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1924 Henderson's Catalog

Moon & Stars Watermelon Seed

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Moon & Stars Watermelon Seed (95 days)

Heirloom Seed Package contains 2 grams or about 19 heirloom watermelon seeds

The history of the Moon & Stars watermelon is a short one, considering melons have been cultivated for at least 4,000 years, according to Amy Goldman, whose "Melons for the Passionate Grower,'' (Artisan, 2002) -- chockfull as it is with the history, growing tips and descriptions of heirloom melons, along with Victor Schrager's mouthwatering photos -- is a must-have for anyone who wants to cultivate melons.

Called 'Sun, Moon and Stars' when it was introduced in 1924 by Peter Henderson and Company, the melon had disappeared from the commercial market for decades and was thought extinct when, in 1981, as Goldman notes, Kent Whealy, co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, was contacted by Merle Van Doren of Macon, Mo., who was growing the melon and gave Wheatly some of the seeds from the melons he grew. The Southern Exposure Seed Exchange reintroduced the oblong 'Amish Moon & Stars' and a yellow-fleshed, not-so-sweet variety in 1987.

A heavy watermelon -- ranging from 20 to as much as 50 pounds -- the 'Moon & Stars' has a dark green somewhat ridged rind with the aforementioned yellow mottling. Leaves are similarly mottled. Fruit may be round, oblong or pear-shaped.

The flesh, which can be red, pink-red or yellow, depending on the variety, is nowhere near as dense and smooth as that of the commonly grown 'Sugar Baby' or 'Crimson Sweet.' The flesh around the seeds tends to get mealy just when the melon is at its peak, which is the only downside I've found -- although those who like their fruit seedless may balk at the large seeds that surround a small heart. On the other hand, those who eat the nutritious seeds (Goldman notes that watermelons are grown for their seeds rather than the flesh in China and many parts of Africa) will prize 'Moon & Stars.'  Source SFGate

Listed in Slow Food's Ark of Taste which aims to rediscover and catalogue forgotten flavors by documenting excellent food products that are in danger of disappearing. Since the international initiative began in 1996, more than 800 products from over 50 countries have been added to the international Ark of Taste. The Ark of Taste serves as a resource to those interested in reviving rare breeds and learning about endangered foods, with the goal of encouraging the continued production and consumption of these delicious foods.

Seed Planting Depth

Seeds per gram

Germination Temperature

Days to Germination

Row Spacing

Plant Spacing

100' Row Yield


1" 22-27 75-80 3-10 6' 3' 55 lb Full

Citrullus lanatus

Planting Tips:

In warmer climates, can be direct sown 1” deep once soil is above 75.  For cooler climates, start seedlings 2-3 weeks before last frost and place in final spacing of 3-4ft. on 6 ft. rows.  Loose, fertile soil in full sun will ensure a good crop.  For sweeter melons, reduce watering in the last month before harvest.

If direct seeding, don't plant seed till the soil temperature is 70 degrees or more.  Watermelons are originally from Africa and need heat to grow well.
If you do not have a long hot summer choose an organic variety that is quick to ripen. 
Because we want to get an early start we normally plant watermelon seed in four inch containers inside a greenhouse.

For Best Eating:  Water until the fruits are about the size of a tennis ball then only water if the plant totally dry.  The best tasting organic melons are concentrated in flavor because they are not over-watered.

Seeding Rate: 5,000 plants/acre, aproximately 1/2 lb.

Heirloom seeds are hardy but always take care with your garden seeds to give them the appropriate amount of moisture - not letting the vegetable seeds dry out prematurely or overwatering and possibly having them rot.


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