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Watermelon Cracking??

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

What causes watermelons to crack and is there a way to prevent it or reduce the risks of it happening? We've had a couple of larger Clemson Sweet melons crack and get destroyed by ants and birds in the past couple of weeks. We had rain last Friday night (about 1/2") but not had any significant rain since. The temps are above 100 daily and we water almost every night because of the heat.

Thumbnail by stephanietx
Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

When you water them every night are you watering deeply or just a little with the hose? Your problem sounds like what typically happens when it's real dry and then suddenly there's a good rain. This will also happen with cantaloupes, tomatoes and other similar crops.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

We actually only water every other day and then we water deeply. I have a feeling, though, that it has something to do with the rain and hot temps.

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

stephanietx,
I've been gardening for almost 40 years and I've noticed that nothing can beat rain water. When we have a very hot, dry summer as we have this year, we water faithfully but my garden never looks as good as it does if it gets sufficient rain. I do believe the plants don't like all the chemicals found in our "drinking" water. We've been keeping our cantaloupes and tomatoes watered too but they're still splitting this year. These kinds of things really make me appreciate all the trials and tribulations of the farmers.

Franklin, TN

Nature lover, I agree about rain water. I have irrigation but I also catch rain water (from gutters) for use in problem areas and NOTHING works as well. Everything is splitting this year - watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes. I try to catch them as soon as it happens.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm on a well so no additives in my water. Just a little rain perks my plants up, they never look that good, no matter how long I water them. My watermelon plants aren't producing, they are still small and the seeds were sown in April-May. Very strange year.

Plantersville, TX(Zone 9a)

I remember years when it would rain so much, the gardens would flood, & the plants would drown. People used to lose their gardens. So I have elevated my plants,, & this year it did not rain very much at all. Texas had a very dry summer. I had a melon the size of a lemon, but it was sweet & tasty. The vines are growing & flowering but no more melons. I guess I need more fertilizer.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I'll be lucky if I get a ripe watermelon before frost.

No Central, AZ(Zone 7b)

I have only two watermelon plants from seed planted in March and planted in straw bales. I also have one volunteer (from compost?) beeween two peppers. I have some melons on each of the three plants, of varying sizes, but how do I know when they are ready to be cut?

I was watering the veggies deeply every other day when we had our cooler than avg summer days (jul-Aug avg is 99). This week we had 105 to 118 so I was up at 5:30-6:00am watering deeply.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I tell if they are ripe by seeing if the bottom is turning yellow and the stem starts to dry up.

No Central, AZ(Zone 7b)

Hmm, The top is starting to turn yellow. No dry stem, but found soft spot so will cut it off today and check others that are largish.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

When you cut it open do you mind posting what you found inside. Just wondering

No Central, AZ(Zone 7b)

Well, the melons are not so great inside or out! I have had 2 that just turned soft on the vine while still undersized. Here are the 2 I picked. The tops had soft yellow spots.

Thumbnail by quiltygirl
No Central, AZ(Zone 7b)

There was the small yellow spot indicating it was ripe on the bottom, where it sat on the straw.

Thumbnail by quiltygirl
No Central, AZ(Zone 7b)

This is what the inside looked like with the larger watermelon. Funny little swirls. The 'meat' was mostly too light and a lot of it mushy with lots of seeds clustered. Maybe the seed clusters mean it was supposed to get bigger, but the seed package said 8-12 lbs and I guess that is what they were. The package also describe the exterior as dark. I need a produce/kitchen scale. The deep red part was actually very tasty - just not enough of it. Wonder if I should go ahead and cut the other 2 good ones off, even though they are smaller and striped. I have 2 plants in one bale that I planted from seeds and another bale, with pepper plants, has a volunteer growing which, I am guessing, came from the compost. That is likely from a commercially grown melon, so do not know what size the melon growing there should be. All 3 plants have tons of vine and new vines too. New flowers also to be pollinated.

Thumbnail by quiltygirl
cairo, Egypt(Zone 9a)

I'm planting watermelons under mango trees, I've always done that and had great results, except this year. Apart from cracking, which I heard is due to irregular watering, which is not the case here, I'm having another problem. The fruits are not sweet and they're kind of mushy inside. Is this due to over watering? Some element deficiency such as calcium?
It's very disappointing to slice open a beautiful looking watermelon on a hot day, only to find it bland and mushy.

Colorado County, TX(Zone 8b)

Too much water. They will pretty much grow in a desert.

This message was edited Jun 26, 2013 4:37 PM

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