(78 days) F-1 hybrid. For a smaller more-marketable alternative to Orangeglo, grow Orchid. Orchid provides reliable early production of refined 6–8 lb oblong fruits with bright orange flesh, crisp texture and super sweet floral flavor and not a hint of the hollow heart that can plague orange-fleshed watermelons. Medium light green rind with dark green striping. Ripened Aug. 29, 2013, for trials manager Heron Breen from a late June 12 transplanting. CR’s, started later in 2014, ripened mid-September, checking in at 8.25 lb, the best he had grown in eight years at Colrain in watermelon-averse sandy loam. ③
1024 Orange Orchid
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Citrullus lanatus1 gram packet about 20 seeds, sows 7 hills; 1⁄16 oz packet, packet about 40 seeds, sows 14 hills. 1 oz=about 670 seeds.
Culture: Harvesting watermelon at proper ripeness is an art. Thumping should produce a low, hollow sound. Spread thumb and forefinger and press hard on fruit. If you feel any give, watermelon is ripe. Don’t heed the traditional advice to wait for the closest tendril to brown—that may be too late. Minimum germination temperature 60°, optimal range 75–95°.