If you’re a watermelon lover, you know just how refreshing and sweet this summer fruit can be. Growing your own watermelon is a great way to enjoy the taste of this delicious fruit while also experiencing the satisfaction of growing your own food. Watermelons are relatively easy to grow as long as you provide them with the right conditions and care. In this article, we will show you how to grow watermelon from seed to harvest, so you can enjoy your own juicy melons all summer long.
Watermelons are warm-season plants that require a long growing season to reach their full size and sweetness. They thrive in hot, sunny areas with temperatures between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Watermelons grow best in well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. If your soil is acidic, you can add lime to raise the pH level. In order to grow watermelon, you will need plenty of space in your garden to accommodate the sprawling vines. Each plant can take up to 4-6 feet of space.
Watermelons can be grown directly in the garden or in containers if space is limited. If you choose to grow them in containers, make sure the container is at least 10-12 inches deep to allow for root growth. Plant the watermelon seeds directly into the soil or container after the last frost date in your area. Watermelon seeds are available in several different varieties, so choose the one that suits your taste and climate best.
Watermelon seeds should be soaked in water for about 15 minutes before planting to aid in germination. After soaking, place each seed 1 inch deep into the soil, then cover it with soil and gently pat it down. Water the seeds well after planting to ensure good moisture content. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing period, but be careful not to overwater as this can cause the plants to rot.
Watermelon plants require regular watering in order to produce juicy fruits. During hot, dry periods, water the plants deeply every 7-10 days. Watermelons have deep root systems, so it’s important to water deeply to ensure the roots can access the moisture they need. While the plants are young, it’s important to protect them from pests such as mice, which can damage the leaves and stems. You can create a barrier around the plants using a wire mesh or simply place the plants in a container away from the ground.
Watermelon vines grow vigorously and can take up a lot of space in the garden. To maximize space and produce larger fruits, it’s important to prune the vines. Pruning involves removing the smaller fruits and leaves from the vines to allow the larger fruits to grow and receive more nutrients. Prune the vines when they reach about 10-12 feet in length. This will encourage the plant to put its energy into producing larger fruits.
The best time to harvest watermelons is when they are fully ripe and the skin has turned dark green or black. You can determine if a watermelon is ripe by tapping on it. If it sounds hollow, then it’s ready to be picked. Another way to check is by looking at the curly tendrils on the vines. If they have turned brown and are drying up, it’s a good sign that the watermelon is ready to be harvested. Harvest your watermelons by cutting them from the vine, leaving a short stem attached.
Now that you know how to grow watermelon, you can enjoy the sweet taste of this summer fruit all season long. Whether you have a large garden or a small container, growing watermelons is a rewarding and delicious experience. So get your seeds and start planting today!
How to grow watermelon from seed
Watermelons are a delicious and refreshing fruit that can be enjoyed during the hot summer months. If you’re interested in growing your own watermelons, starting from seed is a great option. With a bit of planning and care, you can have juicy, homegrown watermelons right in your own garden.
Planting the seedlings
The first step in growing watermelons from seed is to plant the seedlings. Start by preparing the soil in a sunny spot in your garden. Watermelons need plenty of sun to grow, so choosing a location with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day is vital.
Before planting, make sure the soil is well-drained. You can improve drainage by adding compost or sand to the soil. Watermelons prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.8.
If you don’t have a large garden, you can also grow watermelons in planters or containers. Just make sure the containers have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Watermelons have deep roots, so choose deep containers to allow the roots to spread.
Planting the seeds
Once your soil is ready, it’s time to plant the watermelon seeds. Dig small holes in the soil, about an inch deep and 2-3 feet apart. Place the seeds in the holes and cover them with soil.
Water the newly planted seeds well and provide them with regular waterings throughout the growing season. Watermelons need about an inch of water per week, and even more during hot, dry periods.
Supporting the vine
Watermelon vines are vigorous and can sprawl across your garden if left uncontrolled. To keep them tidy and save space, consider providing a trellis or support for the vine to grow on. This will also make it easier to monitor the health of the plants and pick your watermelons once they’re ready.
Caring for the plants
In order to grow large and healthy watermelons, it’s important to care for your plants properly. Here are some tips for caring for watermelon plants:
- Protect the seedlings from frost. Watermelon seedlings are delicate and need protection from frost. If frost occurs, cover the seedlings with a sheet or plant them under row covers to keep them warm.
- Prune the vines. Watermelon vines tend to grow large and can easily take over your garden. Pruning them can help control their size and improve air circulation, reducing the risk of disease.
- Watermelon plants require ample water. Be sure to water the plants deeply, but avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during hot and dry periods.
