In order to produce watermelons with the fewest seeds and the shortest ripening time, the flavour is sometimes pushed to the side. This is not the case with yellow watermelon plants. Despite the fact that yellow watermelons often have seeds, the flavour is not affected in any way. In fact, many watermelon connoisseurs believe that the yellow watermelon produces fruit with a superior flavour to the standard red variety.
Visually, the fruits look indistinguishable from the red type: they are light green with dark green stripes, and the plants have the same light leaves. Some of the yellow watermelon plants produce large fruit, weighing between 20 and 40 pounds, perfect for sharing at a picnic or party, while others produce smaller 6-pound fruits. These plants are vigorous and grow best in areas with long, hot summers. Plant yellow and red watermelon vines in the same garden and dazzle your friends with a mix of yellow and red fruit for your next Labor Day celebration.
Watermelons should be planted from seed in your spring garden once the soil has warmed up. They take 70 to 100 days to grow the fruit for harvest, depending on the variety.
Like all melons, yellow watermelon plants like lots of sun and soil that is well drained and highly fertile. If you live in an area with short summers, choose bush babies that can mature in 70 days. As the plants mature, they become somewhat drought tolerant. Prevent common pests and diseases by not planting yellow watermelons where other squashes, pumpkins or cucumbers were grown the previous year.
It is not recommended to start yellow watermelon seeds indoors. Wait until the soil temperature reaches at least 70 degrees F before planting seeds outdoors. It is important that the soil stays warm, not just the temperature. Delay planting until about two weeks after the last frost of the season. You can also plant in raised beds or cover the soil with plastic to speed up the warming process.
Make mounds of soil 6 to 8 inches high to sow the seeds. The rows should be at least 4 feet apart; the mounds should be 3 feet apart. Plant two to three seeds in the mound, 6 inches apart. Germinate in about eight days, removing the most vigorous seedlings.
The yellow flesh on a watermelon may be surprising, as it does not look any different from the red variety. The yellowing of the flesh on watermelons is a natural mutation. In fact, the originator of our commercial variety from Africa has yellow to white flesh. The fruit has a sweet, honey-like flavour compared to the red fleshed melon, but has many of the same nutritional benefits. The yellow watermelon fruit is now widely available and is an interesting alternative to the traditional watermelon.
Produce shopping is more interesting than ever when purple kale, orange cauliflower and blue potatoes appear frequently in the produce aisle. Many of these foods have been processed and propagated to produce their incredible colours, but the yellow watermelon fruit is different. There are many naturally occurring melon colours.
These plants readily hybridise with each other and produce some unique forms and colours with a wide range of flavours and sizes. Large fields of melons may be found with some watermelons inside that are yellow, while other plants are producing red fruit. Once discovered, someone will make the most of the differences, collect the seeds and voila, a new coloured melon is born.