Author Topic: Watermelon seed leaf size  (Read 109 times)

Lauren

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Watermelon seed leaf size
« on: 2020-04-20, 08:25:57 PM »
Does anyone know if seed leaf size is significant to the size of the eventual watermelon? I have two distinct seed leaf sizes and I'm trying to eliminate the descendants of the Sugar Baby from my watermelon landrace. They grow very slowly but are usually the first to get male blossoms (therefore cross pollinate) and the fruit comes on very late.

Woody Gardener

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Re: Watermelon seed leaf size
« Reply #1 on: 2020-04-21, 06:46:36 AM »
Does anyone know if seed leaf size is significant to the size of the eventual watermelon? I have two distinct seed leaf sizes and I'm trying to eliminate the descendants of the Sugar Baby from my watermelon landrace. They grow very slowly but are usually the first to get male blossoms (therefore cross pollinate) and the fruit comes on very late.

A quick aside. Sugar Baby was the first watermelon I grew because it was so over hyped by the seed companies. After I tried other melons I quickly dropped SB as worthless in my garden.

Ferdzy

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Re: Watermelon seed leaf size
« Reply #2 on: 2020-04-21, 07:53:56 AM »
I suspect you don't want to hear this, but I think the answer is, not really. I mean, I think there is some correlation, but it will be masked by the fact that there is also a fair bit of variation between seedling plants of the same variety.

And yeah, I do not get the love for Sugar Baby. Small Shining light is a similar watermelon and way, way better - a few days later but a sturdier plant, bigger melons, and they keep well, unlike Sugar Baby. I think Sugar Baby is famous for it's fame, basically.

Is there a way you can plant your two different leaf sizes in two different spots? I've found even a hundred feet, with other vegetables in between, has had no cross-pollination over several years. I did have a bird (?) MOVE A SEED once, which buggered up that year completely, but other than that it's been fine.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Watermelon seed leaf size
« Reply #3 on: 2020-04-21, 09:43:52 AM »
Yeah, the answer is probably maybe but not really. I've seen a correlation between seed size and leaf size (at least in seedling stage), but that is not helpful.

Your best bet would be to just stop saving seeds from any fruits that match SB. You won't stop pollen flow,  but eventually after a few seasons most will be gone.

SB is ok, nothing too interesting. The real one that does not live up to its hype (at least in my climate) is Blacktail Mountain. Not cold tolerant,  does not grow well,  not tasty. Hasn't been grown in Idaho or northern climates by the original breeder in over 10 years,  so its lost whatever made it unique. It probably grows well in the southern US where most seed companies produce it.

Lauren

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Re: Watermelon seed leaf size
« Reply #4 on: 2020-04-21, 01:03:46 PM »
Thanks. These all came from the same size seed, so no correlation there. I haven't been keeping seeds from anything with a small melon since the first year, but I'm still ending up with a majority small melons.

I think I'll put the small leaved melons in front of the house and the others in the back. If there turns out to be a correlation, I'll make sure I come back and let you know!