Congo Watermelon is an heirloom, open-pollinated watermelon variety that can grow up to 50 lbs! These large fruits have an oblong shape with dark green stripes on a medium-green body. An AAS winner in 1950, Congo has an unusually high sugar content for a larger watermelon variety. The flesh is firm, super-sweet and delicious. The rind is tough and durable to resist bruising during harvesting and transporting.
Watermelons may be direct seeded or transplanted. For direct seeding, we recommend planting seeds every 12″ along the intended row to ensure a good stand. Once plants emerge, thin plants to one every 2 feet. Watermelons can be susceptible to plant diseases if excess leaf moisture is present. As a result, we recommend using drip irrigation on watermelons to reduce leaf moisture and feed plants more effectively. During periods of heavy rainfall, using a fungicide like Liquid Copper can help to alleviate disease pressure as well.
Watermelons also perform well when transplanted. In early spring, we recommend transplanting to get a jump start on the growing season. Watermelon prefers warmer temperatures for seed to germinate. By transplanting, you can have plants in the ground before the soil temperature warms enough to direct seed. We recommend starting transplants 4-5 weeks before the desired outdoor planting date.
Watermelon transplants grow great in our heavy-duty seed starting trays, where they develop a solid root ball with roots that are trained to grow downward. Plants are ready to go in the ground when they can be easily pulled from the cells in the seed starting tray. Watermelons are ready to harvest when the tendril near the fruit completely dries. The tendril can be found between the fruit stem and the fruit. It is usually curly and green, but will dry when fruits are ready to harvest.
Congo Watermelon Planting Information
Planting Method: direct seed or transplant
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1/2″
Seed Spacing: 24″
Row Spacing: 5-6′
Days to Maturity: 90
Disease Resistance: None