Watermelon, Florida Giant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Print This

Geography/History:
Florida Giant is a true giant and is a favorite for county fair competitions.  These babies get big!  On average, it produces a round 50 lb watermelon that is deep green with bright red flesh.

Nutritional Value:
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.

Sun:                              Full
Spacing:                      36″ – 60″
Height:                        6′′ – 12′′
Optimum Soil pH:    6 to 7
Days To Maturity:    90
Sowing Method:       Outdoors

Planting/Growing Tips:
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.

If direct seeding, don’t plant seed till the soil temperature is 70 degrees or more.  Watermelons are originally from Africa and need heat to grow well.
Because we want to get an early start we normally plant watermelon seed in four inch containers inside a greenhouse.

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.

 

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