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Watermelons

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Consumers can find Mississippi-grown watermelons for their summer celebrations at stores and markets across the state, including these at the Byram Farmers Market in Byram, Mississippi, on June 27, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
June 30, 2017 - Filed Under: Watermelons

RAYMOND, Miss. -- A balance of timely rain and sunny skies is essential for large, sweet watermelons, but too much rain can wreak havoc on the melons and hit producers in the wallet.

Although most of Mississippi's watermelon crop is in good to fair condition, some producers are losing melons because of excess rain.

Emily Grace Barnette is ready to take this watermelon home from the Starkville Community Market on June 21, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 24, 2016 - Filed Under: Watermelons

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Watermelons need ample water to grow, but rains also contribute to disease pressure, and cloudy skies reduce the melons’ sweet taste.

David Nagel, a horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said dry conditions hurt the size of melons that were not irrigated, but their flavor should be excellent.

These watermelons at Charlie's U-Pik near Lucedale, Mississippi, are among the earliest in the state on June 3, 2015. The majority of Mississippi's 3,000 acres of commercial watermelons will be ripe the Fourth of July, but growers will be harvesting into August. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
June 19, 2015 - Filed Under: Watermelons, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

LUCEDALE, Miss. -- Mississippi watermelon growers battled frequent rains to get their crops planted and ready in time for the Fourth of July and other summer celebrations.

David Nagel, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most of the crop is smaller and later than normal.

“If the sun doesn’t shine, the leaves don’t make sugar, plants don’t grow and we have smaller watermelons,” Nagel said. “Recent sunny days are allowing some of the crop to catch up. Melons may still be small, but they will be sweet and firm, or crisp.”

Blueberries in this Hinds County yard are beginning to ripen on June 25, 2014. A cold winter and spring delayed blueberry maturity and harvest for growers throughout the state. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
June 27, 2014 - Filed Under: Watermelons, Fruit, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

JACKSON – Party planners may have a hard time finding Mississippi-grown watermelons and blueberries for July 4th celebrations this year.

Unfavorable weather slowed maturity and increased disease pressure for both crops. Much of the state’s blueberry crop is grown in south Mississippi, and most of its watermelons are grown in the southeast quarter of the state. Acreage for both crops remains steady. Blueberry producers grow about 2,700 acres, and watermelon growers have about 2,400 acres.

Although delayed by 2013 spring weather, these watermelons soon will be leaving the Chickasaw County field owned by Kayla and Curtis Martin, just in time for July picnic tables. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
June 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Watermelons, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians love Fourth of July watermelons, and the 2013 melon crop should be worth the wait after weather delays.

David Nagel, horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the biggest challenge has been the slow growth rate that caused some concern that the first melons might miss the holiday celebrations. The good news is that clear, sunny days with plenty of rain along the way have combined to produce large, tasty melons.

Watch

Picking the Perfect Watermelon July 5, 2015
Saturday, July 4, 2015 - 7:00pm

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