Buying watermelon seeds
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“You have the freedom to use OSSI-Pledged seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others’ use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives.”
Deseeding melons has to be one of the best jobs for us. Why? Well, because you get lots and lots of melon to eat!
We are always searching for the ultimate early melon for the UK climate, and we think we are doing really well
now with the collection that we have here.
Screen is too small to display the sowing calendar. Try turning your device sideways.
= normal sowing & harvest time = also possible depending on conditions
First seen in 1948, this fantastic variety was bred for short summers – it swaps size for earliness – but without any sacrifice of sweetness or flavour. Compact vines grow about 4′ and quickly set several small (cricketball-sized) melons with sweet orange flesh, edible right to the rind.
The scent and flavour are incredible. Ripe melons can be located in the garden by smell alone! Fusarium-resistant, and the female flowers are formed even while it is young, thus outperforming many other varieties.
Very, very early melon. It’s going to be hard to improve on this one.
Prescott Fond Blanc DELICIOUS
This is an amzing, unique French heirloom from the early 1800s. It is pumkin shaped, with a gently ribbed surface and beautiful marbled skin that starts green and ripens with an orange blush.
It has been well maintained over the years and has an exquisite fragrance.
It does not come off the vine when ripe, but you can tell when it’s ready by the sweet scent, from a distance of several feet!
Beautiful, multi-coloured melon, makes big fruit.
A fab new variety from our 2018 trial – from Kasakhstan, a remarkably early and productive vaiety, with dark green fruit. The unusual thing about this one is the crispness of pale green flesh – very sweet with an excellent flavour.
Well adapted to short summers and cooler climates, this does well in the UK.
This is an heirloom early melon that was bred in 1905, which we have chosen for its excellent flavour when ripe.
The melons are not too big (about 1 lb) so they ripen early, and are slightly ribbed with a netted skin. The succulent flesh is bright green and very juicy when ripe.
Warning, sniffing the fruit may cause involuntary drooling. . .
14 seed , organic £
A specially early, medium sized melon (about 1 to 2 lb) bred for home gardeners in shorter-season areas. The fruit are oval, with orange flesh, and a slight netting on the skin.
This melon was bred by the late Professor Elwyn Meader who dedicated much of his life to breeding really tasty varieties for home gardeners in places with shorter or cooler summers, so many of his varieties do really well in the UK. We have several of his other creations (such as Sweet Chocolate Pepper) in our seedbank and they always rank highest in our taste trials.
Medium melon for short seasons.
14 seed, organic £
An mini melon popular on island of Krim in the Black Sea . . .extremely sweet and fragrant. Typically they are about the size of a cricket ball; the flesh is creamy white and exceptionally juicy and refreshing.
Early mini melons. Very aromatic & sweet – reminiscent of honeydew and cantaloupe.
Five Dessert Melon
A new discovery for us, this traditional melon we recently got from Bulgaria was a real success in our 2013 trials. The plants were really happy and gew well in our polytunnel.
It is very early and sweet, and makes lots of larger slightly oval fruit, green with pale yellow stripes. They are indeed big enough to get 5 portions out of each one!
They are at their best when they have turned yellow, but still have a distinct green stripe between ribs. We got so many seed we are offering them at a very reduced price
Larger early melon for short seasons, with a good flavour. Particularly good chilled in the fridge before serving.
Petit Gris de Rennes
This 400-year old variety , originally from the garden of the Bishop of Rennes, was originally sent to us by melon enthusiast Frank Keirsblick of Belgium. We were discussing early melons and he said:
” . . . and I think this is the best outdoors melon, together with De Belegarde. Not as early as Minnesota Midget but very tasty. Watch the watering though as they can split just before harvest. It is even better of course in a greenhouse – more productive. . .”
This view is shared by Amy Goldman (author of “Melons for the Passionate Grower”), who writes “this is the champagne of melons . ..you’ll blink in disbelief when you taste its sweetness . . . it inspires devotion”.
The melons are round, and smooth-skinned with slight ribbing, and very sweet, with a really good flavour and texture.
Serve as it comes off the plant, or try it chilled with slivers of ham.
Early melon with low heat requirement. Can try it outdoors in warm areas, but best in a greenhouse or polytunnel. Particularly good flavour.
