Patience is a Virtue when Growing Watermelons

Vegetable gardening is a love of mine and watermelons are one of my favorite fruits, so I have been trying to get some to grow in my garden. Readers of my blog may remember my posting about my love/hate relationship with my watermelon patch.  One thing I have learned is that when growing watermelons, patience is a virtue!

Growing Watermelons need time to mature. You have to be patient with this fruit

Image adapted from one at Wikipedia commons. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Photographer: Kumon

My experience with Growing Watermelons.

My watermelon patch that is spreading like crazy.  It seems to grow a few feet every day.  The darn thing was sprawling all over my garden with not a watermelon in sight until a while ago when it started producing in large numbers.  It has also really tested my gardening patience this year.

watermelons love sunlightNow, I will admit that I am not the most patient person on the planet.  Those born under the sign of Taurus seem to be genetically wired that way.  So, when those long awaited melons started approaching the magic 120 days to harvest date, I must admit I wanted to taste one. The fact that it was only 90 days didn’t seem to matter to me as I went out there with my secateurs.

I did the thump trick.  Tapped the big one and then tapped the little one. Yes, indeedy, it sure does sound like a thump.

Then I turned it over and examined the place where it sat on the ground.  Yellow is supposed to mean ripe and yellow I had.

Unripe waterlemonTwo out of two can’t be wrong, I thought, so I cut it off and proudly carried it to the house.

I think this one is ripe

The Thump Test

Apparently the “thump” test is difficult for less-gifted ears.  One cut into the melon proved to me that there must be another test that will be more accurate than these two, since this is what I got:

Dang it all, not even the seeds are ripe enough to save.

Something tells me that the 120 day rule might have been a good one to follow.

Patience is also virtue when it comes to picking watermelons, it seems.  After my disaster, I did some searching online to see if there were more tests and discovered that if the tendril is green, it is best to wait, and if a small crack appears in the stem just above the melon, it indicates that the fruit should be ripe.

It is a very good thing that I have nine more melons out there waiting for me.

Going to sit on my hands for a month, I think!

Are you a patient gardener?  Let me know in the comments below.

  2 comments for “Patience is a Virtue when Growing Watermelons

  1. Cheryl
    08/17/2014 at 8:51 pm

    We made the same mistake, the hollow thump seems elusive to me as well. Oddly enough I am a Taurus as well. I had heard about the tendril, but not the split in the vine. Thanks for the tip!!

    • admin
      08/17/2014 at 9:52 pm

      HI Cheryl. Glad to hear I am not the only one deaf to the thump~ Carol

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