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Old February 14, 2012   #1
DuckCreekFarms
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Default Sweetest Watermelon

I am tinkering with the idea of growing some melons for the farmer's market this year. I need some that are not too big and very sweet. Any suggestions from personal experiance?

Also looking for suggestions for the sweetest and tastiest cantalopes.

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Old February 14, 2012   #2
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A week or two ago, I happened to stumble on a Wisconsin State Univ. webpage that has many of the answers you seek. Doesn't cover any larger melons, just midsize and down. Doesn't cover all that many midsize either. Tendersweet is MIA, for example.

Thought I was never going to be able to find it again:

http://agsyst.wsu.edu/watermelonphotos.html
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Old February 14, 2012   #3
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From growing a LOT of watermelons, there are not many that have superb flavor.

Yellow Moon & Stars
Ledmon
Luscious Golden
Whitley's Yellow Popper

Of the above, Yellow Moon & Stars and Ledmon are the best overall, but both of them average weight is about 32 pounds. Luscious Golden is a bit smaller maybe 25 pounds


Susan Healy is an excellent cantaloupe.

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Old February 14, 2012   #4
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Just did a quick page search of that page. 7 varieties with Brix above 11, another 5 Brix above 12, and Treasure Chest, a seedless yellow-flesh triploid hybrid, with a whopping 13.0.

Orangeglo shows up as 10.7 which is still quite respectable, better than Crimson Sweet. Farmerdill likes it, but likes Tendersweet better.

I'm not real good with watermelon... yet. I've gotten decent performance from Charleston Grey, which I still love muchly from my youth, but in the city, children (and some adults) always try to steal watermelon before it's even ripe, which is why I refuse to grow it in the meetinghouse garden. If Buhl corn is a raccoon magnet, watermelon is a magnet for bandits of the two-legged kind.
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Old February 14, 2012   #5
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Our biggest predator for watermelon is coyotes. I tried the yellow moon and stars once, but it may have not been the best season as It wasn't very sweet to me, but I may give it another trial. I think I got the seeds from Baker's Creek.... However the coyotes adored it and I barely had a couple to taste. I'm planting in a different location this year and I hope the coyotes won't be a problem.

I'm going to check out the Susan Healy

thanks
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Old February 14, 2012   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petronius_II View Post
A week or two ago, I happened to stumble on a Wisconsin State Univ. webpage that has many of the answers you seek. Doesn't cover any larger melons, just midsize and down. Doesn't cover all that many midsize either. Tendersweet is MIA, for example.

Thought I was never going to be able to find it again:

http://agsyst.wsu.edu/watermelonphotos.html
thanks for sharing the website, It will give some interesting reading
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Old February 14, 2012   #7
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Yeah thanks! That is by far the best resource for watermelons that I have ever seen!
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Old February 15, 2012   #8
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Osh Kirgizia and Cream of Saskatchewan did quite well for me this [last] year here in lower Michigan.

What ever you do, don't plant Cream of Saskatchewan and White Wonder beside each other... you can't really tell them apart.
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Old February 15, 2012   #9
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I've found Watermelon to vary so much with location and season - when living in Pennsylvania, the Moon and Stars I grew were the best melon I ever had - they were a round, large, white seeded strain (pink flesh). I've tried them here in my NC garden, and they aren't nearly as good - but the yellow fleshed Moon and Stars was delicious - both are bigger than what you are looking for.

At the Raleigh Farmers Markets, we tend to go for Sugar Babies - like a black bowling ball, not all that large, but really delicious. Most are now growing seedless melons, which used to be pretty awful, but last year someone carried a small to medium sized seedless orange flesh that was really spectacular.
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Old February 15, 2012   #10
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I have actually ordered the Cream of Saskatchewan from Sand Hill and looking forward to trying it. It sounded so much like the Icecream watermelon mentioned in another thread except it has black seeds. I would love to try that one if anyone ever finds a source.

Yes, the way our farmer's market is set up, the customers have to carry their purchases a distance making heavy things not as desirable. I have noticed that the smaller or icebox types seem to do well. ....I wouldn't mind trying a seedless one, but I have heard so much differing opinions on their culture, that I am not sure if I should...
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Old February 15, 2012   #11
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Two that I've grown personally and would recommend are:

Orangeglo
Strawberry


Both are very sweet with crisp flesh. Orangeglo being my favorite of the two. Good size, outstanding flavor and gorgeous deep orange color.
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Old February 16, 2012   #12
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I have Orangeglo on order, I will look into strawberry
thanks
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Old February 17, 2012   #13
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The amish around here grow ambrosia and goddess musk melons, they are divine. I've grown the ambrosia for years when I have room. I also like orangeglo for watermelon, but have given up growing them here for the most part unless one of the kids wants to work on it. I just don't get enough product from the space needed verses other things I can grow like tomatoes, peppers, onions, greens, etc. So I will let the amish grow my melons for now, they do a great job, and not expensive.
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Old February 17, 2012   #14
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Thank Lurley I see that Holmes seed company in Canton OH has both of those listed.
gary
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Old February 17, 2012   #15
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Orangeglow is one of the best tasting sweet watermelons I have ever grown. I have grown it for the past seven years. It always does well in my zone 4 garden. I start the seeds six weeks before transplanting outside.

As for Cream of Saskatchewan, I also grow this every year, but it is not a real sweet watermelon. It has a fresh crisp lightly sweet taste..But we still love it.

I have grown Blacktail Mountain a couple of years, It was a really good producer of 8-10# melons, but could never get it to get the red stage it is suppose to get..even when fully ripe it stayed more of a pinkish red, and the flavor was not that sweet for us..

For melons, I grow Petit Gris de Renne, It is a smaller melon averaging around 2-3#. The taste is sweet rich and outstanding.very fragrant smell.. Love it!!

The Charentais melon is another super sweet small #3 melon, very fragrant and wonderfu..

Heard great things about the taste of Ambrosia.. Will have to try sometime..

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