When summer approaches, nothing quite compares to a refreshing slice of watermelon. Growing your own watermelons is an easy way to add that fresh taste to your garden.
Watermelons can be grown from seeds, cuttings or transplants; however, it’s best to start your seedlings indoors as they require warm soil in order to germinate.
Watermelons are one of the most beloved fruits in America. Not only do they grow from seeds easily, but they’re also an excellent source of vitamin C.
Watermelon seeds should be germinated during the summer season. They usually take 3-10 days to germinate, with harvest occurring 70-85 days later. As these are long-lived plants, they require moderate temperatures (75-85 degrees Fahrenheit) and plenty of moisture in order to grow successfully.
Some gardeners prefer to germinate their watermelon seeds indoors before transplanting them outdoors. It is essential to remember that watermelons are frost sensitive plants and exposure to cold weather will quickly kill them. Therefore, planting watermelon seeds indoors three to four weeks prior to your area’s last frost date is ideal.
To germinate watermelon seeds indoors, place them in peat pots filled with seed starting mix. Keep these pots warm (80-90degF) until the seeds sprout.
Watermelon seeds can also be germinated by soaking them in paper towels for 12-24 hours. Doing this will soften the outer seed coating and promote faster germination.
Additionally, soaking watermelon seeds may prevent disease such as anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum lagenarium fungus. It’s an efficient way to reduce transplant shock which may cause watermelon seeds to crack or dry out.
Soaking watermelon seeds for 12-24 hours can improve their germination rate and seedling emergence. Depending on the type of seed, this could lead to a faster crop cycle with increased yields.
For optimal growing conditions, watermelon seeds should be planted in your own garden in spring once the soil temperature has warmed to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. In cold climates, cover the planting area with black plastic two weeks prior to sowing in order to help warm up the soil temperature.
When growing watermelon, it is essential that the soil be prepared thoroughly prior to planting. Doing this will enable your plants to flourish and produce fruit abundantly. If starting from scratch, make sure your soil has been enriched with organic matter such as Tui Sheep Pellets or Tui Compost before adding a layer of Tui Citrus & Fruit Mix for maximum success.
When planting your melons, select a location that receives plenty of sun but is also protected from winds and salty air. Doing this will prevent your vegetables from getting sunburnt and allow them to mature rapidly and fully.
Once your plants have reached full bloom, make sure to water them regularly to maintain soil moisture. Be careful not to overwater as this could lead to root rot and harm the growth of your watermelon fruit.
Mulching the soil around your watermelon plant helps retain moisture and discourages weeds from taking root. You can spread straw or chopped leaves on top after it has warmed up, or lay black plastic sheeting or garden fabric across your planting bed for extra protection.
You could also opt for a raised garden bed. This will give your melons plenty of room to grow and provide excellent drainage. When using a raised bed, space your melons 1.5-1.8 meters apart or up to 3 meters for larger varieties.
Once your melons have grown to maturity, they are ready for harvesting. You can tell if they are ripe by looking at their appearance – including the color of their ground spots and vine tendrils nearest the fruit. Some varieties even produce a characteristic sound when tapped that helps determine whether they are ready or not.
Watermelons make ideal summer garden produce due to their preference for rich, fertile soil that drains well and the long growing season they offer. Watermelon plants can tolerate a range of temperatures but should be planted before the last frost date in spring.
Before planting, amend the soil with plenty of compost. This helps it retain water and nutrients for healthy growth. You can also add manure or cow manure to the compost to enhance its fertility and provide additional essential nutrients to plants.
Seeds should be planted outdoors 7-14 days after the last frost date, 1/2 to 1 inch deep in small hills or rows spaced 36′ apart. If starting indoors, use larger pots than usual in order to promote more root growth.
Transplant the seedlings to a sunny area in your garden where they’ll receive ample sunlight and airflow. Maintain soil temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit – this is ideal for germinating seeds – by using either a heat mat or placing blankets under the plants as insulation.
Once your plants have sprouted, you’ll need to transplant them into individual pots or containers before planting directly in the ground. Watermelons require extra care when transplanting; take extra precautions not to damage their roots during this delicate procedure.
Watermelon patches that have been well-tended will yield huge, sweet melons that are delicious to eat. Be sure to provide your plants with regular watering and use slow-release fertilizers for maximum growth and production.
Watermelon seeds are an excellent way to add essential nutrients to your diet. They contain high amounts of minerals and vitamins that support immunity and heart health, making them suitable for snacking on or using as salad toppings.
One of the best ways to enjoy these seeds is by roasting them, which provides a nutritious and delectable snack in no time. Simply spread them out on a baking sheet then bake at 325degF for 15 minutes. Feel free to season with salt or olive oil for extra flavor, then enjoy!
