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watermelon photo by J_D on Unsplash
Photo by J D on Unsplash

Watermelons are warm season fruits that grow on sprawling vines. Due to their vining habit, watermelons need lots of room and are not very well suited to small garden spaces. The plants have large leaves that protect the younger melons on the vine

Plant after danger of frost has passed. Side-dress with nitrogen fertilizer when vines begin to run. Fertilize well and keep soil moist at all times. Placing a mat of straw under the watermelon will prevent the bottom of the watermelon from rotting as it continues to grow.

Watermelons are long crops and mature in 70-100 days from seed. They can be grown from either seed or transplants. Young transplants are typically 21-28 days old. Transplants will produce watermelons 2-4 weeks earlier than watermelons planted by seed directly into the garden.

For the link for more information on how to grow watermelons.

We grow Black Diamond, Crimson Sweet and Sugar Baby Watermelons in our 1204 Vegetables size category. We grow Black Diamond, Crimson Sweet, Sugar Baby and Summer Flavor #720 Watermelons in our #4 Charley’s Vegetables size category. We also grow Watermelon in our #4 Peace Farm Organics size category.

Black Diamond Watermelon

watermelon black diamond charley's veggie vegetables
© 2023 WestRock

Black Diamond Watermelons are larger melons that range from 35-50+ pounds. The rind is tough and dark green-black in color while the flesh is bright red. It is an older heirloom variety and was popular with gardeners in the 1950’s due to their size and sweet flavor.

Plant in full sun 48″ apart in 8′ rows.

Black Diamond Watermelons mature in 75-85 days.

Harvesting Black Diamonds are the right time is tricky and can only be learned with some experience. Too early and the outer flesh will be firmer and not as sweet. Too late and the outer flesh will be ripe and the inner flesh over-ripe.

Crimson Sweet Watermelon

watermelon crimson sweet
© 2023 WestRock

Crimson Sweet Watermelons are a long-standing favorite summertime treat that are well known for their delicious, red flesh. The rind is marked by alternating dark green and light green stripes. The oval/round melons average 15-25 pounds. They are resistant to fusarium wilt and anthracnose.

 Plant in full sun 48-72″ apart in 6-8 foot rows.

Crimson Sweet Watermelons mature in 85 days.

Crimson Sweet was an All-American Select Winner in 1964.

Sugar Baby Watermelon

watermelon sugar baby charley's vegetables veggies
© 2023 WestRock

Sugar Baby Watermelon is a small variety of watermelon known as an “Icebox” watermelon. The melons average 6-8″ in diameter and 8-12 pounds. The rind is dark green to almost black and the flesh is rosy-red. Sugar Baby is an heirloom variety and is one of the sweetest watermelons grown.

Plant in full sun 36″ apart in 5-7 foot rows. It’s vines are not as vigorous as other watermelons.

Sugar Baby Watermelons mature in 85 days. Harvest when the rind is almost black.

They are an heirloom variety introduced in 1956.

Summer Flavor #720 Watermelon

summer flavor 720 watermelon Copyright © - LSU AgCenter
Copyright © LSU AgCenter

Summer Flavor #720 Watermelon has a light to medium green rind with narrow dark stripes surrounding bright red flesh. These melons are blocky and oblong and can reach 30 pounds. The vines are medium to large and have the potential for a high yield. They are also resistant to Anthracnose. 

Plant in full sun 48″ apart in 8′ rows.

Summer Flavor 720 matures in 85 days.

The Summer Flavor watermelons were Charley’s favorite. They are somewhat of a hidden gem as not a lot of home gardeners know about them.

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