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CITRULLUS lanatus 'Mickylee'

Image of Citrullus lanatus 'Mickylee'

Family

Cucurbitaceae

Botanical Name

CITRULLUS lanatus 'Mickylee'

Plant Common Name

Mickylee Watermelon, Watermelon

General Description

The early maturing icebox watermelon ‘Mickylee’ bears round 7- to 11-pound (3 to 5 kg) melons with green striped skin and light textured, red flesh on the inside. The wilt- and anthracnose-resistant vines are a bit smaller than average making this an ideal variety for gardens where space is limited. This variety takes 80 days from planting to harvest.

Watermelon is a tender annual tropical vine that needs a long, very warm growing season to produce its famous fruits. Yellow, bee-pollinated flowers appear among the attractive deeply lobed, gray-green leaves throughout the growing season. Some flowers are male and others female. Female blooms have a bulbous ovary at the base, which will eventually become the fruit, and the males only have pollen-laden anthers.

Watermelons do not become sweeter after being harvested, so they must be picked when ripe. It is tricky to know when to harvest—especially considering the fruits take a while to mature and patience can wane. The best means is to monitor the tendril closest to the developing fruit. Once the tendril starts to turn brown, the fruit is ready. Another method is to keep an eye on stem health. When the stem is green and firm, the melon is still ripening; a soft withering green stem is an indication of ripeness, and a dry or unattached stem can mean over-ripeness. Finally, check the underside of the melon and give it a light knock. If the underside of the melon has turned from white to pale yellow and a hollow sound emanates from the fruit, it is probably ripe. When harvesting, cut the melon from its stem. Tearing the stem can lead to vine rot.

Full sun and fertile, friable loam are perfect for watermelon culture. Watermelon plants appreciate sharp drainage, so it is best to sow the seeds in low mounds of soil (called "hills"). After the threat of frost has passed, plant as many as three seeds in each mound and keep the soil evenly moist but not wet (wet soil can induce seed rot). Once the small plants have emerged, keep them lightly moist and feed them regularly. Provide ample room for the plants to sprawl across the ground. The sheer weight and size of the melons precludes training the vines on trellises.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 4

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    6'-9' / 1.8m - 2.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Green, Light Green

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Herb / Vegetable, Tropical, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No