Watermelons in the greenhouse.
Top row from left: My own F1 hybrid (Sugar Baby x White Seeded Besvirino Assyrian Watermelon), Skorospelyi Saharnyi, Ultra Skorospelyi.
Bottom row: All are the cultivar Bonanza
This year I decided to spend more space on the water melons in the greenhouse. Actually I would prefer to grow them outside, but it was not to be this year. I still have much to learn about watermelons, to understand them just roughly. Must they always be hand pollinated? Or do the bees just need to be presented enough watermelon flowers, so they learn to appreciate the taste of their nectar and pollen?
One thing I observed this year is that on the coldest days, my hand pollination did not succeed, on hot days a single attempt apparently was good enough. It might be a problem to achieve high enough temperatures for pollination outdoors.
I am also a little curious about female and male flowers sequence on the vine. It looks like some of the varieties and my own hybrid is early with the first female flowers, while other varieties may only bring a female flowers farther out on the vine. All varieties have been pretty quick to open the male flowers.
So far my own F1 hybrid is the earliest and has grown to the largest size. But it is far too early to guess which plant will be first to mature its fruit. I’ve only been able to get a single plant to set two watermelons, and the upper one is now virtually stalled in development, at the size of a tangerine. They tend to fall off before they reach that size if they do not develop, so I am curious what will happen. All the other plants have only set one watermelon each.
Thanks to all you kind garden friends who have send me watermelon seeds!