Statewide, growers in the Rio Grande Valley have been harvesting early varieties for a few weeks and should have plenty of melons for July 4. Other melon-producing areas, including the Texas Wintergarden area, Central Texas and East Texas should follow.
Stein, based in Uvalde, said producers avoided widespread pest issues and major diseases. This year’s biggest hurdle was sunshine.
“The amount of rain really won’t affect the flavor,” he said. “It’s the sunshine that matters. Cloudy weather slows growth, but the leaves can’t manufacture the sugar for the melon, so taste could be a problem on some early varieties if they haven’t been getting the sun they need.”
Collins said the region used to be home to more than 150 growers. This year, he’s aware of less than a dozen still operating.