‘Collective Farm Woman’ Melon EARLY MELON FROM RUSSIA
This incredible Ukrainian variety is really early with sweet flesh,a good flavour and nice crisp texture. Said to be grown in central Russia and even to ripen in Moscow – we can believe it. Most unusually, it keeps for several weeks after picking.
It is always very reliable in the UK ,and so delicious we always grow extra just to make sure we have plenty to eat. (We passed on a few plants to a friend in spring this year -her family liked it so much she had to measure the fruits when cutting them up to make sure everyone got exactly the same size helping!)
Fantastic Ukrainian melon. Seed supply very limited, consider saving your own.
‘Blacktail Mountain’ Watermelon
If you’ve had no luck with watermelons in the past, here’s your chance to try again with a better strain. This variety is very tolerant of cool weather conditions, and the best choice we have found for a UK crop.
‘Blacktail Mountain’ was developed by plant breeder Glenn Drowns of Iowa when he was a teenager in 1977, and time after time it beats all the other early watermelons in trials – it is widely acknowledged as one of the earliest varieties available.
It has nice sweet red flesh, and is one of the the two we have found to grow in a polytunnel or greenhouse in the UK.
Sweet and tasty red fleshed fruit – look at that , watermelon grown in Wales! Yay!
10 seed, organic £
‘Siberian Lights’ Watermelon
We’re pleased to offer this early dark green watermelon with very sweet red flesh from our trial last year. Ben got the seed from Andrei Baranovski in the Ukraine , and it is adapted to northern lattitudes, doing well in our polytunnel here in Wales. Just a few packets from our trial plants for now.
The fruit are particularly pretty with paler green stripes and good sweet flavour.
Company No 5924934
VAT No 841181938
DEFRA registered Seed Merchant No 7289
Soil Association Organic Seed Packing License AP27266
Our Unique Structure: Although a limited company, we have no shareholders. The aim is not to make huge profits, but to supply great seeds to home gardeners at reasonable prices, and to educate people about home seed-saving. As part of our ethical policy, all staff are paid the same hourly wage, including the directors.
Our Unique Guarantee: We have spent years trying to find the best varieties for you. We think these are the best seeds you can sow, and we really hope that you enjoy growing your vegetables. We will refund or replace if you are in any way less than delighted with them, even including the flavour of the resulting crop!
Gardeners Should Save their Own Seed: Because these seeds are not hybrids, you can save your own seed for future use: there’s no need to buy new each year. Saving your own is easy. You will get great seed, and great vegetables adapted to your local conditions. Do have a go – read the seedsaving instructions we provide with every order, and also on this site.
We have now sent out over 165,000 sets of free home seed-saving instructions!
Our Seed Club: Due to really daft seed laws, many of our fantastic vegetable seeds can only be supplied to members of our Seed Club, because they are not on the ‘approved list’ of permitted vegetable varieties! But membership costs just one penny .
When you order, you will be charged a penny for a lifetimes Seed Club Membership. For details see terms and conditions.
Sweet & juicy early melon varieties that really are easy to grow in the UK. From ВЈ2 per packet, guaranteed seed.
Watermelons are a classic summer favorite. Extra sweet, crisp and delicious seedless melons are now the preferred types for consumers. Novelty fruit such as yellow watermelons are growing in popularity. You’ll also find pre-cut slices showing up at markets and grocery stores, which have a lot of appeal.
REQUIRED SIGNED WATERMELON WAIVER:A completed watermelon waiver is required before your order can ship!
Due to the potential liability of Watermelon Fruit Blotch (WFB), Gummy Stem Blight (GSB), Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV) and Anthracnose diseases with watermelon seed, we require a watermelon waiver form be signed and returned for all purchases of 1/4 lb. or 500 seeds or more of seeded varieties and for all purchases of seedless varieties and seedless pollinators.
A new disclaimer must be signed each year. Signed disclaimers from previous years are not valid for the current sales year.
No orders for watermelon seed will be accepted that originate from or ship to the state of South Carolina.
If you do not send in the release with your order, the form will be mailed to you. If we do not receive the completed and signed release within 30 days, your order will be canceled from our system.
