RM3.00, 2 seeds
Seeds origin: UK
Watermelon 'Blacktail Mountain', each weighing up to 5kgs (11lbs), have dark green skins with juicy, crunchy scarlet flesh. Height and spread: 4m (13').
Sow melon seed at a depth of 1cm (½") in free-draining, seed sowing compost. Germination takes 5-7 days. Protect the emerging seedlings from direct sunlight to avoid scorching. Maintain a temperature of 25c (77F) and keep the compost barely moist to avoid stem rot.
Plant in single rows at a distance of 1m (39") apart leaving 2m (6') between rows. Water well after planting until melons are fully established.
Watermelon plants should be allowed to spread flat on the ground. Pinch out the growing point after 5 leaves have formed to encourage lateral shoots to develop. Select 4 vigorous laterals and train these to 6 leaf stage, before pinching out each growing tip. Remove any other laterals. Fruiting sub laterals will then form on each stem.
Water melon plants regularly, particularly as the flowers develop, and provide a liquid feed every 10-14 days. Shade plants from strong direct sunlight. As the flowers develop, select 4 or 5 female flowers on each plant and hand pollinate them by placing a male flower inside each female bloom. Female melon flowers are identified by a swollen part at the base of the bloom. Once fruit has set remove any further flowers to allow the fruits to develop. Harvest watermelons when they produce a hollow sound when tapped.