What watermelon varieties are you growing this year?

gt3cornMarch 24, 2011

I was wondering what varieties of watermelon people are planting/planted this year. I will be growing a basic kinda list consisting of:

Crimson Sweet

Moon and Stars

Jubilee

Sugar Baby.

Thanks

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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Sangria
Raspa
Carmen
Klondike Striped Blue Ribbon
Ole
Sweet Slice Plus
Gold Strike
Truck Buster [for brag]

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 10:22PM
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gt3corn

Thanks for your post, wow! I thought I knew all the watermelons out there until u proved me wrong. Only one I know from that list ARE Gold Strike, Truck Buster and Ole. Great list there Wayne.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 10:32PM
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stuffradio

I might do one like Jade star or Blacktail Mountain.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 11:45PM
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lucille(Houston)

Shiny Boy

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 8:27AM
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rayrose(8)

Orangeglo, Gold Strike, Florida Giant, AU Producer, Mountain Hoosier, Yellow Belly Black Diamond, Jubilee,
Greystone, Big Stripe, Legacy.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:52AM
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brookw_gw

I love Yellow Doll. Enjoyed Golden Crown last year too so am planting more this year. Looking forward to trying Orangeglo. Will also plant standards: sangria, crimson sweet, and sugar baby.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:56AM
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wordwiz

Florida Giant and Sugar Baby. My first year of growing any type of melons.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 12:42PM
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bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

Cream of Saskatchewan. I can't resist the explosive rind gene element :).

Bellatrix

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 12:58PM
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riverdank(7)

I grew Shiny Boy last year and they were delicious! The best tasting melon I've grown. I've got some Georgia Rattlesnake seeds, but I think I'm going to order more Shiny Boys. Perfect size not to big not to small!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:36PM
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sportsman1

Yellow Doll...Mickylee.....Legacy....Sweet Beauty....Pasha....Orange Julius....Yellow Bird....
Crimson Sweet

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 3:06PM
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gt3corn

Thanks for you posts everyone! Good lists. We have all shapes and sizes covered here! Looking forward to see the reports in Summer of how they did.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 4:25PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Yellow Doll
Dixie Queen

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 4:55PM
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farmerdill

I am only adding two trial varieties this year; Vista and Leanca. I will have about 14 repeats from past years.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dill's watermelons

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 7:37PM
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gt3corn

Farmerdill, my watermelon inspiration! lol Always appreciate your input and I went through all the photos, WOW! It's amazing at the amount of varieties you have successfully grown, love the pictures.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:20PM
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lucille(Houston)

Riverdank I'm delighted with your post. I have a few other melons planted but only one watermelon, and by your experience I chanced on picking a decent one.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:21PM
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margaretmom(6)

Just Crimson Sweet. This is my first time trying to grow watermelon!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 11:12PM
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neohippie(8b)

I'm just growing Moon and Stars this year.

It's only my second year growing watermelons. Last year I grew Blacktail Mountain and was not impressed. I only got three edible melons, and one of them rotted in the fridge before I got a chance to eat it (never even cut it open before it went squishy). I also had a problem with them splitting, maybe because they have such a thin rind.

So I traded the rest of my seeds away on GWeb and decided I'd just go with more "classic" melon varieties, since it's not like I have a problem with a short growing season or anything. I also would like a melon with a thicker rind, because I hope that means it will be sturdier and last longer, and also I like making watermelon rind pickles.

I do have a problem with room, though, which is why I'm only growing a few plants at a time. I think I'm going to let my watermelons ramble outside the garden and into my yard.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 12:46PM
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quilt_mommy(5/6 Northeast Ohio)

This is going to be my first year growing watermelons, sugar babies. Growing these mostly for my daughter who loves watermelons, so I really hope they do well. :)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 1:26PM
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bsntech(5b)

I'm also trying Crimson Sweet since the U of I recommends it for Central Illinois.

I grew a watermelon well over a decade ago at my parents house. Took the seed from one that we got at the supermarket and planted it - and got about a six-inch round melon.