Seeds also supply a good source of protein, iron, zinc, copper and potassium – essential nutrients that promote fitness and healthy living while controlling blood sugar levels.
Watermelon seeds have long been known to promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis, so if you’re concerned about your bones, eating these seeds regularly could be beneficial! They contain magnesium which helps maintain calcium content in bones while shielding them from breakage.
Watermelon seeds are packed with vitamin B complex and can help strengthen the immune system. Enjoy them directly as a snack or sprinkle them on salads and smoothies for an energizing crunch.
When planting watermelon seeds, it is essential to sow them an inch deep and space them at least three feet apart. As these annual plants require warm temperatures in order to germinate properly, planting in early spring will give your harvest a head start on the season.
Before planting your melon seeds, it is recommended that you conduct a soil test to identify the type of soil present. The type of soil will affect its quality; ideal conditions call for sandy or loamy conditions with good drainage.
Watermelons are an enjoyable summer treat that can be eaten raw, in fruit salads or as dessert. Not only do they have a sweet taste, but they’re packed with vitamin C for optimal body health benefits.
These flowers thrive in warm climates and come in a range of sizes and colors. There are both seedless and heirloom varieties to choose from.
Seeds can be planted directly into a garden or in seed flats. To direct-sow, create a mound of rich compost-amended soil about one foot across and scatter seeds over top. Once warm enough, the seeds will sprout.
Save watermelon seeds and plant them in the spring for an early start to your harvest. This is a great way to get ahead of the season, resulting in a bumper crop of freshwatermelon when harvest time rolls around in the fall.
Watermelons should be started indoors, however if you live in colder climates it may also be possible to transplant them into your garden. Unfortunately, plants might not take off immediately after transplant shock and colder temperatures cause them to slow down their growth rate.
Aphids and spotted cucumber beetles can also attack melons, damaging their blossoms or rotting the fruit. To protect your melons, hose them off with water and pinch out any infested foliage.
Another important step is hand pollination. If the flowers don’t produce female blooms or have a small fruit at their base that shrivels up and dies, this indicates they’re likely not getting enough pollen from outside sources.
Once the flowers appear, gently pull off some male flowers and brush them against the female flower’s stigma to release pollen. Do this early in the morning.
Grow Watermelons From Seeds
Growing watermelon from seeds is relatively straightforward, particularly if you plant them in a fertile soil and provide them with regular fertilization. Begin by testing the pH of your soil before planting – this will give an indication of which nutrients and fertilizers need to be added.
Crop rotation can help protect your crops from diseases like alternaria leaf spot, anthracnose, gummy stem blight and fusarium wilt. Aphids and spider mites may be an issue as well; to combat them use neem oil, diatomaceous earth or insecticidal soap.
Watermelon seeds are easy to start from seed and make an excellent addition to any garden. To give your seedlings the best chance for success, loosen the soil and mix in compost-amended organic fertilizer before sowing.
Once the soil temperature reaches 65degF (10degC), sow seeds 1/2 inch deep in a prepared mound of garden soil. Seedlings should germinate within three to ten days after sowing.
To encourage seed sprouting, ensure the soil is warm and well-drained. Sow your seeds early in the morning or late at night so they won’t be exposed to direct sunlight right away.
You can also use a trellis to support your watermelon vines. This will encourage them to climb instead of sprawl, and take up less space in the garden.
Melons are highly vulnerable to rot and sunscald, so protect them by covering them with a basket or cloth. Doing this will keep the fruit from becoming soft and mushy and help it remain fresh for longer.
Watermelons thrive in sandy, well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients and has ample moisture. Furthermore, they require plenty of sun; as they cannot tolerate cold or damp weather, planting them early spring and letting them mature before the first frost is the best way to ensure you get ripe fruit.
Plant seeds one inch deep in rows or hills spaced six feet apart. After the seedlings have two sets of true leaves, thin them out to one per mound.
If your growing season is short, consider starting watermelon seeds indoors and transplanting them into the garden after the last frost date in your area. This is an excellent way to get an early start on season while saving some money!
Transplants are relatively straightforward to grow and can be planted into the garden about one week earlier than direct-seeded plants. To harden off transplants, reduce watering and move them to a cooler area for several weeks before planting in your garden.
When growing watermelon from seed, it is essential that the soil remain moist. Watermelons are heavy feeders and will grow quickly if dry conditions prevail.
To prevent soil drying out, you can add mulch around the plant. Alternatively, water regularly to ensure that plants receive sufficient moisture.
