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Chou Cheh Watermelon

Chou Cheh Watermelon

Botanical Name: Citrullus lanatus

$4.95

MAY BE AVAILABLE MID-DECEMBER

Description

75 days. Best. Watermelon. Ever. Enough said. Seriously though; this heirloom variety is very sweet, but there's also a delicious complexity to its flavor that you won't find in other watermelons. Mike thinks it has a hint of a berry/cherry flavor to it, or simply a "red" flavor. You won’t be able to get enough of this scrumptious fruit! And lucky for you, its harvest window is extremely long, so you don’t have to ration your watermelon intake. We harvested our first Chou Cheh in late August, and continued harvesting until late October. In addition to the sweetness, the fruit has a consistent crispness and juiciness; no hint of mushiness here! Chou Cheh comes from Shaanxi Province, China, via the USDA seed bank (PI 435990), and was hailed as a standout by our friend Edmund Frost of Commonwealth Seed Growers in their 2016 seed growers. He found it to be exceptionally resistant to downy mildew, as well. The fruits are medium and oblong, and average 5-12 pounds. This is the ultimate watermelon, friends! You won't be disappointed.

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Watermelon is a hot weather crop and needs lots of room to sprawl. Direct sow seeds outdoors once warm summer weather has arrived (minimum soil temp of 65° in early June). Keep seeds moist until germination. Or, start seeds indoors 5/7 in small biodegradable pots (watermelons do not like their roots disturbed during transplanting) into a good starting mix. Ideal temperature for germination: 85-95° (use heating mat). Watermelon seedlings are sensitive to damping off fungus so keep soil lightly moist but not too wet and use an oscillating fan (set to low) to provide good air circulation. Days to germination: 4-5. Once 2 leaves appear, grow plants at a cooler temperature (around 72°). Do not let plants become pot-bound in their pots. Transplant seedlings outdoors, pot & all, early June. Protect plants from cucumber beetles by covering seeds/seedlings with row cover fabric at planting. Protect plants from groundhogs and deer. Though this watermelon is a good choice for northern growers, watermelons are a hot weather crop and will perform poorly during a particularly cool summer (if temps are not at least consistently in the 80’s).

Harvest:

Check for 3 signs of watermelon ripeness 1) when spot on the bottom of fruit begins to turn from white to yellow 2) the tendril near main stem has turned brown 3) fruit has a hollow sound when knocked or flicked. Do not let fruit over-ripen on the vine.

Seed Saving Instructions for gardeners:

Watermelons are insect pollinated and will cross with all other watermelon varieties (Citrullus lanatus) within ½ mile (or let the watermelon varieties cross and see what you get!) Minimum population size: 6-25 plants. Always select seeds from the best plants. Rinse and dry seeds from ripe melons.

Chou Cheh Watermelon [[start tab]]

Description

75 days. Best. Watermelon. Ever. Enough said. Seriously though; this heirloom variety is very sweet, but there's also a delicious complexity to its flavor that you won't find in other watermelons. Mike thinks it has a hint of a berry/cherry flavor to it, or simply a "red" flavor. You won’t be able to get enough of this scrumptious fruit! And lucky for you, its harvest window is extremely long, so you don’t have to ration your watermelon intake. We harvested our first Chou Cheh in late August, and continued harvesting until late October. In addition to the sweetness, the fruit has a consistent crispness and juiciness; no hint of mushiness here! Chou Cheh comes from Shaanxi Province, China, via the USDA seed bank (PI 435990), and was hailed as a standout by our friend Edmund Frost of Commonwealth Seed Growers in their 2016 seed growers. He found it to be exceptionally resistant to downy mildew, as well. The fruits are medium and oblong, and average 5-12 pounds. This is the ultimate watermelon, friends! You won't be disappointed.

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Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Watermelon is a hot weather crop and needs lots of room to sprawl. Direct sow seeds outdoors once warm summer weather has arrived (minimum soil temp of 65° in early June). Keep seeds moist until germination. Or, start seeds indoors 5/7 in small biodegradable pots (watermelons do not like their roots disturbed during transplanting) into a good starting mix. Ideal temperature for germination: 85-95° (use heating mat). Watermelon seedlings are sensitive to damping off fungus so keep soil lightly moist but not too wet and use an oscillating fan (set to low) to provide good air circulation. Days to germination: 4-5. Once 2 leaves appear, grow plants at a cooler temperature (around 72°). Do not let plants become pot-bound in their pots. Transplant seedlings outdoors, pot & all, early June. Protect plants from cucumber beetles by covering seeds/seedlings with row cover fabric at planting. Protect plants from groundhogs and deer. Though this watermelon is a good choice for northern growers, watermelons are a hot weather crop and will perform poorly during a particularly cool summer (if temps are not at least consistently in the 80’s).

Harvest:

Check for 3 signs of watermelon ripeness 1) when spot on the bottom of fruit begins to turn from white to yellow 2) the tendril near main stem has turned brown 3) fruit has a hollow sound when knocked or flicked. Do not let fruit over-ripen on the vine.

Seed Saving Instructions for gardeners:

Watermelons are insect pollinated and will cross with all other watermelon varieties (Citrullus lanatus) within ½ mile (or let the watermelon varieties cross and see what you get!) Minimum population size: 6-25 plants. Always select seeds from the best plants. Rinse and dry seeds from ripe melons.

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$4.95 Out of Stock
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