Tom Watson Watermelon (Heirloom, 90 Days )
Heirloom pre 1900. The Tom Watson Watermelon is a very large fruited variety, but well suited to short season areas because it matures in less than 90 days. Fruits are 2 feet across and 1 foot wide with weights from 25 to 40 pounds. The rind is green with darker green stripes, thin and hard. The flesh is sweet and red with brown and white seeds. The Tom Watson Watermelon is a popular, productive, home garden variety.
Germination: 4-10 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 70-85ºF
Seed Sowing Depth: 1/2" deep
Sowing Indoors: 3-4 weeks before last frost. Provide 70-85ºF soil temperature. Sow 2-3 seeds per cell/pot. Sowing into individual biodegradable peat/cow pots reduces root damage when transplanting. Transplant after last frost, 36-48" apart.
Sowing Outdoors: After last frost when soil temperature is over 70ºF.
How much does a packet plant: 18-20 foot single row, 5-6 hills
Harvest: Look for the following signs as it does take some practice on telling when they are ready to harvest. The closet tendril to the stem dries, there is a crack in the stem that attaches the watermelon to the vine, where the watermelon touches the ground it should be a butter yellow color, give it a knock with your hands it should sound hollow, the skin is dull, and slipping of the stem from the melon with slight finger pressure.
Tips: Plant Tom Watson Watermelon in fertile soil, amended with compost or well rotted manure and keep well watered. They benefit from growing on black plastic and by using row covers for weed, insect control, and more rapid growth.