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Home>Vegetable Seeds>Watermelons
Kleckley's Sweet Watermelon
Kleckley's Sweet Watermelon
Kleckley's Sweet Watermelon
Item Id: 3250201

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Description
Kleckley's Sweet (a.k.a Monte Cristo)
85 to 100 days — The skin is too thin for shipping so you will not likely find this variety in your local supermarket. Excellent for home gardens. The fruit is oblong, dark green in color, and up to forty pounds in weight. Very sweet, dark red flesh with a stringless heart and large, white seeds.

Bred and developed by William Alexander (W. A.) Kleckley of Sumpter County,[4] Georgia in the late 1880s, it is reportedly a cross between 'Boss' and 'Arkansas Traveler'. It was introduced commercially by W. Atlee Burpee in 1897.  Within a couple of years, the variety was offered by many of the other seed companies.

In about 1900, W. A. Kleckley moved his family to Grapeland, Houston County, Texas where he was able to establish a seed farm and continued as a supplier to W. Atlee Burpee.[1] After his death in 1921, that his son Marvin Elmo carried on the melon work for some time but after service in the Pacific during WW-II, he settled into a career as a retail merchant.[3]

Each packet contains two grams, which is approximately 20 seeds.
Informational Sources:
  1. Genealogy of William Alexander Kleckley, myKindred.com.
  2. Headstone of W. A. Kleckley.
  3. Texas State Resolution 583 in Memory of Marvin Elmo Kleckley, April 3, 1995.
  4. "Watermelons from a Southern Viewpoint," by Thomas J. Steed, The Garden Magazine, February, 1911, page 13.

Notes:

  1. Many seed company's descriptions mention that W. A. Kleckley was from Alabama. All of the documentary evidence that I have discovered points to his birth and beginnings in Georgia and then his removal to Texas in his 1930s. I can only speculate that some sloppy writer along the way saw 'Kleckley Sweet' and 'Alabama Sweet' in the same paragraph (two different varieties, by the way), and somehow convoluted the history which others simply repeated.

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