In the early 1900s Chelsea, Iowa was famous for melons grown on the sandy hills north of town. Farmers would fill their horse-drawn “triple box” wagons in the field, haul them to town, and sell the melons right from the wagons. Today Seed Savers Exchange member Marvin Kucera is the only person growing this watermelon in Chelsea. Sweet, pink-fleshed, 15-20 pound fruits with white seeds will keep for several weeks once picked.
- Round fruits grow to 15-20 pounds
- Pink flesh with white seeds
- Sweet and keeps well once picked
- This variety will grow well in most regions of the United States.
This variety works for:
- Fresh eating
Nothing compares to the experience of eating fresh watermelon slices on a warm summer day. Watermelon flesh can also be used for cold soups with citrus or in salads with arugula and feta cheese.
To make a refreshing watermelon granita, or frozen ice, blend 4 cups of watermelon flesh that has been cubed and seeded with 1/4 cup of sugar and juice from half of a lime. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and freeze for 1-3 hours. You can then scrape the ice with a fork and serve with mint or basil.
Some people pickle the rinds of watermelons with cider vinegar and pickling spices or with a combination of sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. These pickles are a great addition to appetizer trays at parties.
Instructions - Sow seeds outdoors in 12" diameter hills after danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Space hills 8' apart in all directions. Seeds will germinate in 4-10 days. Can also be started indoors 4 weeks before transplanting out. Watermelons love heat and prefer sandy or light-textured soils.
- Direct Seed: 1/2" Deep
- Seeds to Hill: 6-8 Seeds
- Thin: To 3-4 Plants
- Light: Full Sun
Ratings & Reviews
Top Melon for Midwest
Grows in both cooler soils and in heavier soils than other melons - does well in Iowa midwest. Has a very good old-fashioned watermelon flavor, and the extra large seeds don't slow you down at all when eating because they are actually easier to remove. The only challenge found so far is the melons don't like to sit on the vine too long when they are ripe. Overall excellent heirloom variety!
Worth planting for sure
by Mike Townsley
I grew these again in 2021. I harvested several good tasting melons. I will plant again in 2021. My field was really dry, I should of mulched but I still got several melons. I am south of I 80 in Iowa. I agree with the other reviewer, the seeds are easy to find and remove. Great flavor.