Charleston Gray History: Learn How To Grow Charleston Gray Melons
The most common type of watermelons are the red ones. They have a long stem and they grow from one or two plants. These types of melon are called ‘carnations’. There were many varieties of carnation watermelons before the first variety was discovered in 1869 by John Chapman. He named it after his hometown, Charlestown, Massachusetts.
It was the first watermelon variety ever grown commercially.
There are several other types of watermelons besides the red ones. Some of them include the yellow and green varieties, but these types don’t grow very big. The biggest type of melon is known as a ‘red’ or ‘purple’ melon because they have purple stripes running down their sides. They are usually smaller than the others and they come in different colors such as white, pink, orange, yellow and even blue.
Watermelons can be divided into three categories based on their shape: round, oval and square. Round melons have a round base with rounded corners. Oval melons have an oval base with rounded corners. An example of an oval watermelon would be the watermelon pictured above. The square melons have four flat sides, like a box.
The most common being the ‘Sugar Baby’.
The average size of a watermelon is usually about 20 pounds, but there have been reported sightings of 100-pounders. The current record is in New Weston, Iowa where a farmer grew a whopping 880 lb. watermelon!
A normal sized watermelon has about 10 cups of water and 220 calories. A 10 lb. watermelon has about 16 cups of water and 2320 calories. You would have to exercise for 3 hours to burn off the calories you would get from a 10 lb. watermelon.
Watermelons can grow in almost any soil, but it must be well-drained. They cannot survive in standing water because their roots will rot. This is why watermelons like sandy or gravely soil. They need about 2.5 cm (1 in.) of water per week, but they will not tolerate frost.
If it’s going to be a hot summer, you should mulch your watermelons to keep the soil temperature cooler. This will help them grow faster and produce more fruit. They also need a lot of sun, so make sure they get at least eight hours of sunlight every day.
Watermelons do not need to be planted near each other. You can plant them as much as a whole football field away from the next one. This is because watermelons don’t have very far reaching roots. They also don’t need to be pollinated by bees or anything like that.
Watermelons are not picky eaters. They grow best in soil with a PH level of 6.5-7.0 and a lot of nitrogen. It would be best to not plant them in the same place two years in a row because the soil will eventually run out of nutrients.
If you want to harvest watermelons, you should plant the seeds as soon as possible (about two weeks before the last frost).
The average watermelon grows about 1-2 feet off the ground. The bigger they are, the deeper their roots will be. An average watermelon takes about 75-120 days to fully grow.
There are two types of watermelons, seeded and seedless. The seeded watermelons have black or dark brown round seeds that range in size. They usually have a yellow or pink flesh. The seedless watermelons have smaller thin black or dark brown stripes and the flesh is a pale red color.
Watermelons are 87% water, so they would make a good food for survival situations. If you have a fruit drink recipe that calls for watermelon and you don’t have any, just use another fruit juice instead of the water.
The History Of Watermelons
While watermelons originated in Africa, they grew wild in Southern and Eastern Asia. The first people to grow them were the Ancient Egyptians. They carved images of them on tombs and temples. The first people to cultivate them were the Ancient Greeks and Romans. They grew them while other civilizations were still eating beans and peas as their primary fruit and vegetable.
The watermelon made its way from Egypt into Turkey and Greece. It spread throughout Europe, and then to the New World. The Spanish and French carried the watermelon to the new world in the 1400s and 1500s. George Washington planted the first one at Mount Vernon in 1771. Thomas Jefferson had them at Monticello.
The first watermelons to arrive in the Midwest were grown in Kansas in 1831. They were very popular in the Midwest and South by the 1860s. The first seedless watermelons were grown in 1932, but they didn’t become common until the 1940s.
The word “watermelon” comes from two words in Greek, “hydor” meaning water and “mellon” meaning melon. They were sometimes called muskmelons because they had a scent that smelled like musk.
Watermelons contain beta carotene, vitamin C and B6. They have lots of lycopene, which is good for your heart. Eating 1 cup (165 grams) of watermelon gives you about 50% of your daily requirement of vitamin A and 7% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. It also provides you with lots of potassium. Eating too much watermelon can give you a bad stomach ache because it contains a lot of sugar.
The Future Of Watermelons
Watermelons will probably still be around in the future. Farmers and scientists are trying to create more nutritious and tasty fruits, vegetables and seeds. They will probably keep creating new types of watermelons that are seedless, have better tasting or colored flesh, or just look different.
Fun Facts About Watermelons
Watermelons are 92% water.
There are more than 500 varieties of watermelons.
Watermelons were first grown in Africa, Asia and Europe.
The biggest watermelon recorded weighed 163 pounds (74 kilograms).
The rind of a watermelon is not eaten, so most of what you eat is water.
The round shape of most watermelons means that they always roll down hill.
The black seeds are known as pips.
It was believed that the dark green stripes on the rind of a watermelon were caused by ants crawling around underneath it. This was before people knew that watermelons grew on vines.
Note: This information was available to me through Public Domain. If you know the source, please contact me and I will add it here. Thanks
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Sources & references used in this article:
Differential pathogenicity of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum to certain wilt-resistant watermelon cultivars. by GL Barnes – Plant Disease Reporter, 1972 – cabdirect.org
Sequencing the genome of the heirloom watermelon cultivar Charleston Gray by A Levi, L Hernandez, J Thimmapuram… – XX Plant and Animal …, 2011 – ars.usda.gov
‘Charlee’watermelon. by JM Crall – HortScience, 1990 – cabdirect.org
Screening the Watermelon Germplasm Collection for Resistance to Papaya Ringspot Virus Type‐W by EB Strange, N Guner, Z Pesic‐VanEsbroeck… – Crop …, 2002 – Wiley Online Library
Resistance of watermelon cultivars to fusarium wilt. by GW Elmstrom, DL Hopkins – Plant Disease, 1981 – cabdirect.org
Florida” icebox” cultivars as a factor in watermelon production in Florida and other producing states. by JM Crall, GW Elmstrom – … , soil and crop science society of Florida, 1986 – cabdirect.org