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Watermelon, Congo

Short Description

One big, sweet, beautiful watermelon that reaches up to 35 lb.

Full Description

An All-America Selections winner in 1950, Congo is hard to find these days, but it is one sweet, beautiful watermelon. Weighing as much as 35 lb., Congo's oblong, medium-green fruits with dark green stripes are filled with firm, sweet, delicious red flesh with a high sugar content. Sweet!
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Quantity
Price
Item#: 64025A
Order: 1 Pkt.(70 Seeds)
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$3.95
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

90 days

Fruit Weight The average weight of the fruit produced by this product.

35-40 pounds

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

72-96 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

15-24 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Direct Sow

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How to Sow and Plant

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Direct sowing is recommended, but to get a head start you can start watermelon indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost in individual biodegradable pots indoors. Sow 2-3 seeds per pot.
  • Sow seeds 1 inch deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-10 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Thin to one plant per pot.
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden

  • Sow in fertile, warm soil after danger of frost has passed.
  • Sow seeds 3 inches apart in groups of 4-6 in raised hills. Cover with 1 inch of fine soil and firm lightly.
  • Space groups 5-7 feet apart each way.
  • Keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-10 days.
  • Thin to 2 or 3 strongest seedlings in each group when they are 1-2 inches high.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Seedless varieties do not produce pollen and therefore cannot pollinate themselves. A pollinator (seeded variety) is included to insure a good fruit harvest both seedless and the pollinator seed must be planted together.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Watermelon plans have a shallow root system, mulches help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Do not move the vines, they are easily injured.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest & Preserving

  • Watermelons are ripe when the tendrils next to the fruit turn brown.
  • The spot where the fruit rested on the ground will turn to a creamy yellow.
  • When you rap on the watermelon it will have a dull or hollow thud rather than a sharp sound.
  • To avoid damage, cut the watermelon off the vine with sharp shears.
  • Watermelon may be stored for one to two weeks in the refrigerator. For cut watermelon, wrap the cut side in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
Days To Maturity
90 days
Fruit Weight
35-40 pounds
Sun
Full Sun
Spread
72-96 inches
Height
15-24 inches
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Planting Time
Spring
Sow Time
After Last Frost
Thin
36 inches
Life Cycle
Annual
Watermelon, Congo is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GREAT TASTING!!! Very enjoyable melon. Grows very well without any problems for me here in Michigan. Will grow again. It's the middle of October with very chilly nights and these melons are on the vine and is still providing me with a tasty treat. Love them!! Oh yeah, these are not seedless melons. You will be spitting out a TON of seeds with every bite.
Date published: 2013-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great This was my first time growing watermelons, or any plant since I've been an adult. I used to try to grow strawberry plants when I was in high school, but the squirrels and rabbits used to get to them before I could pick them. So needless to say I was skeptic about growing anything when I picked up the congo variety of watermelon seeds on a whim. I started them outside in a kiddie pool along with some other varieties of watermelon (Jubilee, Orange tendersweet, and crimson sweet) Actually I don't think there will be enough room in the kiddie pool, but we'll see what happens. The congo plants are looking very healthy and are growing steadily, all of the plants in the pool are about a month old, the germination rate of the congo was pretty good considering I left for Vegas in may with the seed packet open and returned in the middle of June, I had about six congo plants that managed to grow and kept four but plant to thin one more out depending on how they do in the next couple of days. I hope they turn out!
Date published: 2012-07-28
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