The classic oblong watermelon, Charleston Gray has red, fiberless flesh and a tough, medium-thick gray-green rind often used for making watermelon rind pickles. At one time this was the predominant watermelon in home gardens and markets. The seed we use to grow our Charleston Gray watermelon plants originated in 1954 at the USDA Southern Vegetable Breeders Lab in Charleston, South Carolina. It is not a seedless variety. Grow this one for seed spitting contests! Give vines plenty of room to run.
While watermelon is quenching your thirst on a hot summer’s day, it is also providing a good amount of vitamins C and A, antioxidants important in fighting disease, as well as potassium, believed to help control blood pressure and possibly prevent strokes. Red-fleshed watermelon is high in lycopene, another potent antioxidant with cancer-preventing properties. The yellow-fleshed variety is high in beta-carotene, likewise a powerful disease fighter. Lycopene and beta-carotene appear to work with other chemicals in fruits and vegetables to provide health-supporting effects.
Spacing: 36″ – 60″
Height: 6′′ – 12′′
Optimum Soil pH: 6 to 7
Days To Maturity: 87
Sowing Method: Outdoors
In warmer climates, can be direct sown 1” deep once soil is above 75. For cooler climates, start seedlings 2-3 weeks before last frost and place in final spacing of 3-4ft. on 6 ft. rows. Loose, fertile soil in full sun will ensure a good crop. For sweeter melons, reduce watering in the last month before harvest.
For Best Eating: Water until the fruits are about the size of a tennis ball then only water if the plant totally dry. The best tasting organic melons are concentrated in flavor because they are not over-watered.