- Artichoke & Cardoon
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
- Celery & Celeriac
- Chinese Cabbage
- Endive & Escarole
- Fall Favorites
- Fruit and Berries
- Grains & Cover Crops
- Greens, Oriental
- Ground Cherries
- Live Plants
- New Items 2019
- Salad Blends
- Snake Bean
- Swiss Chard
- Thai Varieties
- The Explorer Series
- William Woys Weaver
Ali Baba Watermelon
Our favorite watermelon! We introduced this fine variety about 12 years ago after we were sent seed by Aziz Nael, an Iraqi gentleman who had collected this fantastic variety in Iraq. It is now nearly impossible to get seeds from this ancient country whose people have lost much of their genetic heritage in the long, bloody war. Now our corporate agriculture has been “kindly” suggested to native farmers who are losing thousands of years of plant breeding work. The 12-30 lb melons have hard light-green rinds that make them perfect for shipping and storage; the light color makes them resistant to sun burning. Plants are large, vigorous and give heavy yields of oblong fruit which do well in many conditions. The flavor is superb, being very sweet and luscious; and the texture is very crisp. This is a best seller and is a favorite of Dr. Amy Goldman and featured in her book “Melons for the Passionate Grower”. Ali Baba has received much acclaim online “as the best tasting watermelon,” and it will forever win a spot in any melon lover’s heart.
Art Combe's Ancient Watermelon
<p> This melon has a green rind and succulent red flesh that is of excellent flavor and sweetness. It is a beautiful melon and a favorite on our farm, easy to grow and producing fruit up to 20 lbs. One of the most fascinating seed discoveries in modern history! In the early 1920s, Art Combe, a Southwestern plant expert and amateur prospector found a small woven pot filled with bright red watermelon seeds in an abandoned sandstone cave in Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. The red seeds are believed to be hundreds, if not thousands, of years old! Art planted the seeds and just a few germinated. The fruit was small and crooknecked, unlike any other watermelon he had ever seen before, but the flavor was incredible! Art grew this ancient Native American watermelon for several decades, selecting the largest and most round specimens. The result of decades of selecting is a superb extra large watermelon with bright red extra sweet flesh. Art used a dry farming technique that allowed him to grow extra sweet watermelons with almost no irrigation in the searing hot desert; these watermelons are extremely heat and drought tolerant! <a href="https://www.rareseeds.com/art-combes-amazing-ancient-watermelon/" target="_blank">https://www.rareseeds.com/art-combes-amazing-ancient-watermelon/ </a></p>
Beni Kodama Watermelon
One of the earliest maturing watermelons of all, a pocket-sized watermelon from Japan. Perfect for short season gardeners; extra small fruit averages just 2-3 pounds. These mini melons are ideal for those super short season gardens, and the personal sized fruit are ideal for marketing or home use. This darling little fruit is green with dark stripes, and the sweet flesh is red.
Blacktail Mountain Watermelon
70 days. One of the earliest watermelons we know of; superb for the North, but it also grows well in heat and drought. The flesh is red and deliciously sweet. Fruit has a dark rind and weighs 8-12 lbs each. This excellent variety was developed by our friend Glenn Drowns, owner of the Sand Hill Preservation Center in Iowa. A favorite of many gardeners across the U.S. One of the best we have ever tried!
Charleston Gray Watermelon
Clay County Yellow Meat
Extremely rare heirloom from Clay County, Alabama. Our original seed had been stored in a freezer since 1976. Yellow-fleshed watermelons reach 50 lbs, and are reputed to be the sweetest, best-tasting yellow-fleshed watermelons grown. Has been grown for at least 100 years. Produced well in spite of drought in our 2008 trials.
Citrullus lanatus We discovered this classic Cypriot watermelon in 1996 in the picturesque mid-week farmer’s market within the walls of Old Nicosia. Grown then by only one villager, it is now gone from the island’s markets and is considered one of the most endangered of the Cypriot heirlooms. Dating from at least the 1700s if not before, this melon is known locally as the Pastiha Kypriaki “Anidri,” which means that it requires very little irrigation. The traditional practice was to pack mud around the base of the plants in the early morning and let Nature do the rest. The melons feature thin black-green skin with rich, bright red flesh and weigh from 5 to 10 pounds, depending on soil fertility. We have gotten some to weigh as much as 20 pounds. Highly productive, with several fruits on one vine, this watermelon can be grown successfully on trellises or netting. Grown for the Roughwood Seed Collection at Field’s Edge Farm, Lititz, Pennsylvania.