Return your form: E-mail [email protected], FAX (877) 892-9197, or Mail (Harris Seeds, PO Box 24966, Rochester, NY 14624)
Growing tips: Delicious, sweet and 95% liquid—nothing is quite as refreshing as a chilled slice of watermelon on a hot summer’s day. First cultivated in northern Africa, the watermelon is a warm weather crop, requiring hot days and warm nights to fully mature, most particularly in the case of the larger varieties. Start seed indoors at 85°F. soil temperature, 3-4 weeks before setting out. When is a watermelon ripe? There are several schools of thought on this subject. Many believe that the surest way to know is when the fruit makes a dull, hollow sound when tapped. Others, however, recommend looking at the bottom surface of the fruit. When the “ground spot” has turned bright yellow, it’s ripe and ready for picking. Still others insist that the twisted tendril nearest the fruit must have turned brown.
Fresh Market Grower Tips:
Watermelon is a classic summertime treat, and consumers seek out direct market growers for sweet, juicy, crunchy melons at the height of freshness. Red fleshed watermelons are the traditional favorite, but many customers are excited to try yellow and orange fleshed melons, especially when you offer samples at your farm stand. While customers still purchase seeded watermelons, many have discovered the convenience and great taste of seedless melons. Fortunately, today’s seedless watermelons can be raised successfully in both the Northern and Southern parts of the country. Read and carefully follow the cultural directions on this page for best results.
Seeded Watermelon Culture:
Plant seeds 1/2-1″ deep into Jiffy Pellets or sterile mix in Jiffy Pots with a soil temperature of 75-80º F. They should germinate in about a week if kept moderately moist. Set plants into the field after the threat of frost has passed. Hot Kaps, row covers or plastic tunnels will provide protection from low temperatures or damaging winds. Plastic Mulch can be used to maintain soil temperatures, retain soil moisture and control weeds in the row. All melons prefer sandy loam soil with a pH 6.0-6.8 and set the best yields when beehives are added to pollinate flowers. Maturity dates are from transplanting and should be used only for variety comparison.
SEEDLESS WATERMELONS FOR NORTHERN GROWERS
Although we think of watermelons as a Southern crop, they grow as easily as cantaloupe in the North, offer more consistent quality, and are increasingly sought out by consumers. It is critical to start seedless melons as transplants at high soil temperatures, as described here. Harris Seeds’ new high temperature heat mat can be a valuable tool, but some growers contract with a professional seedling grower to ensure consistent results. Most Northeastern growers raise seedless watermelons using plastic mulch, raised beds, and drip irrigation. IRT green plastic mulches (like Harris Seeds’ SRM Olive Mulch) are very beneficial in cooler or shorter growing seasons. Since watermelons are tropical plants, it’s best to transplant them after weather is warm, not just frost-free. Don’t forget bees; one hive per acre is the recommended minimum. Bee activity is adequate when one bee is present for every 100 blossoms between 6:00 and 10:00 am.
Harris Moran’s seedless watermelon program has produced vigorous varieties like Millionaire, Millenium, Troubador, and Gypsy that perform well in a less-than-ideal climates. In particular, Vagabond and Crunchy Red offer outstanding quality. They have the high level of sweetness that consumers expect, along with a crunchy texture. Even if you are not a fan of watermelon, these will open your eyes.
SEEDLESS WATERMELON CULTURE:
Water a sterile seed starting mix and allow it to dry for 24-48 hours before seeding. Seeds need a soil temperature of at least 90°F for germination, so make sure media is heated before planting and maintains a 90°F temperature for 48-72 hours after seeding, or until germination begins. This soil temperature may be achieved in a germination room or by using our high-temperature heat mat. After germination begins, reduce soil temperature to 80°F and water only as needed for the first week. DO NOT OVER WATER! Once the seedlings are established, temperature and watering may be adjusted to achieve sturdy plants.
You will need to purchase a pollinator for use with the seedless varieties. We highly recommend that you use Side Kick or Accomplice for this purpose, as they flower early and continuously throughout the pollination period. To ensure proper pollination it is recommended that you plant one pollinator for every three seedless plants. Plant in the row with the seedless variety. Tests indicate that bees will tend to work up and down the row, rather than from one row to the next. Planting in this way will help to improve pollination, thus increasing yield potential. Please note: The use of bees, plastic mulch and drip irrigation are highly recommended. Seedless melons grown under stress will produce hard, dark colored seeds.Average Seed Count:
30 per packet; 500/oz.; 5,000-15,000/lb.
If you're looking to grow watermelon, look to Harris Seeds for a wide assortment of both seedless watermelon varieties and seeded watermelons, pollinators…