Fall watermelons!?!

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I was looking at the watermelon vines that have grown where my kids spit out seeds this summer and have discovered 6 almost-football-sized watermelons growing! Any change of bringing them to harvest this late in the season? My Mom says no, but thats just because I'm doing it. :)

I'm in NW Arkansas and its finally fall. Mid 80s in the day, 60-70s at night. How cool before I need to cover them? Should I make them a little green house?

Any advice would be appreciated.


-- Kathleen (krob777@msn.com), October 03, 2000


I have never raised watermelons, however, my gut tells me that when the temps start to drop towards the low 50's, get them babies under cover at night. You might harvest some yet!

-- Judi (ddecaro@snet.net), October 04, 2000.

Hi Kathleen, Black Dimond watermelon will grow thruogh the late summer to harvest in the fall, sounds like yours are not big enuogh to harvest, so I dont realy know. Good luck. Lisa

-- Lisa Hopple (hopplehomestead@safezone.net), October 09, 2000.

Hi! I live in central Ok and get that every year. Fall watermelons. The first year, they died. Then I tried wrapping them in newspaper and laying newspaper on the ground underneath them. If it got too cold, we covered them with a blanket. Although they didn't grow very much bigger, they do ripen and we have enjoyed them every year since.

-- Cindy in OK (cynthiacluck@yahoo.com), October 09, 2000.

Well, we covered them with blankets last night since it was down to 20. I'll have to try putting the newspaper underneath. I was going to make a little greenhouse with a clear shower curtain but haven't yet. But so far so good. How do I know when they are ripe if they stay small?

-- Kathleen (krob777@msn.com), October 09, 2000.

Dear Kathleen: I live in Seattle Washington and have grown small "icebox" varieties of watermelon and cantelope successfully for the last five years even with our cool weather and cooler nights. We harvest ripe melons through the month of September when temperatures head down into the low 40's at night. The vines start to die back but as long as they have a little life in them they seem to support the ripening fruit. The more heat the better though, so a plastic cover and blankets at night would be great. To tell if watermelon is ripe find where the stem that is attached to the melon joins the larger vine. Here there will be a joint that will have leaves and a tendril growing out of it. Check the tendril. If your melon is ripe the tendril will be brown and withered. Your melon will also develop a "sun spot" or a light area on the underside of it as it ripens. Hope this helps some. Happy gardening, SLP

-- Sara Perry (JPerry1218@aol.com), October 10, 2000.

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