So, trying watermelon again for the first time - hopefully we'll get something out of it. I plan to start about 7 seeds indoors in another few weeks and I need five to come through.

I'd rather grow the non-hybrid seed so I can save it. Sure - it may not taste as good - but then I don't have to buy seed again.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden Blog

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 9:18PM
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dapper

Cream of Saskatchawen
Sugar Baby
Sangria
White Sugar Lump
Sweet Siberian
Blacktail Mountain
Tendersweet
Ali Baba
Royal Golden
Gold Baby

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 9:37PM
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tracydr(9b)

Ali baba and some seeds I saved from a farmers market melon which the grower said was OP but I have no idea what variety.
Tell me about Ali baba? I've tried melons three times, have yet to produce a single fruit for various reasons. I should do great in AZ once I figure it out. I'm not giving up!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 11:56PM
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gt3corn

A lot of people have said Ali Baba is the best tasting watermelon out there. It's a heavy producer with good sized melons, very strong vine.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 10:34AM
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tracydr(9b)

I'm glad to hear Ali baba is a good one. I'm in Phoenix and want one that doesn't scorch in the sun, although I can provide plenty of water. I'd also like a thick rind to make pickles.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 10:39AM
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gt3corn

Here is the link to the first people over here to have Ali Baba. Reviews are below the description.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ali Baba

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 11:00AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I tried Ali Baba in 2003 in two locations. The melons grew to nice size. However, none of mine were sweet or tasty.
Perhaps it is better grown in desert conditions and/or when people say it is the best, what do they have to compare it with?

Ali Baba is nearly identical in looks to Charleston Gray which also is a good grower, but just does not measure up in taste and texture to some later varieties in my opinion....with just that one year as a trial.

Raising garden watermelons is my favorite thing in the gardens so I am getting very discriminating when it comes to watermelons.

Why was/is Baker creek so infatuated with Iraqi things...I have a hunch. Yes, I take their magazine and they are admirable in some ways.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 1:02PM
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gardengal19

BLACKSTONE watermelon - Dark green, red flesh, thick rind suitable for pickles....85 days
Their biggest in 2010 was 48 lbs.

Purchased from Sand Hill Preservation Center

General planting instructions for watermelons.
Plant after danger of frost - or start indoors 2 weeks prior to set out.
Most varieties do best if you have a hill of 3 plants every 6 to 8 feet.
Blacktail Mountain can be planted closer.

This is my first time growing watermelons so I'm not sure what will happen. I want a thick rind to make pickles and Blackstone was recommended - keeping my fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 9:49PM
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bomber095(z5b MA)

Yellow mini tiger hybrid from Totally Tomato, and Sugar Baby (for pollination)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 11:28AM
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mister_gin(z9 AZ)

tracydr,

Charleston Gray will not sunburn here. Desert King shouldn't either. Charleston Gray usually does pretty good for me but last year nothing including Desert King grew well. I attribute this to using store bought bagged manure which is something I never used before. Because of this last years plants just never looked healthy to me.

Any way, here is this years grow list:

Black Diamond
Charleston Gray
Crimson Sweet
Desert King
Orange Tendersweet
Sugar Baby

All but the Orange Tendersweet has sprouted. I planted them in about a 3 foot circle this year so my spacing is kind of close. I expect (or hope) to have vines all over the place. We shall see...

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 2:08PM
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tracydr(9b)

Hmm. Well, I got the Ali Baba from Southern Seeds because they said it was drought and heat tolerant. I'll hope for the best!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 2:11PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Only growing a couple of Grover Delancy plants this year. I grew about 10 different kinds of watermelons a couple of years ago, and these were the sweetest w/least seeds. Blacktail Mountain would be my second choice for the earliness.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 12:27AM
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stargazer943(8bTX)

Just going to try Moon and Stars too :-)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 12:41AM
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keen101

I went all out this year in an attempt to get at least 1 good watermelon this year. We have a short season here, so watermelon aren't known for being grown here. So, i decided i wanted to try and change that.

