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The Blacktail Mountain Watermelon

Think you can’t grow watermelons because you’re not in one of the warmer US Hardiness zones? Then you’ll want to know about the Blacktail Mountain watermelon! It’s one of the most versatile watermelons you can grow since it’s able to survive in the cold.

If you live in a place with cold nights, then this watermelon is the perfect one for your garden.

Let’s get into all you need to know about the unique Blacktail Mountain watermelon.

About the Black Mountain Watermelon

The Blacktail Mountain watermelon was created in northern Idaho, where the nights can reach lows of up to 40 degrees.

The watermelon was bred in the 1970s by Seed Saver’s Exchange member Glenn Drowns when he lived in the area. The incredible part about this was that he started breeding this watermelon when he was just 17 years old! It took him 4 years to develop the watermelon into what we know it as today, but it was well worth the wait.


The Blacktail Mountain watermelon has a unique appearance to go along with its unique traits. Unlike other watermelons that are green, this melon looks like a black volleyball with its dark-brown rind, hence its name.

This melon is relatively small compared to other watermelons weighing in at 6-12 pounds.

A small, round, dark green watermelon resembling the Blacktail Mountain watermelon.

Inside the melon, it has a deep scarlet flesh. The flesh is also known for its extremely high water content. It has a water content of around 95 percent, which is a lot of water even when compared to other watermelons.

The watermelon also contains seeds, which means parents should be mindful about removing the seeds before feeding this delicious fruit to their children.

What does the Blacktail Mountain Watermelon Taste Like?

The Blacktail Mountain watermelon is known for its incredibly sweet flavor. Due to its high water content, the watermelon explodes with juices every time you bite.

Although it is one of the juiciest watermelons, it has a crunchy and fibrous texture. This is not usual, as watermelons that are very juicy tend to have softer flesh.

Eating the Black Mountain Watermelon

Closeup of wedges of watermelon.

Are you looking for a healthy salad that makes a delicious addition to any summer diet? Try our refreshing watermelon, radish salad.

If you’re looking for an adult drink that’s just perfect for a hot summer day by the pool, then try our Mezcal Melonrita.

If you want the most delectable dessert that also adds variety to your usual recipes, then try this Watermelon, Berry, and White chocolate pavlova.

This Grilled watermelon with avocado, cucumber, and jalapeño sauce makes the perfect addition to any summer barbecue.

Still don’t know what you should make with your watermelons? Take a look at these 34 Surprising Uses for Watermelon

Health Benefits

Watermelons are a fantastic source of potassium and magnesium, which are essential minerals known as electrolytes. Combined with the Blacktail’s high water content, this melon is the perfect hydrating snack.

Watermelons are also rich in vitamins A and C, which are important for your eyes and your immune system, respectively.

Learn all you need to know about the many benefits of watermelons in our Health Benefits of Watermelon article.

How to Grow the Blacktail Mountain Watermelon

A small dark green watermelon on a vine.

We’ll cover the basics of what you need to know to grow this watermelon, but for more in-depth information, check out our guides on How to Plant Watermelon Seeds and How to Grow Watermelon.

The Blacktail Mountain Watermelon is best grown in the summer and needs full sun, but it also does really well in the early season when the temperature is slightly colder.

Plant the watermelon seeds half an inch deep and a full inch deep at the most. You should allocate 6-8 seeds per hill.

Each hill should be 8 inches apart from each other in all directions to allow room for them to grow.

The plants should be watered often to keep the soil moist at all times. The soil should drain well in order to avoid conditions that are too moist.

When the seedlings grow large enough, thin the number of plants on the hill to 3-4 plants to allow them to receive optimal nutrition.

Closeup of two watermelon seedlings in a soil mound.

It’s crucial that you prevent diseases and pests from ruining your watermelons and spoiling all your hard work. Not to worry, though, you can read our guides on Watermelon Pests and Watermelon Diseases for the best tips on how to keep your watermelons safe and sound.


When the watermelons go from green to brown and they are cream-colored underneath instead of greenish-white/yellow, that’s when you know it’s time to harvest your Blacktail Mountain Watermelons.

For more in-depth information on how to harvest your watermelons, read our guide on Watermelon Harvesting.

Where to Buy the Seeds

A starter tray of watermelon seedlings.

Hopefully, we’ve sold you on the idea of growing this watermelon in your own garden!

The good news is you can purchase Blacktail Mountain Watermelon seeds online at one of our favorite seed retailers, Hoss Seeds.


How long will the plant take to germinate?

The plant takes anywhere from 5-10 days to germinate. At this point, you should be able to see the seedlings sprout.

How long does the Blacktail Mountain watermelon take to mature?

The watermelon is actually known for its early ripening compared to other watermelons. The Blacktail takes about 70-85 days to reach full maturity.

Will using pesticides alter the flavor of the watermelon?

Yes, using pesticides and other chemicals while planting is known to have an impact on the taste of watermelons. It should only have a very small impact if used correctly.

A Welcome Part of Anyone’s Garden

The Blacktail Mountain Watermelon is a truly incredible and unique watermelon. This melon is known for its unique volleyball shape and ability to survive in colder weather.

A dark green watermelon cut into sections.

A sweet and crunchy snack, this watermelon is sure to stay a consistent part of your garden.

If you want to grow the Blacktail, or you wish to know more about other watermelons that you can grow, visit our Watermelon Plants page to find in-depth guides on growing and caring for watermelons, as well as detailed profiles for a wide variety of watermelons.