone, Mt Shivano and Yellow Shipper are theirs. You can ask them which varieties do better in cooler climates and I'm sure they would know.

http://www.burrellseeds.us/vegm.html#why

I've heard recently that the Chinese variety Gold Flower also does OK in cooler climates:

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/product.aspx?category=1&subcategory=57&item=2888

Alfi
April 6th, 2009, 05:46 PM
@Fruits&nuts

Thank You for the answer.

I had tried to get the Petite Perfection seeds in the US. No chance. But thank you for the hint. I will try to get some from there.

I have tried the Cream of Saskatchewan before and I wasnt very happy with it. Not much flavour and sweetness. This surely is a result of my growing conditions.

I have a self built green house and use IRT mulch film to raise soil temperature. The main problem are the low night temperatures of 5-10 degree Celsius. So there are big differences between night and day and often the watermelon fruits stop growing pretty early and dont get very sweet.

I did not really see a difference between watermelons that are suggested for colder climates and other that arent.

The best watermelon I have ever grown was the Blacktail Mountain.

This year I am trying the following watermelons:
- Blacktail Mountain
- Golden Midget
- Orangeglo
- Royal Golden
- Katanya
- Yellow Doll
- Mickey Lee
- Hime Kansen
- Moon and Stars van Doren
- Big Crimson
- Sugar Baby

Hopefully I can add the Petite Perfection soon :)

Thank You
Ralph
Germany

EdlinUser
April 6th, 2009, 07:49 PM
I want to grow the sweetest muskmellon and the sweetest watermelon. For watermelon I think it is King and Queen what are your opinions.

Melons, more so than most garden items, are quite variable in productivity and taste depending on your soil, growing technique, and micro-climate. I have yet to bring a cantaloupe to full ripeness in my garden. It was only last year that I got a watermelon harvest. I suggest you try at least a dozen varieties and grow what you find to be the best in your garden. Pick of my Garden: Melitopolski and Cream of Saskatchewan. I've heard lots of good things about Orangeglo but it's too big for my garden. Blacktail Mountain was a failure in my garden last year.

Good hunting!

cyra
April 6th, 2009, 08:41 PM
Hello,
I am growing watermelons in Germany for a few years now (which is pretty crazy, believe me :D ).
While searching for interesting watermelon varieties to grow this season, I found this thread. I am looking for seeds of the "Petite perfection" watermelon. I cant find any shop to sell them. Where do you get these seeds from ?

And to support the thread: in our cold climate, the best and sweetest watermelon I have ever tried was the Blacktail Mountain.

Thank You
Ralph

Watermelon in Germany wouldn't be impossible, but I wonder if you'd have to grow a short season variety... I'm guessing your seedlings are still indoors, it's still pretty cool there, I'm told.
Strange, but I never tasted watermelon til I came to the US...or an avocado, or a squash.....or pumpkin pie, or ketchup, maraschino cherries, or KFC....
I love this country!:D
Btw, regarding the Petite Perfection variety, I found this snippet of information on the net:
"farming experts at the University of California's Cooperative Extension have been testing 10 varieties -- with such names as Extazy, Liliput and Mini Triploid 2618, and a Dulcinea mini whose formal horticultural title is Petite Perfection."
What I would do is email the University of CA's Cooperative Extension and ask them about it, they're very helpful.
Here's a link:
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?navid=SEARCH&q=county+extension+office&site=usda

If the link doesn't post completely, you may try copy n pasting it into your browser...

Chavo27
April 6th, 2009, 10:28 PM
After reading all of this it looks like it was more towards watermelons. If I wanted to try cantaloupe for the first time this year what would be the best for taste?

