Watermelon Varieties?


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I am a new gardener and tried Sugar Baby Watermelon on a trellis since I was doing containers...but it only did 1 fruit on 3 vines and that one grew to softball size, when should have been small volleyball size. The vines all seem to dry out (even though I was good about watering) and had 50% shade cloth overhead for hot afternoon sun. I am now giving it another attempt in the ground this time (Sugar Baby again) and it looks healthy so far (2 months or so) too young for fruit yet, so crossing fingers.

Is there another smaller variety watermelon that we can try in the ground in lower South Carolina (Zone 8b) that doesn't have 30ft long vines? On a trellis is fine, but not liking the Sugar Baby since we aren't having an easy time of it so far. The garden does have some "space" for ground growing, but I just didn't want the standard watermelon with 30' vines.
 
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Meadowlark

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Have you tried one of the seedless varieties? They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Wonderful to eat.

My favorite is the Triple Crown. High yielding, excellent taste, and about 17-20 pounds. It's good to plant with a pollinator 4 to 1, that is up to 4 seedless to 1 pollinator.

I've grown a lot of melons over the years and this one is certainly at the top of the list for flavor.
 

Meadowlark

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Your post reminded me I needed to harvest some. Just picked these triple crowns. When you slice them the smell of flavor is amazing...and eating without spitting seeds is just grand!

watermellon triple crown wa.JPG
 
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Thanks Meadowlark. Is the Triple Crown an heirloom or modified? I am new to this but thought seedless anything has been modified to be seedless. The TC variety appears to be a ground grown for sure (too big for trellis) so I may have to prepare more ground area if I try this TCrown next spring.

Do you have any ideas why my Sugar Baby did do so well? Why they grew several feet long vines then started drying up in spots? Only 1 fruit and didnt grow to full size?
 

Meadowlark

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Yes, the TC is a hybrid that produces triploid seedless fruit. Your problem with the sugar babies could be several things...but I always start with water.

They need a lot of water, deep watering. Watermelons are made of 92% water, so make sure your plants stay well-watered.

Water the plant in the soil, rather than the leaves as much as possible, to help prevent fungal diseases.

Watermelon are heavy feeders and need lots of nutrients.

Do you see lots of bees for pollinating?


See the link below for a variety of watermelons...all shapes and sizes...seedless and heirloom.

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/watermelons/triploid-watermelons-seedless/
 
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Attaching images this time. This is the first attempt and in a 10 gal fabric container. I was pretty good about keeping the soil moist (I think). The 2nd attempt with same Sugar Baby is now in the ground so I am hoping will do better. I will have to try another variety too next spring. Do the leaves tell you anything? I did apply Daconil since I thought it could be fungal...but didnt seem to have any affect.
 

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What kind of soil mix is that?

I use chlorantholanil too but if the disease is in the soil and comes up through the roots it don't work, such as verticillium wilt which I have to deal with my tomatoes. But that kinda looks like a nutrient issue to me. @Chuck is pretty good at diagnosing those kinda things.
 
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Probably not a nutrient issue then unless the pH is way off which seems unlikely. Probably fungal, virus, or bacterial.
 

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