Once the seeds germinate, you can transplant them into a garden bed or mound. Depending on which variety you are growing, sow seed in rows or hills about 6 feet apart.
After two sets of true leaves appear on each hill or mound, thin out the seedlings to one per hill or mound. Finally, fertilize monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer for best results.
To determine if your watermelon is ripe, look for the curly tendril connecting its stem and fruit. This should be brown or dark red and the melon should have become slightly softened.
Check your fruit for signs of pests or disease. Aphids, cabbage loopers and cutworms can cause extensive damage to your melon crop so be vigilant and only use insecticides when necessary.
Thin the Seedlings
When growing watermelon from seed or transplanting them, thin the seedlings to ensure proper spacing. Use scissors to snip weak or crowded seedlings at their soil line and select healthy ones to keep.
Once your seedlings reach a few inches tall with at least two sets of true leaves, thin them out to two or three per mound. Continue this practice until your plants reach full height and set fruit.
To reduce the risk of disease, apply an organic fertilizer at planting and again when your vines start sending out runners. After fruit sets, mulch the vines with straw, dry chopped leaves or black plastic mulch (sheeting) to suppress weeds and conserve soil moisture.
Watermelons come in a range of varieties, depending on your climate and preferred melon type. Early season varieties tend to be smaller and ripen in 70-75 days, while main season varieties mature slower but can be larger. Seedless options also exist and include red, pink or yellow flesh varieties.
Watermelons require a lot of fertilizer to produce fruit. It is recommended to apply an effective watermelon fertilizer at least once each month, and more frequently during peak growth periods.
Watermelons require a liquid plant food with all three macro and micro nutrients that can be absorbed by the plants. This fertilizer comes as either a spray-on formula that you apply directly onto leaves, or it can be diluted in water and applied around stem base with some organic matter.
You can also use a granular watermelon fertilizer that’s high in calcium to help your plants develop strong roots and stems, leading to larger crops.
No matter which choice you make, be sure to apply fertilizer when the vines are actively growing and in bloom (usually four to eight weeks after planting). Avoid nitrogen-heavy fertilizers at this stage as they will only stimulate vine growth rather than encourage flower buds.
Miracle-Gro is an organic watermelon fertilizer specifically formulated for safe and effective results, featuring various organic nutrients that will ensure your plants get everything they need for a successful harvest.
Train the Vines
Watermelons are a favorite summer fruit for gardeners due to their ease of cultivation and sweet, succulent fruits. Unfortunately, they take up an inordinate amount of space in your yard.
Thankfully, you can make use of that extra space by cultivating a separate melon patch or training your vines so they’re not in the way of other plants. You could even grow melons on a trellis to prevent them from becoming overgrown.
Once you’ve chosen a site and prepared the soil, sow your seeds an inch deep into a mound that measures 6-12 inches high. This helps watermellons drain faster and ensures they receive warmer temperatures than flat ground where they may wilt.
Watermelons are heavy feeders, so you should provide them with a comprehensive organic fertilizer when planted and periodically throughout the growing season. Furthermore, applying mulch helps to keep weeds down and add essential nutrients back into the soil – especially important if growing watermellons in cool climates.
Support the Fruits
Watermelons require a long growing season, plenty of sunlight, and warm soil temperatures for producing healthy and tasty fruit. While they can tolerate partial shade, the reduced number and size of fruits will result from these conditions.
Watermelon seeds can be planted directly in your garden or indoors in paper or peat pots two to four weeks before your last frost date. For best germination results, ensure the soil temperature reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit before planting them.
Melons thrive best in well-draining, rich soil with a neutral pH range of 6.0 to 6.8. Before planting, aerate the soil and add several inches of aged compost or manure for additional nutrition.
When fertilizing for the first growing season, use a slow-release organic fertilizer with more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium. Fertilize again at flowering and again at harvest.
Watermelon plants require a generous supply of nutrients, so be sure to provide them with an ideal start with rich soil and organic fertilizer. They may also be susceptible to fungal diseases like alternaria leaf spot, anthracnose, and gummy stem blight; select resistant varieties and watch for signs of disease.
Harvest Ripe Melons
When growing watermelon from seed, timing the harvest is critical. There are various ways to determine when they’re ripe; one way is checking the color of both top and bottom surfaces.
You can also look for yellowing on the rind of a melon and on its closest tendril. When these signs appear, it’s ready for harvesting!
To guarantee a tasty melon, reduce water usage about one week before harvest. Doing this helps concentrate the sugars in the fruit and makes them sweeter.
When watermellons are ripe, they should easily slip from their vines. This stage, known as the slip stage, should be harvested to guarantee they remain ripe and flavorful.