- Provide support for the growing fruits. As your watermelon fruits grow larger, they may need support to prevent them from touching the ground. Placing a small board or piece of cardboard under each fruit can help protect them.
- Harvest your watermelons at the right time. The time it takes for watermelons to grow and ripen depends on the variety you’re growing. On average, it takes about 80-100 days from planting to harvest. To determine if a watermelon is ripe, look for a dull sound when you thump it, a yellowish-white belly, and dry, brittle tendrils near the stem.
By following these guidelines, you can successfully grow watermelons from seed and enjoy the sweet taste of homegrown fruits all summer long.
How to grow watermelon directly into the ground
Growing watermelon directly into the ground can be a good option for those who have an idyllic garden with good soil. Unlike planting watermelon in containers, growing them in the ground allows the vines to spread freely and produce larger fruits. Here, we’ll show you how to plant watermelon directly into the ground.
Choosing the right location
The first thing you need to know is where to plant your watermelons. Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil. Watermelons require ample sunlight and warm temperatures to grow properly. It’s also important to have enough space for the vines to spread, so plan accordingly.
Preparing the soil
Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds and loosening it with a garden fork. Watermelons prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 6 and 6.8. If your soil is too acidic, you can add lime to raise the pH.
Planting the seedlings
Start by soaking the watermelon seedlings in water for a few hours before planting. Dig holes in the prepared soil that are large enough to accommodate the root ball of each seedling. Space the plants about 3 feet apart to give them enough room to grow.
Support and protection
Watermelon vines can grow quite tall, so it’s important to provide support for them. You can place trellises or stakes around the plants to help support the vines as they grow. Additionally, you may want to protect the plants from pests like mice by installing a wire fence around the garden border.
Watering and pruning
Watermelons need regular watering to grow properly. Keep the soil consistently moist, but be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. It’s important to prune the watermelon vines to encourage fruit production and manage their size. Remove any suckers that develop on the main vine and pinch off the tips of the side shoots once they reach 4-5 feet long.
Harvesting the fruits
Watermelons take about 80-90 days to mature after the seedlings are planted. The best way to know if they’re ready for harvest is to look at the color of their skin and the sound they make when tapped. The skin should be dull and the sound should be hollow. Once picked, watermelons can be stored for a few days at room temperature or in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.
In conclusion, growing watermelon directly into the ground is a great way to enjoy this juicy and sweet fruit. With the right location, soil preparation, support, and regular maintenance, you can have a bountiful harvest of watermelons to enjoy all summer long.
Can you plant seeds from a watermelon
When it comes to growing watermelons, many people wonder if they can simply plant the seeds from a watermelon they enjoyed eating. The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. Let’s explore the different factors and options involved.
Seeds from store-bought watermelon:
If you’ve just enjoyed a delicious watermelon from the grocery store and want to plant its seeds, there is a possibility that they may not grow into the same type of watermelon. This is because most commercial watermelons are hybrids, meaning they are the result of cross-pollination between different types of watermelon plants. When you plant the seeds from these hybrids, the resulting plants may display characteristics of either parent or even something completely different.
Planters for watermelon seeds:
While planting the seeds directly into the garden soil is one option, many gardeners prefer starting seedlings indoors. This allows for better control over the growing process and gives the seedlings a head start before they are transplanted outside. If you choose to start seedlings, make sure to use seed-starting trays or containers to provide the seeds with the appropriate conditions for germination and growth.
The pruning process:
Watermelon plants can become quite tall and take up a lot of space in the garden. To keep them manageable, it is recommended to prune the vines. Pruning involves removing excess foliage and focusing the plant’s energy on fruit production. After pruning, the plants will continue to grow and produce more watermelons.
Watermelon plants in containers:
If you don’t have enough space in your garden or prefer a more controlled environment, growing watermelon plants in containers is a great option. Make sure to choose a container large enough to accommodate the plant’s size and root system. When planting directly in containers, it’s important to create drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil.
Water requirements for watermelons:
Watermelons require plenty of water to grow and thrive. In order to ensure optimal water supply, water the plants deeply and regularly. It is also recommended to mulch around the plants to retain moisture and keep the soil temperature consistent. However, be cautious not to overwater, as too much water can lead to disease and rot.
Pruning occurs after transplanting:
If you choose to start your watermelon plants indoors, they will need to be transplanted into the garden once the danger of frost has passed and the seedlings have grown a few sets of true leaves. Once the plants are in the garden, you can begin the pruning process mentioned earlier.
The time it takes for watermelons to grow and be ready for harvest varies depending on the type and growing conditions. On average, it takes about 80-90 days from planting to harvest. To determine if a watermelon is ready for harvest, look for signs such as a dried-out tendril opposite the fruit, a yellow or white belly, and a hollow sound when tapped.
