Blacktail Mountain watermelons convening on the counter
Every year I try to grow watermelons and every year by late summer the sprawling vines, lush in vegetation, hold melons the size of limes. This year was different. Even with a remarkably cool summer where tomatoes failed to fein even the slightest blush, I had a bumper crop of watermelons. The trick: I finally found the right variety for the maritime Pacific Northwest in a melon from Idaho called blacktail mountain.
After reading a mouth-watering description by Amy Goldman in her Melons for a Passionate Grower, I was hooked and hopeful. Nine months later, I’m harvesting really crisp and sweet and remarkably prolific watermelons (and I planted the seeds directly July 1). Even the smaller ones with a paler flesh are delicious. If you’ve never had success growing a watermelon, give this one a try.
Blacktail Mountain: Description from SeedSavers.org
Developed by SSE member Glenn Drowns when he lived in northern Idaho, where summer nights average 43 degrees F. Round 9″ dark green fruits weigh 6-12 pounds. Sweet, juicy, crunchy, scarlet flesh. Does well in hot, humid climates too. Reliable crops. 70-75 days.
Blacktail Mountain: Description from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
70 days. One of the earliest watermelons we know of, superb for the north, but it also grows well in heat and drought. The flesh is red and deliciously sweet, the fruit have a dark rind and weigh 8-12 lbs. each. This excellent variety was developed by our friend Glenn Drowns, owner of the Sand Hill Preservation Center in Iowa. A favorite of many gardeners across the USA. One of the best we have ever tried!