Author Topic: Ontario Gold Watermelon  (Read 172 times)

Ferdzy

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Ontario Gold Watermelon
« on: 2020-06-20, 09:43:38 AM »
Since I've started the process of seeing if this can be registered with OSSI, I guess this is the place to post about what I'm calling Ontario Gold watermelon. Some of you may know that we've been crossing Golden Midget with other watermelons and growing out their offspring for a number of years now, and we are starting to have some good and consistent results. This is likely ((Golden Midget x Crimson sweet) x (Golden Midget x Grover Delaney)) F4. We planted 3 spots (2-3 seeds) of each of the 9 best watermelons from last year. Here's what they looked like a week ago - I think they are about 50% larger but otherwise look a lot like this now:

Andrew Barney

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Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« Reply #1 on: 2020-06-21, 08:20:24 AM »
Good job. Excited for this project.

Ferdzy

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Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« Reply #2 on: 2020-07-08, 11:10:46 AM »
Noticed the first watermelon forming today. It's very hard to check because the vines are now so thick I have to really want to search for them, and I don't! It is so unspeakably hot. So far everything looking good, but for a few minor virus-spots which I am ignoring.

Bill, are you growing these? How are they doing?

reed

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Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« Reply #3 on: 2020-07-08, 11:36:29 AM »
I'm convinced a lot of the weird colors and wonderful flavor in my melon mix originated from Ferdzy seeds. I don't worry about selecting for a particular color myself.  I have too much fun not knowing till I chop one open.

Ferdzy

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Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« Reply #4 on: 2020-07-08, 11:57:37 AM »
Ha, I'll tell Mr. Ferdzy. That was more his mix. I went down the rabbit hole chasing after the golden-when-ripe gene. He's looking forward to this project finishing and having a more eclectic mix again.

Ferdzy

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Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« Reply #5 on: 2020-07-12, 02:12:38 PM »
Here we are about a month out from that first picture. Plants have, uh, filled out a bit. There are a few relatively large melons forming (like, 3, I think) but mostly the vines are full of male flowers and male flowers only. I think what happened is our heatwave/drought struck just as flowering started and they almost completely stopped producing female flowers in response. We've gotten a lot of rain the last couple days and it has cooled things off to a more reasonable 25C (about 75F) or so, so I hope we will get another wave of fruit forming in the next few days before it heats up again.

All three of the fruits forming seem to be the round ones, not the oval ones.

Ferdzy

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Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« Reply #6 on: 2020-07-14, 06:22:29 AM »
Well, happy to say I was wrong about there being three melons. I'm still a bit unimpressed by the numbers, but they are coming. And I should remember that every year I think there aren't that many and then the leaves start to subside a bit, and they breach like a big pod of whales.

Ferdzy

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Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« Reply #7 on: 2020-08-03, 08:30:54 PM »
Things are moving along. Oddly, there were just a handful of melons formed, then 2 weeks with nothing due to heat and drought, and then a second much larger wave of melons - both more of them, and they are already mostly bigger than the first ones. Here's some of them. That second one was one of the earliest ones, and looks like it will be ripe soon.


Andrew Barney

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Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« Reply #8 on: 2020-08-03, 10:53:11 PM »
Do you think if the early ones were separated they could push this population earlier and earlier? Would it be a worthy sub-project?

Ferdzy

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Re: Ontario Gold Watermelon
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 05:30:43 AM »
Andrew, earliness has been part of our goals since the beginning. In addition to improving the flavour and texture of the original Golden Midget, we wanted to keep it early and make it larger. To some degree there is a conflict there - it takes more time to make a bigger melon, generally. However, given that it isn't just the melon that turns yellow when ripe, it's the whole plant, I think there is an upper limit on size. Unless there was something really amazing about later melons - and there usually hasn't been - we've selected our seed melons from the first 12 to 16 to ripen each year.

When I think about it, there was only one "exception" and it wasn't really an exception. It was a melon that self-seeded (it's rare for watermelon seeds to survive a winter in the open garden here) and turned out to be exceptionally vigorous. It was late to form a fruit but since it germinated when it was ready in the garden, it was at least a month behind the ones I started in pots. It brought a tendency to a little more seediness that I like, but it increased the strength and resiliency of the whole project by a lot. Since that one, we seem to have stopped with the pots and just plant them out directly in the garden.

Normally really small melons like the very earliest this year would be discarded. Because I think their small size is environmental rather than genetic I am thinking we should leave them in for consideration anyway. They need to meet the usual standards of flavour, texture, and not excessive seediness as well, of course.