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A Sweet Sign of Summer: Rare Watermelons Are Back

By Sheryl Joy, NS/S Seed Distribution Coordinator. Published on April 22, 2015.

From the rich recesses of the NS/S seed vault, we are happy to bring you four watermelon varieties that have not previously been publicly available. If your garden is a good size for summer’s favorite sprawling vine, check out these varieties!

Sandia Los Lunas comes from Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 25 miles south of Albuquerque. This classic looking green striped watermelon has sweet red flesh and small seeds, and was grown for roadside market stands. It hails from about 4500 feet, so would be a good one to try for either lower or higher desert elevations. Available online and at our Tucson Store.

We found the Manzano Sandia being dry-farmed in the Manzano Mountains Southeast of Albuquerque at around 7000 feet. This big oblong gray-green melon is likely a type of the popular Charleston Grey watermelon that was introduced in 1954. Fruits grow up to 20 inches long with very tasty pale red flesh. Available online and at our Tucson Store.

The last of our “new” melons came from Santo Domingo Pueblo. Santo Domingo Dark Green has light brown and beige seeds, while Santo Domingo Brown Seeded has only the light brown seeds.

Otherwise they are very similar: round melons, 7 – 12 inches across, with dark green skin and sweet red or pink flesh. Both are favorites at Pueblo feast days. Both also have very thick rinds, so they are good for storing into the winter, or for making watermelon rind pickles. These two varieties of watermelons are available online only.

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