While planting seeds from a watermelon you enjoyed eating may not guarantee the same results, it can still be a fun and educational experience. Whether you decide to plant the seeds directly into the garden or start seedlings indoors, keep in mind the proper care and maintenance required for successful watermelon growth. With patience and proper attention, you can cultivate your own sweet and juicy watermelons!
How many years does it take to grow a watermelon
Growing a watermelon requires time and patience. While some gardeners may be eager to enjoy their watermelons soon after planting, it is important to understand that watermelons take time to grow and mature. On average, watermelons take about 80-95 days to fully grow and be ready for harvest.
It’s important to note that the growing period for watermelons can vary depending on various factors such as the type of watermelon, the place where it is grown, and the specific growing conditions provided. Different varieties of watermelons have different growing periods, so it’s good to know which type you are planting and their average maturation time.
Watermelons are warm-season fruits that require plenty of sunlight, warm temperatures, and well-drained soil to thrive. They are typically planted in spring, after the last frost has passed, to ensure that the plants have enough time to grow and produce fruits before the colder months arrive.
When planting watermelons, it’s important to choose a sunny spot in the garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Watermelons require a large space to grow as the vines can spread out and take up a significant amount of space. Depending on the variety, watermelon vines can grow up to 8-10 feet long.
Watermelon plants should be watered regularly to keep the soil consistently moist. However, it’s important not to over-water the plants as this can lead to root rot and other diseases. The leaves of the watermelon plants can act as a natural mulch to protect the soil from drying out quickly and to reduce weed growth.
Pruning watermelon vines is also a vital step in ensuring healthy growth and fruit production. Pruning involves removing the side shoots and directing the growth of the vine to focus on the main stems. This helps to improve airflow and sunlight penetration, which can promote better fruit development.
After about 2-3 weeks from planting, small watermelon fruits will begin to form. These fruits will gradually grow larger and develop in size over time. It’s important to keep an eye on the watermelons and monitor their growth progress.
The best way to determine if a watermelon is ready for harvest is by observing its outer appearance. Ripe watermelons will have a dull or slightly flat side where they have been resting on the ground. The skin should be firm and hard, indicating that the fruit is mature. Additionally, tapping the watermelon should produce a deep, hollow sound, which means that the flesh inside is juicy and sweet.
Watermelons can be harvested by cutting them off the vine using a sharp knife or garden shears. It is recommended to leave a small portion of the stem attached to the fruit, as this can help prolong its shelf life. Once picked, watermelons should be stored in a cool and dry place to maintain their freshness.
In summary, the time it takes to grow a watermelon can vary depending on different factors. On average, watermelons take around 80-95 days to fully grow and be ready for harvest. It’s important to provide the right growing conditions, including plenty of sunlight, warm temperatures, and adequate water. Regular pruning and monitoring of the fruits’ growth progress are also important to ensure healthy and delicious watermelons.
Do watermelon plants come back every year
Watermelon plants are annual plants, meaning they complete their life cycle in one year. They do not come back every year on their own.
To grow watermelons, you need to plant new seeds or seedlings each year. This is because watermelon plants are not perennial and will die after producing fruit.
However, there are a few ways you can create the illusion of watermelon plants coming back every year:
- Planting new seeds each year: This is the most common and traditional method. You start with fresh seeds each year and plant them in your garden or a container.
- Harvesting seeds: If you know how to save watermelon seeds, you can harvest the seeds from ripe and juicy watermelons. Make sure to let the seeds dry completely before storing them for the next planting period.
- Planting in a container: If you don’t have a big garden or want to protect your watermelon plants from frost, you can grow them in a container. This way, you can move the container indoors during colder months and bring it back outside when the frost period ends.
Regardless of the method you choose, here are some essential tips for growing watermelons:
- Watermelons grow best in warm climates with long summers.
- Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil.
- Plant watermelon seeds or seedlings about 3 feet apart in rows that are about 6 feet apart.
- Water regularly, keeping the soil slightly moist but not soaked.
- Protect young seedlings from mice and other pests.
- Support the growing vines by placing a hammock or netting above them.
- Harvest watermelons when they are fully ripe. The best way to tell if a watermelon is ready to be picked is by tapping it and listening for a deep, hollow sound.
- Store watermelons in a cool place, but not below 50°F (10°C), as this can negatively affect their flavor and texture.
Keep in mind that not all watermelon varieties are the same. Some watermelons are smaller and mature faster, while others can grow up to several feet in size and take longer to ripen. Choose the type of watermelon that best suits your needs and growing conditions.