Desert King Watermelon
Early Moonbeam Watermelon
75-80 days. Early and very productive yellow-fleshed watermelon, very sweet and delicious! Bred by Dr. Alan Kapuler of Peace Seeds specifically for Oregon conditions, which often tend to be on the cool side. This variety delivers sweet watermelons in cool climates where others often fail. 5-8 lb fruit has thin rinds and an attractive light-green skin with darker-green stripes. Recommended for northern and higher-elevation gardens!
Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon
Golden Midget Watermelon
70 days. A beautiful miniature watermelon that weighs around 3 lbs. It’s easy to tell when they are ripe, as the rind turns a lovely golden yellow when ready for harvest, a very beautiful contrast with the salmon-pink-colored flesh. The taste is sweet and refreshing. Very early, matures in just 70 days. Developed by the late Dr. Elwyn Meader, UNH, in 1959. Unique.
75 days. This is one of the best finds from our trip to Japan. The Kaho watermelon has gorgeous salmon-orange flesh that is delicious right up to the super thin rind, making this one of the most unique watermelons we trialed this year. It was also one of the best we’ve tasted. Elongated fruit weights about 2-4 pounds and are perfect for 2 servings. This rare heirloom was originally brought to Japan from China around the year 1912.
An extra jumbo watermelon that can be found individually wrapped in rope ‘baskets’ in Japanese markets and sold for up to 7000 yen each! This iconic variety makes a popular gift in Japan and can often be found at summer picnics. This variety was selected from a U.S. variety called rattlesnake, which was brought to Japan during the Meiji Era and cultivated in the town of Nyuzen and along the Kurobe river since the 1930s. This variety is presented to the Imperial family every year, and the super sweet mammoth fruit is a popular and expensive gift, up to 70 U.S. dollars each. A giant cartoon watermelon is also a popular Japanese mascot, a nod to this beloved Japanese variety.
Selected best tasting watermelon in our trials a few years ago. A Renowned watermelon developed in S.C. by J.E. Lednum in the early 20th Century. Mr. Lednum obtained this variety by crossing Stone Mountain with Kleckley’s Sweet. Lednum’s name was misspelled by a county Board of Agriculture employee in a 1938 pamphlet, and the name has stuck. Slightly oblong fruit has a thin rind which makes shipping this fabulous melon nearly impossible, and so has been grown exclusively as a “family melon” for generations. The pink-to-red fleshed melons sometimes reach 40 lbs., and are claimed by some to be “the sweetest melon grown.” A treasure
Exclusive listing with Baker Creek! This rare and unusual preserving melon hails from South Africa where it has been grown in tribal areas for many centuries. The name makataan derives from the native Tswana language and is used locally in the same manner as squash. The leaves and young fruit are cooked like green vegetables while the ripe flesh is often mixed with cornmeal and transformed into porridge or pudding. The edible red seeds are extremely rich in anti-oxidants and Vitamin C and can be ground to make gluten-free flour. Afrikaners use the melon for jams, pickles, and preserves. The 15 to 20 foot vines require a great deal of space hence this is best for small field culture, especially since individual melons can weigh as much as 50 pounds!
Moon and Stars Watermelon
95 days. Legendary heirloom variety rediscovered in Macon, Missouri. Can grow to over 40 lbs. The dark green rind has bright yellow spots on it! Spots range in size from tiny to several inches across. Leaves are also specked in yellow. It has very sweet, brilliant red flesh. This is becoming one of the most popular heirloom varieties, a winner! Originally introduced by Peter Henderson & Co. in 1926, it was called “SUN, MOON AND STARS.” The catalog says, “... an extraordinary variation...and that it has such a delicious taste.” It was sold then for 20 cents a pkt. Unique variety!
Moon and Stars Yellow Flesh Watermelon
90-95 days. Rare, this is the yellow-meated strain of this fine heirloom; these are very delicious and have beautiful, yellow-orange meat that is very sweet. The large fruit can grow to 40 lbs, and it has large, yellow “Moons and Stars” covering their nearly black rinds. Our favorite variety of the planetary watermelons, it was a real favorite at our 2004 “Heirloom Garden Show”. A great variety for farmers’ markets.
85 days. Beautiful, deep orange flesh; very sweet, excellent, almost tropical flavor! The best-tasting of ALL orange varieties we tried—the favorite of many who tried it at our place. High yields. Very resistant to wilt and insects; strong healthy vines. These will sell at roadside stands and markets! Introduced by Willhite Seed Co. prior to 1965.