(82 days) Open-pollinated. When David Nonnenmacher of Hawley, PA, claimed his absolute beauties started at 15 lb and topped off at 26 and 28, he would perhaps forgive our skepticism. You couldn’t grow those in Maine, we thought, until Erica Rudloff of Exeter proved us wrong by exhibiting her magnificent 19-lb specimen at the 2015 Common Ground Fair. Bred by David Podoll of North Dakota to be intermediate between its parents, small early maturing Early Canada and enormous late-maturing Black Diamond, its skin light green with dark green stripes and its flesh red. A star in CR’s 2007 trials, maturing early and producing 8–12 lb fruits, 2–3 per plant. It has few seeds and stores longer than most others. Nonnenmacher reported its outstanding juiciness and flavor “drew raves from chefs and many fellow PASA members. I think I have them convinced that modern seedless watermelons not only leave out the seeds but also the flavor.” We have no difficulty believing that. OSSI. Seed purchased directly from the independent breeder.①
1035 Sweet Dakota Rose - Organic
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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°.