Alfi
April 7th, 2009, 05:47 PM
Watermelon in Germany wouldn't be impossible, but I wonder if you'd have to grow a short season variety... I'm guessing your seedlings are still indoors, it's still pretty cool there, I'm told.
Strange, but I never tasted watermelon til I came to the US...or an avocado, or a

Hello,
I sent an email to the UCANR website asking for some sample petite perfection seeds and they replied quickly. I have to contact Dulcinea. These seeds are really difficult to get :(

It is not very cold here in Germany these days, but of course I have to start growing indoors. In May I will transplant them to my green house. Before that I will graft the watermelons onto pumpkin. The grafted watermelon plants grew very nice last year. So I will do it again.
A short season variety will not help much. I usually yield my first watermelons early July, while July and August are the hottest months here. So also more difficult melons like Moon and Stars grew very nice. Only problem is, that the fruits stop growing too early.

CU
Ralph

Alfi
April 7th, 2009, 05:48 PM
If someone here is interested in how to grow watermelons in good cold Germany :D

Check here if you want to see some photos from last season: http://www.melonengarten.de/alteseite.html

Or here for some time laps high definition videos of growing seedlings and fruits :D
http://www.melonengarten.de/gallerie.html

CU
Ralph

cyra
April 8th, 2009, 01:15 AM
If someone here is interested in how to grow watermelons in good cold Germany :D

Check here if you want to see some photos from last season: http://www.melonengarten.de/alteseite.html

Or here for some time laps high definition videos of growing seedlings and fruits :D
http://www.melonengarten.de/gallerie.html

CU
Ralph

Thank you for the links, Alfi.

I have never heard of grafting watermelons, before your post, interesting idea. I've heard of a quaint custom here in the US called "plugging" watermelons,;), but never grafting them onto other curcubit stock. Why is it done?

I'll visit the links first, no, third, thing tomorrow morning, I need to get some sleep, have lots to do in the morning, should've visited this post first!

Alfi
April 8th, 2009, 02:11 AM
Thank you for the links, Alfi.
I have never heard of grafting watermelons, before your post, interesting idea. I've heard of a quaint custom here in the US called "plugging" watermelons,;), but never grafting them onto other curcubit stock. Why is it done?


Plugging ? I dont know. Probably I didnt use the right words in your language. Please also have a look at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/HS/HS33000.pdf
This is a very nice information sheet about grafting techniques for watermelons. I have used number 3.
It is often said, that the pumpkin rootstock is more cold resistent and disease resistent.
Last year, I did it just for fun to see what happens. I had 6 standard watermelon plants and 2 grafted plants. I am not sure why, but some plants died before the fruits were ripe. Check my video of the growing Carolina Cross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haqMPGWck6s

At the end, the leafes are wilting quickly. Same with other plants before. I think it is Fusarium wilt. The two grafted plants were still healthy. All other watermelons were dead by end of August. The graftet plants have still brought new blooms and fruits. The vines were very long and thick. So, this year I try to graft as many watermelons as I can.

CU
Ralph

cyra
April 8th, 2009, 03:15 PM
Plugging ? I dont know. Probably I didnt use the right words in your language. Please also have a look at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/HS/HS33000.pdf
This is a very nice information sheet about grafting techniques for watermelons. I have used number 3.
It is often said, that the pumpkin rootstock is more cold resistent and disease resistent.
Last year, I did it just for fun to see what happens. I had 6 standard watermelon plants and 2 grafted plants. I am not sure why, but some plants died before the fruits were ripe. Check my video of the growing Carolina Cross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haqMPGWck6s

At the end, the leafes are wilting quickly. Same with other plants before. I think it is Fusarium wilt. The two grafted plants were still healthy. All other watermelons were dead by end of August. The graftet plants have still brought new blooms and fruits. The vines were very long and thick. So, this year I try to graft as many watermelons as I can.