So, to answer the question, watermelon plants do not naturally come back every year. However, by following the proper planting, growing, and harvesting process, you can enjoy fresh watermelons year after year.
Should I soak watermelon seeds before planting
If you are planning to grow watermelons, you might be wondering whether you should soak the seeds before planting them. In this article, we will discover whether soaking watermelon seeds is necessary or not.
Don’t Soak Watermelon Seeds:
This is the short answer. You don’t need to soak watermelon seeds before planting them. Unlike some other seeds, watermelon seeds do not require soaking to aid in germination. Soaking seeds can actually do more harm than good, as watermelon seeds can become waterlogged and rot.
Why Shouldn’t You Soak Watermelon Seeds?
Watermelon seeds have a hard outer shell that protects them from frost and other potential damage. Soaking the seeds can weaken this protective layer and make the seeds more vulnerable to damage. Additionally, watermelon seeds naturally have a high moisture content, so they don’t need additional water during the germination process.
Watermelon seeds also germinate relatively quickly on their own, usually within 4-10 days after planting. Soaking the seeds is unnecessary and doesn’t provide any significant benefits.
If you want to give your watermelon seeds an extra boost, there are other options available. For example, you can create a mini greenhouse by placing a glass or a plastic bag over the planted seeds. This will create a warm and humid environment, which can promote faster germination.
Another option is to start the seeds indoors in a flat or a container, and then transplant the seedlings into the soil once they are ready. This can give the seedlings a head start and protect them from potential threats, such as frost or mice.
Pruning Watermelon Plants:
While it is not necessary to prune watermelon plants, it can help to promote healthier and more productive plants. Pruning involves removing the extra leaves and side shoots to create a more open and light-filled environment for the growing watermelons.
By pruning, you can also direct the plant’s energy towards producing fruits instead of growing excessive foliage. However, keep in mind that pruning should only be done after the plants have reached a certain size, as younger and smaller plants may not handle pruning well.
In conclusion, soaking watermelon seeds before planting is not necessary. Watermelons can be grown successfully without this step, and soaking can even be detrimental to the seeds. Instead, focus on providing the seeds with the right growing conditions, such as well-drained soil, adequate water, and sufficient sunlight. By following these guidelines, you can grow healthy and delicious watermelons in your own garden.
How many watermelons do you get per plant
When it comes to growing watermelons, one of the most exciting moments is the harvest. After months of tending to your plants, it’s finally time to see how many delicious watermelons you have managed to grow. The number of watermelons you can expect to get per plant depends on several factors, including the variety of watermelon you choose and the growing conditions.
Varieties and Size
There are different types of watermelons available, each with its own characteristics. Some varieties produce smaller fruits, while others can grow to be quite large. The size of the watermelon will determine how many you can expect to harvest. Generally, smaller watermelons can produce more per plant, while larger ones might yield fewer in number but be bigger in size.
In order to successfully grow watermelons, you will need to provide them with the ideal growing conditions. Watermelons need plenty of sunlight, water, and nutrients to thrive. They also require a long growing season, typically around 80-90 days, so make sure to plant them in a location where they will have enough time to mature before the first frost occurs.
Watermelons also need space to spread out their vines. It’s best to give each plant about 2-3 feet of space on all sides to allow for proper growth. Make sure to keep the surrounding area free from weeds and other plants that could compete for nutrients.
Watermelons are ready to be harvested when they sound hollow when tapped and their skin turns from shiny to dull. To harvest your watermelons, cut the stem with a sharp knife about one inch above the fruit. If you plan to store them, make sure to leave a small section of the stem intact.
The number of watermelons you can expect to get per plant can vary greatly. On average, a well-maintained watermelon plant can yield between 2-4 melons. However, some gardeners have reported harvesting as many as 10 watermelons from a single plant.
While it’s exciting to count the number of watermelons you have grown, it’s important to remember that quality is just as important as quantity. The flavor, juiciness, and sweetness of your watermelons will also depend on factors like soil quality, water, and the overall health of your plants.
In conclusion, the number of watermelons you can get per plant depends on various factors such as the variety, size, growing conditions, and the effort you put into nurturing your plants. By providing them with the right environment and care, you can maximize your watermelon harvest and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Where should I plant watermelons
If you want to grow watermelons, it’s important to choose the right location for planting.
Watermelons are warm-season plants, so they need a lot of sun to grow properly. Find a spot in your garden or yard where they will receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. This will help the plant produce sweet and juicy fruits.
It’s also important to consider the space requirements of watermelons. These plants have long vines that spread out horizontally, so they need a lot of space. Make sure to provide enough room for the vines to grow and spread out. You can either plant them directly into the ground or use containers or planters.
