Thin-ended Watermelons

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GoDawgs
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Location: Zone 8a, Augusta GA

Thin-ended Watermelons

#1

Post: # 1684Unread post GoDawgs
Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:23 am

Last year's watermelons didn't make. But in 2017 I had great success with Georgia Rattlesnake. The first few were shaped like they should be and ripe from one end to the other.

Image

Then subsequent melons started growing with one very narrow end. The inside flesh on the narrow end never got ripe. In fact, maybe a third of this watermelon was useless:

Image

I can't find anything about this problem on line. Does anyone have any input on what's causing this? I don't think it's normal for this variety because the initial ripe melons were just fine. I tried Ali Baba and Stone Mountain last year and some virus or other problem killed them early. This year I think I'm going to try Tom Watson melons again. He was a locally famous politician way back when and they have a Tom Watson melon contest every year, not that I'll be entering! :lol:

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Shule
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Re: Thin-ended Watermelons

#2

Post: # 1772Unread post Shule
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:38 pm

[mention]GoDawgs[/mention]

Were there under-developed seeds in the smaller end? It could be incomplete pollination. Usually, the fruits look different than yours when that happens, though.
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet

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Shule
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Re: Thin-ended Watermelons

#3

Post: # 1773Unread post Shule
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:40 pm

How's your soil pH? I wonder if calcium levels or watering might have something to do with it.
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet

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Shule
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Re: Thin-ended Watermelons

#4

Post: # 1774Unread post Shule
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:42 pm

I wonder if growing watermelons with other cucurbits can result in issues like this. I mean they're closely related, but not likely to cross. So, maybe pollen from other cucurbits is getting in and just causing issues.
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet

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stone
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Re: Thin-ended Watermelons

#5

Post: # 12760Unread post stone
Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:33 pm

I've had the problem...
I think it's weather related...
Or... Possibly a result of the root knot nematodes.
As you are a neighbor.. Seems like our melons would be afflicted similarly.

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GoDawgs
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Re: Thin-ended Watermelons

#6

Post: # 13118Unread post GoDawgs
Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:51 am

That pointed end did have undeveloped seeds in it and the flesh wasn't nearly as ripe as the fat end.
Ph was OK.
The roots were free of nematodes when they were pulled up.
Maybe weather? The year before last the Rattlesnakes grew just fine. I will have to dig into my weather data for those two seasons and see if there's a clue.

Since I posted this I did find a clue in the catalog of a seed company that specializes in growing and breeding watermelons. Willhite Seed out in Texas. There was a line in just a few of their many catalog descriptions that mentioned that the variety was more resistant to thin-ended melons which result in lower marketable yields. So maybe thin ends happen in some varieties.

I'm still looking for more reasons. Meanwhile this year I'm trying Black Diamond for the first time and re-trying Stone Mountain which succumbed to some kind of disease issue.

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