Thursday, January 31, 2013

How To Grow AAS Winner Watermelon 'Harvest Moon' F1

Watermelon 'Harvest Moon' F1. Photo courtesy All-America Selections

The mission of All-America Selections is "To promote new garden varieties with superior garden performance judged in impartial trials in North America." To do that, AAS tries to "inform gardeners about the AAS Winners", so the organization produces great information about how to grow them.

I recently wrote about the new Watermelon ‘Harvest Moon’ F1 AAS Winner in this blog, so here are some gardening tips I want to pass along to you.

AAS reports, "The first ever hybrid, triploid seedless watermelon to win a coveted AAS Award! Similar to the popular heir-loom variety, 'Moon and Stars', 'Harvest Moon' is an improvement in that it features healthy, shorter vines that produce medium-sized fruits and sweet, crisp pinkish-red flesh. 'Harvest Moon' retains the familiar dark green rind with yellow dots, but is seedless, earlier to ripen, higher yielding and better tasting. As one judge said, 'What's not to like?!'"

AAS® Winner Data
Genus species: Citrullus lanatus
Common name: Watermelon
Unique qualities: First hybrid triploid watermelon bred specifically for the Home Garden market. Note: Triploids require planting with a diploid pollinator in a ration of three triploids to one diploid and perform best if started indoors with a consistent soil temperature of 90 degrees F. until germination.
Fruit weight: 4.5 pounds
Fruit Size:  18 to 20 pounds
Fruit shape: Elongated round
Fruit color: Dark green rind with large and small yellow spots; flesh is red/pink
Plant type: Large vigorous spreading and trailing yellow spotted vines
Plant height: 15 inches
Plant width: 3-5 feet
Garden location: Full sun
Garden spacing: 3-5 feet
Length of time to harvest: 100 days from transplanting
Closest comparisons on market: ‘Moon and Stars Red, ‘Moon and Stars Yellow'

As with most melons, they should be planted in average, well-drained soil. pH should range from 6.1 to 7.5. Your local Cooperative Extension Service can help you determine your soil pH.

If you're thinking you'd like to plant watermelons next season, you should definitely include 'Harvest Moon' F1.

Photos are courtesy of All-America Selections.

John Marshall

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