Desert King Watermelon is an open-pollinated, heirloom that matures in 85 days. It is considered to be the most drought tolerant variety for dry land, desert-like conditions. Round to slightly oblong, light pea green color, medium thin, tough rind, deep rich yellow, sweet and tender flesh with grayish-black seeds.Desert King Watermelon has the ability to lie on the vine a month or so after ripening and still hold its good qualities and remain free from sunburn. A small percentage of red flesh melons may be found. Positively will not sunburn!
How to grow Desert King Watermelon?
Desert King Watermelon plants have sparse leaves and need a lot of sunshine and heat to mature their fruit. The Desert King Watermelon plant roots are delicate and require high nutrition and lots of water. For all that effort, you’ll be rewarded by the ripest, sweetest watermelons you’ve ever tasted. Read through the handy and useful guide ‘How to Grow watermelon’ and grow refreshing flavorful watermleons this summer!
It is essential to start Desert King Watermelon seeds indoors or in a greenhouse mid to late April. Transplant at the end of May or first week of June, when the plants are 5 weeks old. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 20-25°C (68-77°F). Seeds should sprout in 5-10 days.
Sow Desert King Watermelon seeds ½” deep. Set transplants 24-36″ apart in rows 5-6′ apart.
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. Choose a warm, well-drained soil for Desert King Watermelon. Add dolomite lime and compost or well-rotted manure to the bed and ½-1 cup of complete organic fertilizer beneath each transplant. Watermelons need really warm growing conditions. Use black plastic mulch, cloches, or floating row covers. Success may improve in raised beds. Watermelons plants require 8-10 weeks of good, hot growing weather from the middle of June to the end of August. During that time, a melon vine must grow 5-9 leaves before starting to flower, then set 4 or more male flowers before making its first female flower, and then ripen its fruit before cool, damp weather sets in. Watermelons do not ripen off the vine. During the entire growing season, make sure to provide ample water.
Desert King Watermelon fruit will ripen in late August to early September. Watermelon is ripe when the tendril nearest to the fruit withers and dries up.
In ideal conditions at least 60% of Desert King Watermelon seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Per 100′ row: 60 seeds, per acre: 5.2M seeds.
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