CU
Ralph

Ok, yes, I see where that may have helped. I'd just never heard of it before.
Don't worry about the watermelon "plugging", it was a joke. It's something some folk do to pretty much turn watermelon into alcohol:D

Here's a link on it:

http://www.wikihow.com/Plug,-Spike,-or-Cork-a-Watermelon

PS. Thank you for the links.

cyra
April 8th, 2009, 07:59 PM
If someone here is interested in how to grow watermelons in good cold Germany :D

Check here if you want to see some photos from last season: http://www.melonengarten.de/alteseite.html

Or here for some time laps high definition videos of growing seedlings and fruits :D
http://www.melonengarten.de/gallerie.html

CU
Ralph

Amazing time-lapse photography....plant cam, and website. I see you're tech-savvy as well as very professional in your growing methods (and experiments), are you a plant researcher? Also, I'm curious, what is the white material that your melons are on? (To keep them off the ground, I'm guessing) Since your wife gets to sample and compare your melons with store-bought melons, I'm curious as to which of your melons she prefers. They grow a lot of melons in my county, so it isn't feasable for me to grow them even if I had the room. I won't have room this year, I need the trellises for pole beans, cucumbers and luffa gourds. But maybe next year, my son and I will grow a few small cantaloupes (musk-melons), instead.

Very interesting and informative sites, (thank you) will look at the Youtube link on grafting melons, if I have more time later this evening. Good to know that it may help with varieties suceptible to wilt.

I suppose there are ways around most plant challenges, if one simply puts enough resources into working through them.

Jackie-T
April 9th, 2009, 06:29 AM
Plugging ? I dont know. Probably I didnt use the right words in your language. Please also have a look at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/HS/HS33000.pdf
This is a very nice information sheet about grafting techniques for watermelons. I have used number 3.
It is often said, that the pumpkin rootstock is more cold resistent and disease resistent.
Last year, I did it just for fun to see what happens. I had 6 standard watermelon plants and 2 grafted plants. I am not sure why, but some plants died before the fruits were ripe. Check my video of the growing Carolina Cross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haqMPGWck6s

At the end, the leafes are wilting quickly. Same with other plants before. I think it is Fusarium wilt. The two grafted plants were still healthy. All other watermelons were dead by end of August. The graftet plants have still brought new blooms and fruits. The vines were very long and thick. So, this year I try to graft as many watermelons as I can.

CU
Ralph

I found this very interesting and I intend to try it. I think I have settled on Ambrosia for cantaloupe and can't make up my mind on 1 water melon so I am trying 3 including king and queen. But again thank you for the information on grafting melons very interesting. I also plan on using graft type 3. Jackie-T

Alfi
April 9th, 2009, 02:22 PM
To be more specific. It is a Fig Leaved Gourd (Cucurbita ficifolia) I use for the watermelon grafting.

Everything I do is just for fun. :-)

The white stuff under my melons is just polystyrene to keep the watermelons dry.

My wife prefers red fleshed watermelons. I never had much luck with other colors. They just didnt have the flavour I wanted. I have heard a lot about the Orangeglo, so I try this one again this year. Same for the Golden Midget.

CU
Ralph

Alfi
April 9th, 2009, 02:27 PM
I found this very interesting and I intend to try it. I think I have settled on Ambrosia for cantaloupe and can't make up my mind on 1 water melon so I am trying 3 including king and queen. But again thank you for the information on grafting melons very interesting. I also plan on using graft type 3. Jackie-T

I am probably not very talented in grafting watermelons, but even the number 3 technique, which is known to be the easiest one, worked only for 2 plants out of about 20 I tried. This year will be better, I am sure.

Ralph

Jackie-T
April 10th, 2009, 09:32 AM
I am probably not very talented in grafting watermelons, but even the number 3 technique, which is known to be the easiest one, worked only for 2 plants out of about 20 I tried. This year will be better, I am sure.

Ralph

I am wondering if part of the failure rate is the moving of the plants? I plan on planting a watermelon and a gourd in the same pot right next to each other with a piece of flat stiff plastic (maybe mylar )separating the seeds. That way I will not be moving the roots only cutting the gourd top off and the watermelon at the graft.Will there need to be a difference in time that I plant them for their sizes to be right? I will mark which is which so I don't graft a gourd onto a watermelon root. I realy enjoy trying new things. Sometimes they work sometimes they don"t but I do learn a little more each time. Thank you Jackie-T

