Citrullus lanatus (100 days) Open-pollinated. Once feared extinct, this now-famous watermelon became a cause célèbre for the Seed Savers Exchange. Released by Peter Henderson & Co. as Sun, Moon and Stars in 1926, it was popular in the ’30s before fading into obscurity for almost fifty years. Seed Savers Exchange co-founder Kent Whealy found it again in 1981 after a four-year search and his son Aaron supplied us with our original seed when he was just 12 years old. We still get our seed from Aaron and he continues to re-select this stunner to showcase its celestial beauty. Dark green skin has beautiful yellow spots which range in size from little peas (the stars) to a silver dollar or larger (the moon). Sweet (9.7% Brix) somewhat grainy pink flesh, and such a looker! Spotted foliage, actually a product of a virus found in the breeding lines, looks unhealthy to the uninitiated. Because it needs a lot of heat to set fruit, it poses a challenge worthy of the Maine melon-grower’s mettle. ②
1072 Moon and Stars - Organic
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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.