If you’re thinking of growing watermelon this year and have not yet decided what variety to attempt, you might want to think about growing sugar baby watermelons. What are sugar baby watermelons and how do you grow them?
What Are Sugar Baby Watermelons?
An interesting nugget among sugar baby watermelon information is its very high “brix” measurement mean? Commercial watermelon growers value melons high in sugar and the name for this sweetness is called “brix” and can be scientifically measured. As its name implies, Sugar Baby watermelons have a brix measurement of 10.2 and rank as one of the sweetest watermelon cultivars. Citrullus lanatus, or sugar baby watermelon, is an incredibly productive grower as well.
Sugar Baby melons are around “picnic” or “icebox” watermelons perfect for small families and as the name suggest, small enough to fit into the icebox. They weigh in a between 8 to 10 pounds and are 7-9 inches across. They have either a dark green with slight dark veins or medium green with dark veined rind. The flesh is as mentioned, red, sweet, firm, and crisp with mottled with very few small, tan-black seeds.
Sugar Baby Cultivation
Sugar baby watermelons, like all watermelons, require warm, dry temperatures to thrive. This early watermelon cultivar was first introduced in 1956 and is an early maturing variety, maturing in 75-81 days. They do best in Mediterranean climates where the vines spread out 12 feet or longer, with each plant producing two or three melons.
Most people start this melon via seed indoors at least six to eight weeks before outdoor planting time. These melons need rich, amended with compost, manure, and well-draining soil. Plant them in an area with at least eight hours of sun exposure per day and account for at least 60 square feet of space per watermelons plants.
Additional Sugar Baby Information
Sugar Baby watermelon care requires consistent irrigation. Drip irrigation is recommended, as Sugar Baby varieties, like all watermelons, are susceptible to a variety of fungal disease. Crop rotation and fungicide applications can also reduce the risk of potentially deadly disease.
These melons may also become infested with striped cucumber beetle which can be controlled through hand picking, roten one applications, or floating row covers installed at planting. Aphids and nematodes, as well as disease such as gummy stem blight, anthracnose, powdery mildew, may all afflict the Sugar Baby watermelon crop.
The lastly, these melons, like all melons, are pollinated by bees. The plants have both yellow male and female flowers. Bees transfer pollen from male blooms to female blooms., resulting in pollinating and fruit set. On occasion, the plants don’t get pollinated, usually due to wet weather conditions or insufficient bee populations.
In this case, a little specialized Sugar Baby watermelon care is order. You may need to give nature a hand, by hand pollinating the melons to increase productivity. Simply dab the male flowers gently with a small paintbrush or cotton swab and transfer the pollen to the female blooms. Learn more at: Tips For Growing And Planting Watermelons In Containers – Variety of Watermelon Plants.