Alfi
April 10th, 2009, 03:02 PM
I am wondering if part of the failure rate is the moving of the plants? I plan on planting a watermelon and a gourd in the same pot right next to each other with a piece of flat stiff plastic (maybe mylar )separating the seeds. That way I will not be moving the roots only cutting the gourd top off and the watermelon at the graft.Will there need to be a difference in time that I plant them for their sizes to be right? I will mark which is which so I don't graft a gourd onto a watermelon root. I realy enjoy trying new things. Sometimes they work sometimes they don"t but I do learn a little more each time. Thank you Jackie-T

The watermelon needs very high humidity, less light and a temperature of 77 F for a few days after the grafting cut (mini green house or plastic bag). After cutting off the gourd rootstock you will see pretty fast (1 day) whether the grafting was successful.
I put the gourd seed into the soil in the same pot as the watermelon plant, when the watermelon plant starts to develop the first real leaf. So I dont have to disturb the roots. As soon as the vines have same size I start grafting.

The reason for the high failure rate was probably, that I was a bit too curious. I lifted the roof of my mini green house too often. So the humidity wasnt perfect. Also I moved the pots around a bit. That's not so good too.

CU
Ralph

Alfi
April 10th, 2009, 03:24 PM
Here are some pictures of my last years grafting experiments ;-)

http://www.melonengarten.de/images/grafting1.jpg

http://www.melonengarten.de/images/grafting2.jpg

http://www.melonengarten.de/images/grafting3.jpg

http://www.melonengarten.de/images/grafting4.jpg

cyra
April 10th, 2009, 04:37 PM
To be more specific. It is a Fig Leaved Gourd (Cucurbita ficifolia) I use for the watermelon grafting.

Everything I do is just for fun. :-)

The white stuff under my melons is just polystyrene to keep the watermelons dry.

My wife prefers red fleshed watermelons. I never had much luck with other colors. They just didnt have the flavour I wanted. I have heard a lot about the Orangeglo, so I try this one again this year. Same for the Golden Midget.

CU
Ralph

Polystyrene...wonder if that's styrofoam? If it is, I occasionally receive it as packaging material in shipments of breakable goods, as a shock absorber. Now I have a good purpose for it, recycle it as support for tomatoes, berries, etc. that lay on the ground. Maybe that'll keep the sowbugs from eating their way through my lowgrowing tomatoes, this year.
Thanks for the tips, and much luck with your melons, this year!

cyra
April 10th, 2009, 04:40 PM
Here are some pictures of my last years grafting experiments ;-)

http://www.melonengarten.de/images/grafting1.jpg

http://www.melonengarten.de/images/grafting2.jpg

http://www.melonengarten.de/images/grafting3.jpg

http://www.melonengarten.de/images/grafting4.jpg

(Fascinating!)

Alfi
April 10th, 2009, 05:04 PM
Polystyrene...wonder if that's styrofoam? If it is, I occasionally receive it as packaging material in shipments of breakable goods, as a shock absorber. Now I have a good purpose for it, recycle it as support for tomatoes, berries, etc. that lay on the ground. Maybe that'll keep the sowbugs from eating their way through my lowgrowing tomatoes, this year.
Thanks for the tips, and much luck with your melons, this year!

Yes, styrofoam seems to be the right word. I cut a little hollow into it, so the watermelon fruit doesnt roll around on it. And I stab a hole into the styrofoam, so water can flow down.

Ralph

bluelytes
January 31st, 2010, 01:48 PM
Here is a website, where WSU (Washington State University) grew many varieties of melons, and tested for BRIX. Makes for interesting info, IMHO. http://vegetables.wsu.edu/WatermelonPhotos.html

Also, does anyone know where I might obtain seeds for Ambrosia, Treasure Chest and Poquito varieties of watermelon? TYVM. Feel free to contact me directly at my email: bluelytes at yahoo dot com

Best;
bluey

Jackie-T
January 31st, 2010, 02:28 PM
I havent seen either of those varieties available but will keep my eyes open for them.
As for my results last year. I grafted 2 king and queen melons and 2 black diamond yellow fleshed melons. I also planted the same melons without grafting. The black diamonds where the best I have ever eaten the King and queen must be a different strain than I used to have as they didn't even look like the ones I used to grow. I grew ambrosia melons and they where very good will grow those again. As for the graftying. I will so do that again the plants looked 3 times better than the ungrafted growing 4 feet away. Those plants produced better also. The flavor between the grafted and not grafted was not noticible. I used a type of tape used to adhere bandages,it is soft and flexible and waterproof yet with time it fell off on it's own. Thank you Alfi for your post I have learned a lot and had fun trying.

