There are over 14 varieties of watermelon that are found in Kenya. As a farmer who is practicing Agribusiness, it is best practice to find out which melon variety will fetch the highest demand on the market. In this article, we take a look at all you need to know about the different varieties of watermelon found in Kenya.
Perhaps you have been looking for the best watermelon variety to grow. Maturity period, resistance to diseases and size of the water melon when mature are some of the factors a farmer should consider when choosing the variety of water melon to plant.
Kenyans have over the time learned to embrace watermelon. Currently watermelon is one of the most sort after fruits on the market. Fruit farmers and fruit ventures are now making a kill out of watermelon business and the fruit has now been branded as gold.
Some few years ago you would buy the whole bunch of watermelon just for Ksh20, currently a slice of watermelon is going for the same price and it is growing thinner and thinner everyday.
So, as a farmer which watermelon variety should you go for? Here are varieties of watermelon found in Kenya and their differences.
Watermelon varieties found in Kenya
Sweet Rose F1 watermelon
Sweet Rose F1 watermelon is oval in shape, can be harvested in 100 days. It can weight between 10 and 12kgs. The flesh is deep crimson red in colour. It has a good shelf life.
Early Scarlet F1 watermelon
Early Scarlet F! water melon is common on the Kenyan market. With an early maturity of 85 days, Early Scarlet F1 can weight up to 12kgs and can yield 60 tonnes per acre. It has deep red flesh, with a dark green outer rind.
Zuri F1 watermelon
Zuri F1 is liked because of it’s resistance to some strains of fusarium wilt. It has a strong dark green colored rind and can weigh up to 12Kgs.
Sukari F1 watermelon
This is the most popular watermelon variety in Kenya. Sukari F1, is preferred by most farmers. Watermelon farmers in Kenya like it because of it’s early maturity of 80 days, Hard rind that makes it resistant to pests. The hard rind gives it longer shelf life. It is very sweet and fleshy. Sukari F1 yields between 25 to 30 tonnes.
Sweet melon Galla F1
Sweet Melon Galla F1 has a light green juicy flesh. The rind is yellow and brown in colour. The fruit weighs one to 2 kgs. It takes between 65 and 80 days to mature. Sweet Melon Galla F1 yield per acre is 25 tonnes.
Crimson Sweet watermelon
Crimson Sweet watermelon has a deep red sweet flesh. It can weigh between 8-10kgs and has a green rind with dark green stripes. It matures in 85 days. Crimson Sweet watermelon has a long shelf life. It is resistant to fusarium rot and anthracnose.
Asali F1 watermelon
Asali F1 is an oblong-shaped watermelon with a dark green stripped rind. It has a maturity period of just 85 days. Asali F1 yield per acre is 40 tonnes. It has a large fruit with sweet flesh. Asali F1 is resistant to fusarium rot and anthracnose.
With a maturity period of 90 days, the Congo watermelon can weigh 22kgs making it one of the biggest in size. It is a gigantic long watermelon with a dark green stripped rind.
Sugar baby watermelon
With a maturity period of 75 days, the sugar baby watermelon has small size fruits that do not weigh more than 5kgs. It has sweet red flesh with light green colored rind that has dark stripes. Sugar baby can yield up to 75 tonnes per acre.
It has a maturity period of 90 to 100 days, the oblong-shaped orangeglo has sweet, sugary, crisp orange coloured flesh. The orangeglo watermelon can
weight upto 12kgs.
This watermelon has a green rind with no stripes. It is suitable for growing in a greenhouse under irrigation. It has strong vines and weighs up to 8 kgs. Andaman watermlon can yield 30 tonnes per acre.
Moon and star watermelon
Characterized by small circles (stars) and one or two moon-shaped circles, this watermelon has a maturity period of 90 days. It can weigh between 9 and 12kgs. It has a dark green rind, with bright yellow spots. The flesh is brilliant red in color and is very sweet. The leaves are speckled yellow in colour.
Golden midget watermelon
It is a golden midget watermelon and can weigh between 1 to 1.5kgs. Golden midget watermelon is characterized by a golden yellow rind with pink flesh. The fruit turns yellow when ready to harvest. It has a short maturity period of 70 days.
Charleston grey watermelon
Charleston Grey has a light green striped rind, with sweet red flesh. It is drought-resistant and matures in 100 days. Charleston Grey can yield at least 20 tonnes per acre.
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Watermelon can either be planted directly on the seedbed. However some farmers prefer raising the seedlings first in a nursery before transplanting them to the farm.
Watermelons grow well in soils with alkaline PH. It is therefore advisable to add lime to the soil so as to maintain the alkaline PH. This should be done at an interval of 3 years.
Watermelon grows well in well-drained soils with a pH of between 6.0 to 6.8. This means that watermelon will do well in soils that are slightly acidic.