Virtues: ‘Mini Love’ is a mini watermelon in all aspects: Its vining growth reaches just 3 to 4 feet, a fraction of traditional watermelon varieties. Its fruits stay small, too, making them the perfect match for small households. ‘Mini Love’ watermelon won an All-America Selections National Award in 2017.
Common name: ‘Mini Love’ watermelon
Botanical name: Citrullus lanatus ‘Mini Love’
Exposure: Full sun
Season: Fruits ripen in midsummer, 80 days from direct-sowing seeds or 70 days from planting transplants that were started indoors or purchased.
Habit: This mini watermelon stays compact, with vines that reach just 3 to 4 feet long.
Yield: Each ‘Mini Love’ watermelon plant yields 4 to 6 melons, each weighing 7 to 9 pounds.
Origins: ‘Mini Love’ watermelon was bred by HM Clause and released to the market in 2017.
How to grow ‘Mini Love’ watermelon: Watermelon seeds should be sown indoors about four weeks before the expected last frost. Watermelon plants require full sun, rich soil, consistent watering and good drainage. They require a long, warm growing season, but they can be grown in the North with some accommodations: Cover the soil with plastic to help it heat up, and place floating row covers over young plants to trap warm air around them. Remove the row covers when the vines bloom.
Avoid foliar diseases by using soaker hoses or drip irrigation close to the ground. Water in the early morning. Protect the fruits against rot by placing straw or cardboard underneath them as they develop.
Photo credit: All-America Selections