Citrullus lanatus (87 days) F-1 hybrid. This variety bears the nickname of the U.S.-bound cargo trains that traverse Mexico, often with hopeful Central American migrant workers clinging atop, attempting the perilous journey to Los Estados Unidos. Despite being bred for Latin America, La Bestia’s early large yields and behemoth size will shatter at least some Northern preconceived notions.
An extra big and bulky elongated Sangria-type with intensely sweet deep red flesh, this beast rocked the scales at 15–20 lbs even in Maine’s cool slow-starting summer of 2019. Three monsters per plant were cut from thick rambunctious vines more akin to winter squash in vigor. Long keeping and shipping qualities result from a solid rind thickly swathed in dark green with thin light streaks. ④
1050 La Bestia
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1 gram packet about 20 seeds, sows 7 hills; 1⁄16 oz packet contains about 40 seeds, sows 14 hills. 1 oz contains 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°.
Diseases: ANTH: Anthracnose, F: Fusarium
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.