Watermelon - Sugar Baby
Approximately 24-26 seeds per gram.
This is the classic heirloom icebox type watermelon dating back to 1959. Sugar Baby has a thin, hard rind with distinct stripes that become almost black at maturity. The flesh is firm, sweet, almost orangey red, with small, apple-like seeds. The round fruits grow to about 18cm (7") in diameter. Fruit will ripen in late August to early September. This is an extremely productive plant turning out loads of sweet, small melons. This is the small gardener's dream watermelon, whereas most melons take up lots of space for just a few melons. Sugar Baby will give you loads of fruit in a small space. "Sugar Baby" is a good choice since it has one of the shortest growing seasons for both forms of the plant. From the time you plant the seeds until you pick your watermelon only about 80 days will pass. When ready for harvesting, the "Sugar Baby" melon should weigh between 6 and 10 pounds, making it one of the smallest melons to grow. Short vines (Bush type).
The bush form of "Sugar Baby" watermelons is the most compact. This type only produces vines that average 3 1/2 feet long. Compare this to the average vine length for bush types of watermelon, which is 6 feet long. The vining form of "Sugar Baby" watermelon grows vines that are longer than the bush form. Vines in the standard "Sugar Baby" form reach almost 12 1/2 feet long, which is the average size for most vining types of watermelon. To save garden footage, these vines can be trained up a trellis by tying the vines along the support structure as they grow. Once the vines set fruit, keep the watermelons from breaking the vines by holding them up with nylon stockings tied to the trellis and used as slings.
The condition of the tendrils near the fruit stem is another indicator of when a watermelon is ready to pick. When they are green at the attachment point, the fruit is not yet ripe, but when they start to turn brown and dry, it is harvest time. When the tendrils have fully dried out, the fruit is on the verge of over ripening and will not ripen further. Therefore, harvest the fruit immediately.