90 to 100 days — In 2014 we received an email from Mr. Charles Jeffers in Georgia. He wrote, "I have a variety of yellow watermelon, never seen for sale, in my lifetime and I am 77 years old. The Mabry's and I want this variety of melon to be grown in the future.
We were intrigued! He continued, "It is round, up to 40 pounds, yellow-meated, and very good. The outside color is approximately the same as 'Blacktail Mountain.' The seeds date back to at least 1919.
We emailed back and told him that we would love to trial it.
Since our growing season here on the farm shares similar conditions with that part of Georgia, the fruits matured in about the same number of days. We do not get summertime rain here so our plants were drip irrigated and were grown in a prime location in the field with both good fertility and for amount of sun received. And it paid off. The melons were large, averaging twenty-five pounds, with a thirty-two pounder being the largest. The rinds are very thin which means that they are not a good candidate as a commercial shipping variety, but they are excellent for everyone else! They almost explode open when you put a knife to them. They have a fine-grained, crisp, wonderful, orange flesh that is juicy and amazingly sweet.
Mr. Jeffers received this old family heirloom in 1980 from his friend, Mr. Ward Mabry whose family hailed from Cobb County, Georgia.
Mr. Mabry (now in his 90s) received seed from his father, Harley Mabry, who got his seed from his father, James Hartwell Mabry. J. H. Mabry got the original seed for this wonderful watermelon from a neighbor of his in about 1919.[1,2]
Although these were once only available in Cobb County, Georgia, because Mr. Jeffers had the foresight to protect this variety by making it freely available, we all get the opportunity to grow something special. Each packet contains two grams, which is approximately 20 to 25 seeds.