Blanesgarden
February 1st, 2010, 06:43 AM
For such an old thread......much interest!
What ever happened to ol Alfi anyway?:confused:

AdkRBTIgardener
February 1st, 2010, 04:18 PM
My favorite canteloupe is French Orange a Charentais-muskmelon hybrid--alot of aroma, sweetness,
and early to ripen.

Watermelon--Ali Baba. Thanks, Jere Gettle for that one. Sweet, good texture. Haven't had one
ripen in the last two years, though.

Dave Rogers

Tom King
February 9th, 2010, 10:45 PM
By sweetest I assume you mean highest brix. An average brix is about 8.5 to 9.5. There are quite a few watermelons that are supposed to reach brix readings in the 9-11 range, but many don't make it under average growing conditions.

King and Queen under my growing conditions is not particularly sweet and in this Washington State test it had a brix of 7.9 which is about what I would expect - it's less sweet than average (although I'm not sure it is the same King and Queen I grew).

http://www.agmrc.org/media/cms/Watermelon2004_D9135D38C90B1.pdf

Petite Perfection was the sweetest watermelon in that test (with 9.9) and it often ranks very high in watermelon tests for sweetness.

Summertime is a seedless variety that has a brix reading that can top 12. Poquito is a seedless variety that can top 11. Most of the sweetest varieties these days are hybrids, often from Chinese or Japanese breeding programs. Some are allegedly as high as 14 brix.

The best tasting watermelons are not usually the sweetest though. Blacktail Mountain has high average brix readings but it has great flavor. Melitoplski has very high brix readings but personally I don't think the flavor is remarkable.

It depends on where you grow.I have had brix on crimson sweet between 10-14 and had a couple in the 17 range.My orangeglo had a brix reading of 10-11 but the flavor was so good that i didn t pay attention to the sweetness.
As for cantalope and muskmelon I had a hybrid Sivan cantalope at about 12-13 average and the two uzbeki varieties i had read 13.8 and 14,3 brix.Collective farm woman was also about 14 brix.During the season i stop all water on watermelons about 3 weeks to a month before i pick them and in addition to looking for the dry tendril i look for a yellow belly.The only drawback is that if you get a heat wave during that period,your plants will wilt and the watermelons will get sunburn spots and the vines won t put on a second watermelon setting for fall.The cantalopes and honeydews get their water turned off 2 weeks before harvest.Also if you foliar feed with molasses and brix mix(both at groworganic.com) you can raise your brix to high levels.

Tom King
February 9th, 2010, 11:12 PM
@Fruits&nuts

Thank You for the answer.

I had tried to get the Petite Perfection seeds in the US. No chance. But thank you for the hint. I will try to get some from there.

I have tried the Cream of Saskatchewan before and I wasnt very happy with it. Not much flavour and sweetness. This surely is a result of my growing conditions.

I have a self built green house and use IRT mulch film to raise soil temperature. The main problem are the low night temperatures of 5-10 degree Celsius. So there are big differences between night and day and often the watermelon fruits stop growing pretty early and dont get very sweet.

I did not really see a difference between watermelons that are suggested for colder climates and other that arent.

The best watermelon I have ever grown was the Blacktail Mountain.

