(75 days) F-1 hybrid. “These are my 5-star melons,” says Jason Kafka. “The best watermelon ever in terms of reliable production and flavor,” seconds John Eisenstein of Port Royal, PA. In an August 2013 taste test CR loved their complex sweet butterscotchy flavor that rated a 10.4 Brix at WSU. In 2010 Heron picked his first ripe fruit on Aug. 6, a dozen days earlier than 2009. From mainland China, these 7x14" torpedo-shaped melons carry a payload of rich sweet flavor as their interior flesh ripens from yellow to orange. Thin dark green skins with black snakeskin markings resemble a dwarfed Giant Rattlesnake melon. Sets 4–6 fruits per plant, best picked before the tendrils totally wither, stored in a cool room for 24 hours before marketing, or 36–48 hours before eating. So early and productive, could benefit from a second succession planting. ③
1013 Gold Flower
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Citrullus lanatus1 gram packet about 20 seeds, sows 7 hills; 1⁄16 oz packet, packet about 40 seeds, sows 14 hills. 1 oz=about 670 seeds.
Culture: Harvesting watermelon at proper ripeness is an art. Thumping should produce a low, hollow sound. Spread thumb and forefinger and press hard on fruit. If you feel any give, watermelon is ripe. Don’t heed the traditional advice to wait for the closest tendril to brown—that may be too late. Minimum germination temperature 60°, optimal range 75–95°.