Watermelon 'War Paint'
Warpaint Watermelon is named for it's distinctive striping. The fruits grow quite large, up to about 10 kg in weight. This variety of Watermelon has good disease resistance. This variety is also called Crimson Sweet in some seed catalogues.
Watermelon 'Warpaint' is delicious when eaten straight or added to mixed fruit salads. The flesh of this variety has a fine texture and is very sweet. Watermelon seeds are also perfectly edible if you don't feel like spitting them out.
Watermelons needs a rich, fertile soil with good drainage. For best results, prepare your Watermelon patch by digging compost and well-rotted manures deep into the soil prior to sowing. Due to the size and moisture content of the fruits, Watermelon plants require plenty of water, although excess watering during the later stages of ripening can cause the fruit to be less flavoursome.
When To Sow
In temperate and subtropical regions, Watermelon seeds can be sown from October to January. In the tropics sow Watermelon seeds from April to July. Watermelon is unlikely to grow well in the cooler regions of Australia.
How To Sow
When planting Watermelon seeds I like to build up the soil into circular mounds spaced about 1.5m apart. I plant several seed about 2cm deep into the centre of each mound. Planting Watermelon seed in mounds helps to improve drainage and I can thin to the healthiest seedlings after they germinate.
Most Watermelon seeds will germinate in 7 to 14 days after sowing.
Time To Harvest
Expect to harvest your first Watermelon between 13 and 16 weeks after sowing the seed. There are many tricks you can use to tell whether your Watermelons are ripe, two of my favourite methods are as follows. The first way is to give the Watermelon a firm tap, if it sound hollow (a dull thud) it's ripe, but a thud which sounds sharper and rings longer means that the Watermelon isn't ripe enough to eat yet. This method takes a little practice to learn the difference in sound between a ripe vs unripe Watermelon. The second method involves looking on the bottom of the melon at the lighter coloured patch where it makes contact with the ground. If the patch is a white or pale green in colour then the Watermelon isn't ripe, if it's yellow or cream coloured the Watermelon is good to eat. Don't pick your Watermelons too early as they won't continue to ripen once picked.