This year I am trying the following watermelons:
- Blacktail Mountain
- Golden Midget
- Orangeglo
- Royal Golden
- Katanya
- Yellow Doll
- Mickey Lee
- Hime Kansen
- Moon and Stars van Doren
- Big Crimson
- Sugar Baby

Hopefully I can add the Petite Perfection soon :)

Thank You
Ralph
Germanya variety worth trying for your area is sweet siberian watermelon from seed savers exchange.It has been grown in the us since 1901.

sacratamato
February 9th, 2010, 11:50 PM
Several additional great "Hands-On-Experience" Melon growin' trials article(s) can be read, by typing the following words into your browser:

"Melon Trials in the Santa Clara Valley".

GL to ya,
Sac

Alfi
April 25th, 2010, 06:45 PM
For such an old thread......much interest!
What ever happened to ol Alfi anyway?:confused:

I started a bit later this year and will begin the grafting in about 10 days. I have 16 varieties to try this year :D
I will do some "tongue approach graftings" again this year to make sure I can eat some watermelons at the end of the season, but I will also try out another grafting method, the "one cotyledon graft", which needs careful control of the humidity, light and temperature conditions.

I will post some pics.

Thank You
Alfi

Alfi
April 25th, 2010, 07:00 PM
a variety worth trying for your area is sweet siberian watermelon from seed savers exchange.It has been grown in the us since 1901.

I have tried the Sweet Siberian a few years ago, but wasnt very happy with it. But on the other hand, growing watermelons over here needs some luck. Often, the watermelons taste like a cucumber :rolleyes: due to the poor weather conditions. But the Sweet Siberian gets a second chance this year :D

Since I didnt get the "Petite Perfection" watermelon seeds last year, I tried a similar watermelon with a thin rind, the Hime Kansen watermelone from http://www.kitazawaseed.com/seed_250-91.html
And this watermelon was my favourite last year !

http://www.melonengarten.de/images/alfi133.jpg

springfever
April 25th, 2010, 07:33 PM
Oh, I had forgotten about the black diamond yellow watermelon. I loved those when I was younger. Now, I have to look for some seeds. I am going to try to grow a melon this year, we'll see. (smile0

sacratamato
April 25th, 2010, 11:59 PM
Outstanding thread!

Just received my latest melon seed order from:
Evergreen Seeds.

(1) "Extra Summer Sweet" @ 18%-20% BRIX!
(2) "Korean Star" @ 13%-16% BRIX, white flesh.
(3) "Arko" @ 12% BRIX, green flesh.

Can't wait for the ground to dry out/warm up, to get 'em planted!

GL everybody,
Sac

Alfi
May 5th, 2010, 04:09 PM
Hey,

my first try with the "splice graft" (watermelon+gourd) :D

The gourd:
http://www.melonengarten.de/melonen2010/grafting0.jpg

After the cut:
http://www.melonengarten.de/melonen2010/grafting1.jpg

Macro shoot
http://www.melonengarten.de/melonen2010/grafting2.jpg

And finally the watermelon scion attached to the gourd rootstock:
http://www.melonengarten.de/melonen2010/grafting3.jpg

I hope this plant is still alive in 7-10 days

Alfi

nordicnacho
March 26th, 2012, 02:34 PM
this one looks really sweet

http://www.evergreenseeds.com/ormehyexsusw.html
18-20 brix



I think I'm going to give them a try

bluelytes
March 26th, 2012, 03:02 PM
Has anyone heard of a variety called, "Glory Sugar", and does any have a location for seeds of it?

Best;
bluey

Jon_dear
March 27th, 2012, 07:42 PM
I've had the most luck with Delicious 51 for muskmelons and whole heartedly agree that a mineralized soil will give you brix a boost. This year I'm trying Oka, Petite Gris de Rennes, Passport, and Orange Honey.

tracydr
March 27th, 2012, 08:42 PM
What kind of soil do melons prefer? I'm 0/2 on growing watermelons and muskmelons. Last year they all aborted their fruit, which I'm sure were pollinated, when it got super hot, hottest summer ever in AZ.
I'm going to plant a month earlier this year, next weekend instead of first of May.

Jon_dear
March 27th, 2012, 08:51 PM
Have you ever had a soil test done? That is where I'd start...
Short of a test I recommend plenty of organic matter (compost) and a balanced organic fertilizer to get started...