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One big, sweet, beautiful watermelon that reaches up to 35 lb.
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!
Sow in deep, well-worked soil in a warm, sunny location after all danger of frost. Sow 4-6
seeds in groups, allowing 3" between the seeds, spacing the groups in hills 5-7 apart each way. Cover seeds with 1" of fine soil and firm lightly. For early fruiting or in a short growing
season, plants may be started indoors 3-4 weeks before last spring frost.
For some varieties, seeds of pollinators are included in the packet. Sow as many seeds as
possible to ensure pollination. Seedlings emerge in 7-10 days.
How to Grow Watermelon
Thin to 2-3 seedlings in each group after plants are well established. If indoor sown,
before transfer to garden, accustom plants to outdoor conditions by moving to a sheltered area
outside for a week. Grow on plastic mulch to warm soil, control weeds, conserve soil moisture
and protect fruit by keeping it off the ground.
Mulch using straw, newspaper, or yard clippings. Provide plants with extra water during
especially dry periods. Do not plant cucurbits in the same place year after year.
Watermelons are ready to be harvested when they twist easily off the stem and have a
yellowish color where the melon rind has been resting on the ground. Some tap watermelons to
test for ripeness, checking for a hollow sound and not a soft or dull thudding sound. Melons are best when eaten at room temperature.