I'm attempting to start my own watermelon landrace this year. It's basically a darwinian approach. Whatever survives survives, whatever dies dies, and whatever is left and produces viable seeds is that much closer to being adapted to my local weather, pests, soil, etc.

I can't remember all the varieties i added to the mix, but i dont expect most of them to make it before the snow. I'll be happy if i get 1 good melon. I will save seeds for next year, so they will be that much closer to becoming adapted here. I mixed all the seeds together in a mass cross in hopes they all cross polinate each other. Here's the list as best i can remember:

Blacktail Mountain
Yellow Doll
Crimson Sweet
Sugar Baby
Desert King
Ali Baba
Orangelo
Sangria Hybrid
Densuke
Santo Domingo Winter
Art Combe Red-Seeded
Hopi Red. "Kawayvatnga'
Hopi Yellow? (not sure)
Jemez
Mayo
Navajo Red-seeded
Navajo Winter Watermelon
San Juan
Tohono O'odham Yellow Meated
Black Diamond
Bozeman
Chareston Grey
Chelsea
Chris Cross
Congo
Cream of Saskatchewan
Golden Midget
Moon and Stars
Black Seeded Ice Cream
Tom Watson? (not sure)
Stone Mountain
I think a few more as well.

Wish me luck. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: http://biolumo.com

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 3:49PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

For a follow-up: I hand pollinated a yellow Doll today......hope it takes.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 5:09PM
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thisisme(az9b)

farmerdill I have looked and looked and can't find anyone selling AU Sweet Scarlet. At Cornell's site it lists Willhite Seed as a source but its not in their online catalog. Their Garden Watchdog reputation is bad though so I probably would not order from them even if they did have them. I would like to grow some of these next year. Any idea where I could acquire some AU Sweet Scarlet seeds?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 5:34PM
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OrchidOCD

I'm really trying to grow Sugar Baby Bush (trellised) but as soon as the seeds germinate something eats them! They've been eaten 3 times now, so my next tactic is to start them inside under lights, give them a week or two to get true leaves and then try planting them out. Oh well - at least my Minnesota Midgets are growing well (we seem to have jumped right from late spring to mid/late summer weather wise here in NoVA).

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 7:42PM
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candogal(5b)

Sugar Baby
Blacktail Mtn
Golden Midget

What do people like for short growing seasons (watermelons or other melons)? Last year was my first year trying melons. We got 1 Sugar Baby watermelon (gosh, was it good - so exciting). The Minnesota Midgets and Passport melons did ok, though - got a few of those. New Hampshire really isn't melon country.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 9:57PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I like Yellow Doll for an early watermelon. A good one is good to the rind and that rind is great to scrape too.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 10:24PM
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rayrose(8)

Thisisme,

Send me a self addressed stamped envelope, and I'll send
you some seeds that I have.

Ray

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:08AM
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kari_newgardener(9)

I'm growing Moon and Stars (hubby picked this one out for us to grow) and Desert King because it's drought-resistant and we're in the middle of a huge drought this year in Texas. First year growing watermelon. I'm so excited. I have two plants of each and just saw my first female blossom today!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Blog

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:07AM
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thisisme(az9b)

Thank you Ray. Email sent.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 1:11PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'm growing Sorbet Swirl from Johnny's Seeds. I've never had luck with melon, hopefully I can change that.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 1:31PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

They are munching away on my Sugar Baby, Black Diamond, and
Charleston Gray

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 1:45PM
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regina_phalange

Just sugar babies...picked the seedlings up on a whim (read: my children begged for them) from a local organic farm.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:45PM
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tracydr(9b)

I'm growing Ali Baba and Desert King. Just saw the first female blossom on Desert King this AM. I planted late, around May 10.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:26PM
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tomato247

I am growing Congo and Crimson Sweet. I went out to the garden this morning and found my first two little babies. I am so excited! We live in an area with very few bee's if non at all I hand pollinated the first two. Is there a such thing as too much pollen on them? How would I know if the hand pollinating worked? As you can see from my questions I am a beginnner. I look forward to your thoughts.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 2:48PM
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KMKacan

Sugar Baby over here in Southern California!

