There are many key aspects that gardeners take into consideration when deciding which varieties of watermelon to grow in their gardens each season. Characteristics such as days to maturity, disease resistance, and eating quality are paramount. Another very important aspect, however, is size. For some growers, choosing varieties which produce large melons is non-negotiable. Learn some Black Diamond watermelon info in this article.
What is a Black Diamond Watermelon?
Black Diamond is an heirloom, open-pollinated variety of watermelon. For generations, Black Diamond watermelons have been a popular choice for both commercial and home growers for many reasons. Black Diamond watermelon plants produce vigorous vines, which often yield fruits weighing in excess of 50 lbs. (23 kg.).
Due to the large size of fruits, gardeners can expect this plant to require a long growing season in order to harvest fully ripe melons. Mature melons have very hard rinds and sweet, pink-red flesh.
Growing Black Diamond Watermelons
Growing Black Diamond watermelon plants is very similar to growing other varieties. Since all watermelon plants thrive in sunny locations, at least 6-8 hours of sun each day is imperative. Additionally, those wishing to plant Black Diamond will need to ensure a long growing season, as this variety may take at least 90 days to reach maturity.
To germinate watermelon seeds, soil temperatures of at least 70 F. (21 C.) are required. Most commonly, seeds are direct sown into the garden after all chance of frost has passed. Gardeners with shorter growing seasons attempting to grow Black Diamond watermelons may need to start seeds indoors in biodegradable pots before transplanting outside.
Harvesting Black Diamond Watermelons
As with any variety of watermelon, determining when fruits are at peak ripeness may be somewhat of a challenge. When attempting to pick a ripe watermelon, pay close attention to the tendril located where the melon connects to the plant stem. If this tendril is still green, the melon is not ripe. If the tendril has dried and turned brown, the melon is ripe or has started to ripen.
Before picking the watermelon, look for other signs that the fruit is ready. To further check the progress of the watermelon, carefully lift or roll it. Look for the place in which it was resting on the ground. When the melon is ripe, this area of the rind will usually have a cream-colored appearance.
Black Diamond watermelon rinds will also harden when they are ripe. Try scratching the watermelon rind with a fingernail. Ripe melons should not be able to be easily scratched. Using a combination of these methods when picking watermelons will ensure a much higher likelihood of choosing a fresh, juicy fruit that is ready to eat.