Ali Baba is the Best!

We’ve had a troublesome history with watermelons. It’s like us and watermelons never really jived. We started to think that maybe we just weren’t watermelon-growing kind of people. But this year things have been different. Maybe it’s because we planted two different kinds together. Or maybe the stars are just aligned like one big watermelon this year, but it’s been a good year for us and watermelons.
Sugar Baby
Sugar baby

We grew Sugar Babies and Ali Babas. The Sugar Babies, they were pretty good. Smallish and roundish with dark skin and a nice red center. But they were only mostly sweet and they were full of countless little black seeds. Which made for a lot of spitting. So much spitting that we barely got to taste the flesh.
Ali Baba
Ali Baba

But the Ali Babas…. Now those are our kinds of melons. So sweet that you don’t even know what to do with yourself. So full of flavor. And the seeds are big and not so plentiful, so when you take a bite, it’s an easy ‘patooie’ to spit them out. And did I mention the flavor? Oh, we’re in watermelon heaven. It’s a good thing that it’s so incredible because so far we’ve harvested two and this one here is 14 pounds. The previous one wasn’t far from that weight. We’ve got a lot of melon eating to do.
Inside the Ali Baba
The story behind these Ali Baba’s is pretty cool too. The seeds were given to Rare Seeds from a man who collected them from Iraq before the war started. Now its virtually impossible to get seeds from that country. “A rare genetic treasure” reads the description.
Ali Baba
And look, it’s beautiful growing in the yard. You must all put this melon at the top of your list for growing next year. You won’t be disappointed.


Filed under Growing Challenge, just picked, notes for next year

12 responses to “Ali Baba is the Best!

  1. We didn’t grow any melons this year, but just seeing yours makes my mouth water! I am so happy to be able to skip the research part and just buy some Ali Baba seeds 🙂 Thanks! hehe

  2. I love the story of the seeds coming from Iraq and that you are keeping the variety alive in your garden. It makes my imagination of the melon even sweeter.

  3. Sibran


    Do you think I can grow them in Belgium?


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  9. Doyle

    This year we grew/are growing Ali Baba’s and have been having rat problems…they love em. Even though I have had six or seven eaten by rats, we still have about 10…one know approaching 15 or so pounds. We have taken measures – first we did bird netting and that, I believe has worked a bit but not fully. Second, we concocted a home remedy using red pepper, garlic and water and sprayed our melons. Cross your fingers for us as it seems to be working. I did cut one of the rat eaten melons and it smelled wonderful – I mean wonderful. So – I cannot wait to actually take a bite of what I think will be a nice experience.

  10. Homer Adams

    Ali Baba ia the same as Charleston Grey.

  11. nancy

    Beautiful! I am growing some Ali Babas–what are the signs of ripeness so I know when to pick, please? thanks so much!

  12. Michael Lackner

    After reading about this watermelon in the Baker creek Heirloom Seed catalog, I was excited about growing them in 2015. They were nice sized , beautiful, juicy watermelons. I had 3 of them from 2 plants. On a scale of 1 to 10 for sweetness, they were about a 6. Rather disappointed to say the least. I had 7 other orange and yellow varieties that I rated between 8 to 10.
    I won’t grow them again this year.

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