Happy Gardening All,
-Kristina K.

Here is a link that might be useful: Urban Farm Wife

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 3:03PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

tomato 247, No, I don't think there is such a thing as too much pollen. I suppose that there is such a thing as brushing too long and hard on the female blossoms.

I have been hand pollinating too. There does seem to be the usual lack of pollinators for the first flush of blooms...bees, ants, small flies, and dreaded cuke beetles.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 6:52PM
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pitcom(7a)

I am growing,

Orangelo
Ali baba
Sugar baby

I have heard so many good things about the orangelo and ali baba. I am really looking forward to these.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 7:41PM
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tracydr(9b)

Desert King has four babies growing! Ali Baba still just has male blossoms but the musk melons and cantaloupes only have male blossoms too so it's still early.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:49PM
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lucille(Houston)

It is a hot horrible summer as usual. But I'm in the AC and digging into a chilled half of incredibly sweet Shiny Boy. I grew other melons but because of space considerations only one watermelon, and I picked the right one.
Mmmmmm.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 5:45PM
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keen101

Just thought I'd post a quick follow-up.

I actually got some ripe melons this year. Most of them were tiny though. Maybe i planted too many close together. Oh, well. It was still fun.

It's been hard to identify which ones did the best, since i planted them all landrace style (And hoping for some to cross). Anyway, the best red variety goes to Blacktail Mountian by far. I had a few other reds, but i don't know what varieties. Some of the reds seemed like they were struggling to ripen though too.

Whats surprising is that i got quite a few yellow ones. And i'm not sure if it was my imagination or not, but the yellow ones seem to be able to ripen much easier than the reds. Plus they tasted better. I had three different yellow varieties (because they all had different sized and colored seeds).

Yellow-Doll is a strong possibility. Hopi Yellow is another. Tohono O'odham Yellow Meated? Desert King? (i dont think i saw any Desert King based on pictures of the rind, but who knows) Maybe even Orangelo, but i only saw yellow, not orange.

The worst melon was "Malali" (or possibly "Osh Kirgizia", but i think it was "Malali". It was a splitter! Not only that, but they kept splitting way before they were ripe! It had very distinctive pattern on rind. Very round. Will not grow this type again.

Still if i had to recommend two varieties for Northern or Colorado gardens, they would be Blacktail Mountain and Yellow Doll. (i still suspect the yellows ripen better).

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:58AM
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beacivil1(8a/8b NW Austin, Tx)

I grew sugar baby watermelons this year. Although I lost one to bugs, I have harvested three sweet and juicy watermelons over the summer and have two more that are getting close to picking. Between hand pollenating and some bees I've seen in the flowers, there has yet to be any more takers, so these two might be my last for the year.

Either way, not bad for only two vines- one in each of my square foot garden beds.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 10:35AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

It was a terrible year in my home gardens this year because of disease. The melons were growing and growing in size til one day...wham!...the mature vine decline hit. I also had herbicide damage from the corn field to the north, but healthy plants come out of that shortly.

My little patch of three plants in the virgin soil fence row where disease pressure is small grew very well and I brought in 3 large Raspas...34, 27, and 28 pounds from the two Raspas, and the other plant had a 40, 34, and two more I did not harvest.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:11PM
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brookw_gw

Overall, for an incredibly difficult growing season, I can't complain on my harvests. As usual, the Crimson Sweets and Sugar Babies were productive and good--tho smaller than average. I enjoyed a good harvest of Sangrias, but the floods, weeds,and drought did not allow the Black Diamonds to mature to their fullest. Still ended up with several hundred pounds of them. By far, the best successes were Yellow Doll and Orangeglo. I am still picking and selling these. I can't keep them in stock!! This will be the last year for Golden Crown. They're good, but they fail to size up well.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:50PM
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