If you’ve never sampled a Tastigold watermelon, you’re in for a big surprise. On the outside, Tastigold melons look much like any other melon – light green with dark green stripes. However, the inside of a watermelon Tastigold variety isn’t the usual bright red, but a beautiful shade of yellow. Interested in giving it a try? Read on and learn how to grow Tastigold watermelons.
Tastigold Watermelon Info
Similar in shape to most other watermelons, Tastigold melons may be round or oblong, and the weight, at 20 pounds (9 kg.), is also about average. Some people think the flavor is slightly sweeter than standard melons, but you’ll have to try them for yourself.
The only significant difference between Tastigold melons and standard red watermelons is the bright yellow color, which is attributed to the absence of lycopene, the red carotenoid pigment found in tomatoes and many other fruit and berries.
How to Grow Tastigold Melons
Growing Tastigold melons in the garden is much like growing any other watermelon. Here’s some tips on Tastigold melon care:
Plant Tastigold melons directly in the garden in spring, at least two to three weeks after your last average frost date. Melon seeds need warmth to trigger germination. If you live in a climate with a short growing season, you may want to get started a little earlier by purchasing seedlings at a garden center or by starting seeds indoors. Be sure the seeds have ample light and warmth.
Prepare a spot where the seeds (or seedlings) have plenty of room to grow; Tastigold watermelon vines can reach lengths up to 20 feet (6 m.).
Loosen the soil, then dig in a generous amount of compost, manure or other organic matter. Also, a handful of slow-release fertilizer gets the plants off to a good start. Form the soil into small mounds spaced 8 to 10 feet (2 m.) apart.
Cover the planting area with black plastic to keep the soil warm and moist, then secure the plastic with rocks or landscaping staples. (If you prefer not to use plastic, you can mulch the plants when they’re a few inches tall.) Cut slits in the plastic and plant three or four seeds in each mound, about 1 inch (2.5 cm.) deep.
Water as needed to keep the soil moist, but not soggy, until the seeds sprout. Thereafter, water the area every week to 10 days, allowing the soil to dry between waterings. Use a hose or drip irrigation system to water at ground level; wet foliage invites a number of harmful plant diseases.
Thin the seedlings to the two sturdiest plants in each mound when the seedlings are 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) tall.
Fertilize Tastigold melons regularly once the vines begin to spread using a balanced, general-purpose fertilizer. Be careful the fertilizer doesn’t touch the leaves and always water well immediately after fertilizing.
Stop watering Tastigold watermelon plants about 10 days before the melons are ready to harvest. Withholding water at this point results in crisper, sweeter melons.