Some Carolina Strongback melons still in the field. These things remind me of the Cucurbita ficifolia fruit. The plants are prolific and the fruit would probably keep forever if kept indoors. I have enough seed to last for a long, long time. The interior of the fruit are mostly seeds. The flesh is a yellow orange color and is not sweet. The seeds are reddish in color.
The 'Harvest Moon' melons that were grafted onto the Strongback were very vigorous and yielded super heavily. The Strongback seems to be a slower starter than the squash rootstock and perhaps a little slower than the bushel gourd too. The leaves look very similar to a watermelon's but when grown right next to a watermelon you can tell the difference. It is not a big difference though. I am not sure if I will use this rootstock again next year or not. The grafting is a little trickier in my opinion because the seedlings are so small. It is like grafting a watermelon onto a watermelon. I am surprised that the Strongback still had stump blow ups for many growers. Perhaps it is not the dissimilarity in vigor between rootstock and scion that causes the problem but more about the way we are growing the grafted plants. If many fruit are allowed to grow on a plant I have not seen a huge issue with stumps. No matter what they are grafted too. Limit it to one massive quickly growing fruit and the stumps are very likely to blow apart, regardless of rootstock used.