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

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Kleckley's Sweet (a.k.a Monte Cristo)Slow Food USA - Ark of Taste

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,
  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.


  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.

Customer Reviews Average Rating review
Great fruit but not very hardy
We had a few VERY hot days early on in summer that really put a hurting on these vines. We ended up getting three large very delicious melons from four vines but were kind of hoping for more. I think if I had more time to pay attention to watering these guys they might have done better. Overall the melons were outstanding.

VSC Notes: Thank you for your report and good observations. We are just down the road from you a bit and you are correct about the temperatures here this summer and your hypothesis about water is also spot on. Since watermelons originated in Africa, they love the heat and this summer was perfect for growing them. Ours did quite well. However, they do require tons of water. Since few people have loads of spare time these days, myself included, setting up drip irrigation is a great option for raising melons. Here on the farm, it has been time and money well spent! Thank you again for your report and your support. ~Mike
Reviewed by: skipp shelly from Portland, Oregon. on 9/9/2015
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