Truth be told, this baby was delivered, er…I mean harvested on October 30th. Watermelons are long gone at the farmers market which makes this gem a bit of an anomaly. I’m proud, I know. Farmers grow whole fields of these things and ship them all over the country. I grow one watermelon and I’m in complete awe.
It all started with a sample pack of Jubilee Watermelon Seeds. I planted one seed in my flower bed to see what would happen. That was back in June and it proceeded to grow a 2′ long vine. Sometime in July, it vanished. Toward the end of the month, we had some tropical activity and the withered little vine sprung to life, seemingly growing inches every day. By August, there were no watermelons and I was ready to get on with prepping the beds for fall planting. Little did I know, a watermelon the size of a football was hiding under all those vines.
Not knowing exactly when to harvest the watermelon and sensing that the cool weather would eventually do her in, I diligently checked her every day for readiness. Thumping only works if you have a keen ear and can compare the sound from early growth to the final stages. It did indeed change tone to a deeper bass sound. Another way to tell if they’re done is to check the spot that touches the ground. It will change from light green to pale yellow. This can be difficult with a watermelon this size. The third indicator of ripeness is to wait for the tendril opposite the watermelon vine to turn brown. This is exactly what happened with this watermelon.
Had the weather been warmer, I may have waited another day or two to harvest because the warmth of the sun makes watermelons sweeter, but I was getting increasingly nervous with the nighttime temperatures dipping into the 40’s. This watermelon did not disappoint! The interior could have been a little redder, but the flavor and juiciness were unbeatable. The total length was 19″ and it weighed in at 27 pounds, on the smaller side for a Jubilee. I have three more late comers on the vine that I’ll leave to see how they finish. In the meantime, We’re enjoying the last foreseeable watermelon feast of the year!