Sugar Baby Watermelon

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Sugar Baby Watermelon is the perfect icebox or picnic watermelon! This heirloom produces small green-black fruits with sweet, crisp, and juicy red flesh that are 8-10 pounds, about 7-10 inches in diameter—just the right size for fitting in the fridge or a picnic basket! Sugar Baby makes great personal watermelons for slicing, gifting, or as a decorative fruit bowl. Use the sweet watermelon meat fresh in fruit salads or salsas, pressed in sorbets and margaritas, grilled, or pickled.

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Plant Name:
Watermelon, Sugar Baby
Latin Name:
Citrullus lanatus
Days to Germinate: 7-14
Days to Harvest: 70-90
Germination Rate: 95%
Test Date: 10/21
Growth Habit: Vine
USDA Zones: 3-12
Lifespan: Annual
Country of Origin: United States
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Shade
GMO: No
Pollination:
Heirloom, Open-Pollinated
Fungicide-Treated Seeds*: No
Seeds Packed For**: 2022

*Fungicide-treated seeds protect the seedlings from diseases until they are up and growing. Do not eat treated seeds.
**Seeds are freshly packed for the growing season of the year listed. Seeds are still viable beyond pack date. Store in a cool and dry location such as the refrigerator or basement to best preserve germination rates.


Planting Instructions:

 

Soil Preparation:


Prepare soil by removing large weeds, large rocks, and litter from the planting area. Dig or plow the soil 8-10 inches deep in winter or early spring. You may optionally apply manure or compost at 50-100 pounds per 1,000 square feet, or 2-4 tons per acre , to build the organic matter content of the soil. Turn the soil over to cover organic material completely. Next, work the soil into ridges or hills 4-8 inches high and 12-14 inches wide. This creates well-draining soil beds. Heavier soils may require higher soil beds. Place rows of watermelons 10-12 feet apart if in irrigated conditions, and 12-16 apart if in un-irrigated conditions.
 
Since melons are vining crops, they require a lot of space and are best for larger gardens or lot-sized urban gardens; they may grow in small gardens if vines are trellised and the fruit is supported. Melons grow best in deep, well-draining sandy or sandy loam soil with plenty of organic matter and a neutral pH. Heavy soils with lots of clay may cause smaller sized plants and produce fewer melons.

Planting:

Try not to plant seeds until the soil warms in the spring and all danger of frost is past since melons are warm-season crops and can be easily injured by frost. Black plastic mulch can help to increase soil temperature and give melons an earlier start on growth. To direct sow, plant 6-8 seeds 1-1 1/2 inches deep in hills spaced 4-5 feet apart within rows. Water after planting if soil is dry.

Transplanting, in contrast to direct sowing, may save 10-12 days of harvest time. To transplant, plant seeds in peat pots 2-4 weeks before transplanting. Transplant into the garden before the second true leaf opens ("true leaves" are the first two large leaves that appear before the smaller "seed leaves" appear). After melon plants break through the soil, thin to 2 plants per hill.
 

Planting Depth: 1- 1/2 inch
Within-Row Spacing:
4-5 feet
Between-Row Spacing:
10-16 feet

 

Care During the Season:

Watering: Water the at least 1 inch per week. High temperatures, high winds, and sandy soils will increase the need for water.

Weeding and Pruning: Keep plants as weed-free as possible. When plowing or hoeing, be careful not to cut too deeply into the soil near the melon plants as cutting the feeder rooters which may slow the plant's growth. Fruit size can be increased by pruning watermelons to two fruits per plant for large varieties or four to six fruits per plant on small varieties.

Fertilizing: Melons benefit from small amounts of fertilizer in 2 or 3 applications. Dig a 4-6 inch deep trench, about 2 inches from the side of the row, all down the row. You may optionally scatter 4 pounds of a complete fertilizer for each 1,000 square feet of garden area (60-90 feet of row) in the trench. Cover the fertilizer and plant so seeds do not touch the fertilizer. Make the second fertilizer application when vines are 8 inches long; scatter 2-3 pounds of fertilizer per 60-90 feet of row 2-3 feet to the side of the row and mix it lightly with the soil.
 
Insecticides: Insecticides may be used to protect plants. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options that can be used for prevention. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps in controlling many diseases. Bt neem oil can be used to control the spider mites, and pyrethins can control for the cucumber beetle. Neem oil and insecticidal soaps are good ways to control for aphids. Before using a pesticide, read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.

Diseases: Rotating crops is important for disease control. To prevent build-up of diseases, it is advised that melons should not be planted in the same place more than once every 3 or 4 years. If spots appear on the leaves and no insects are present, a fungicide may be needed. Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides may be used. Please always follow label directions.
 

Harvesting:

Judging the ripeness of watermelon can require some skill. Some signs of a ripened watermelon include: dull sound when thumped (dependent on the size and type of melon and is often inaccurate), change in the color of the rind (loss of glossiness in color), change in color of the soil spot (if the spot the melon rested on in the soil turns a creamy, streaked color), or death or drying of the tendril (if the tightly curled bit of vine closest to the stem where the melon is attached dries, this is the most dependable sign). Try not to harvest melons too early because the sugar content does not increase after harvest.

 

Nutrition Facts:


Calories 85
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.4 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 3 mg 0%
Potassium 314 mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 21 g 7%
Dietary fiber 1.1 g 4%
Sugar 17 g
Protein 1.7 g 3%
Vitamin A 31% Vitamin C 37%
Calcium 2% Iron 3%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 7%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.