WATERMELON, Stone Mountain
Seeds per pack ~20
Germination: 98% Dec 2023 (Packed for 2024)
DAYS TO MATURITY: 80-90 days PLANT DESCRIPTION: (Citrullus lanatus) Stone Mountain watermelons are typically medium to large, with an average weight ranging from 15 to 25 pounds. Some can even grow larger under optimal conditions. They have an elongated, oval shape, which sets them apart from the more common round watermelons. The rind of the Stone Mountain watermelon is thick and tough, making it ideal for transport and storage. The exterior of the rind is dark green with mottled or striped patterns, and it may have a slightly rough texture. The inner flesh of the Stone Mountain watermelon is known for its vibrant and juicy qualities. It is typically deep red, although some varieties may have a slightly pinkish or salmon-colored flesh.
HISTORY: This heirloom watermelon is named after Stone Mountain, a prominent granite dome in Georgia, USA. Slightly oval 30 lb fruits with a dark green rind and sweet, juicy red flesh is a commercial bestseller from the ‘30s and ’40s. Stone Mountain Watermelon has been brought back into popularity. The thick, split-resistant rind makes it great for shipping and storage. Watermelons were first cultivated in Africa before spreading north into Mediterranean countries and, later, to other parts of Europe. The transatlantic slave trade was the main vehicle by which the watermelon made its way to the Americas. Before it became a racist stereotype in the Jim Crow era, watermelon once symbolized black self-sufficiency. After the Civil War, newly freed African Americans grew, ate, and sold watermelon—the fruit became a symbol of freedom
NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Watermelon is predominantly composed of water, aiding in maintaining proper hydration levels in the body. Beyond its thirst-quenching properties, it is a rich source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which supports the immune system and promotes skin health. It also contains vitamins A and B6, contributing to vision and metabolic processes. The fruit is naturally low in calories, making it a guilt-free option for those watching their calorie intake. Additionally, watermelon provides essential minerals such as potassium, crucial for maintaining electrolyte balance and supporting proper heart function.
FOOD PREP: The most popular way to eat watermelon is to slice the watermelon into wedges or cubes, providing a convenient and mess-free way to enjoy this hydrating fruit. For a twist, consider making watermelon skewers by threading the cubes onto sticks and alternating with other fruits like mint or feta cheese for a delightful appetizer. Turning watermelon into a chilled soup or gazpacho offers a unique and cooling option on warm days. Additionally, blending watermelon into smoothies or juices provides a refreshing beverage bursting with flavor. Experiment with savory combinations by adding watermelon to salads with feta, mint, and balsamic glaze for a sweet and savory contrast. Frozen watermelon cubes make for a healthy and tasty snack while incorporating the fruit into sorbets, popsicles, or granitas adds a playful touch to desserts. The seeds of a watermelon are also considered a culinary delight, with a slightly nutty flavor.
GROWING TIPS: Annual. Plant watermelon into 12-inch-tall hills of soil that are spaced at least 6 feet apart. Sow 6–8 seeds per hill, later thinning to 3–4 plants per hill. Sow watermelon seeds ½-inch deep. Water seeds into the hills after planting.