Blackwelder column: Answers on watermelons; tomato problems

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2012

SALISBURY — Cooperative Extension still receives a number of homeowner questions via phone and e-mail despite the waning growing season. The recent rains always create problems, but this period is generally slower than most, still, horticultural problems do occur. Below are a few questions that you may have pondered.
Q: To Seth Nagy, agent in Caldwell County — How do you tell when watermelons are ready to pick?
A: The clues I look for when picking a watermelon from the garden are the light green curly tendrils on the stem where the vine attaches to the melon will turn brown and dry; the melon will lose its shiny color and become dull; the skin becomes tough and feels rough; and the bottom of the melon, where it touches the soil, will turn a yellowish color. I’ve never had much luck with thumping melons. Maybe I am just tone deaf.

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