If you choose to plant them directly into the soil, make sure it is well-drained and rich in organic matter. Watermelons prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. If the soil is too acidic, you can add lime to raise the pH.
If you decide to use containers or planters, make sure they are large enough to accommodate the growing watermelon plants. Choose containers that are at least 5 gallons in size so that the roots have enough space to grow. Make sure the containers have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
Watermelons are also sensitive to frost, so make sure to plant them only after the danger of frost has passed. In colder regions, you may need to start the seeds indoors and transplant the seedlings outside once the weather warms up.
It’s best to plant watermelons in mounds or raised beds. This helps to improve drainage and provides better air circulation around the plants. It also helps to warm up the soil more quickly, which is beneficial for the growth of watermelon plants.
Watermelons are heavy feeders, so make sure to fertilize the soil before planting. Use a balanced fertilizer or compost to provide the necessary nutrients for the plants.
Another important factor to consider is the pollination of watermelon flowers. Watermelon plants have both male and female flowers. Bees and other pollinators are vital for the transfer of pollen between the flowers. Make sure to have flowering plants nearby to attract pollinators and ensure proper fruit set.
Once the watermelon plants are planted, make sure to water them regularly. Watermelons need a lot of water, especially during hot and dry periods. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged, to prevent the fruits from cracking. Avoid overhead watering as it can lead to fungal diseases.
As the plants grow, you may need to prune them to control their size and shape. Pruning helps to improve air circulation, reduce disease pressure, and focus the plant’s energy on fruit production. Prune the vines by removing any side shoots or suckers.
It’s important to know when the watermelons are ready for harvest. Different watermelon varieties have different ripening periods, but on average, it takes about 80-90 days from planting to harvest. The fruit is ready when the tendrils near the stem start to dry out, the bottom of the watermelon turns from white to yellow, and the skin becomes dull and tough.
Harvesting watermelons at the right time is important to ensure they have the best flavor and sugar content. If you harvest them too early, the fruits may be under-ripe and lack sweetness. If you harvest them too late, they may become over-ripe and lose their flavor.
Now that you know where and how to plant watermelons, it’s time to get started. With proper care and attention, you’ll be enjoying delicious and juicy watermelons in no time!
Should you prune watermelon plants
Pruning watermelon plants is a topic that often sparks a debate among gardeners. Some believe that pruning can help increase fruit size and yield, while others argue that it’s unnecessary and can even harm the plants. So, should you prune your watermelon plants? The answer is… it depends!
To Prune or Not to Prune?
Pruning watermelon plants can be a good idea if you want to create a more manageable and productive garden. By removing some of the excess foliage, you can improve air circulation and reduce the risk of disease. Pruning also allows more sunlight to reach the fruit, which can result in larger and sweeter melons.
When to Prune
If you decide to prune your watermelon plants, it’s important to do it at the right time. Pruning too early can disturb the growing process and delay fruit development. Wait until the plants have several true leaves and have started to vine before considering pruning.
Pro Tip: Pruning watermelon plants can be done at any time during the growing season, but it’s best to do it in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid stressing the plants.
How to Prune
Besides knowing when to prune, it’s also crucial to understand how to prune watermelon plants properly. The goal is to remove the excess leaves and vines while leaving enough to protect the fruit from sunburn.
1. Start by examining the plant and identifying the main vine(s).
2. Look for any suckers or side shoots that are growing from the base or the leaf joints of the main vine.
3. Carefully prune these suckers, making sure not to damage the main vine or the leaves.
Pro Tip: When pruning watermelon plants, use clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors to make clean cuts and minimize the risk of disease transmission.
After you’ve pruned your watermelon plants, it’s important to keep them well-watered and fertilized. Pruning can stress the plants initially, so providing them with adequate moisture and nutrients will help them recover quickly.
To Sum it Up
In conclusion, pruning watermelon plants can be a vital step in growing larger and sweeter melons. However, it’s not necessary for every gardener or every type of garden. If you have a small garden or limited space, pruning can help you create a more productive and manageable space. On the other hand, if you have ample space and want to let your watermelon vines sprawl naturally, pruning may not be necessary.
Ultimately, the decision to prune your watermelon plants is up to you and your gardening goals. Just remember to consider the specific needs of your plants and the space you have available before making the final call.
How to grow watermelon vertically
Growing watermelon vertically is a great option for those with limited space, as it allows you to make the most of your available area. By utilizing trellises or cages, you can train the watermelon vines to grow vertically, saving valuable ground space.
1. Start with seedlings
It’s best to start with seedlings rather than planting watermelon seeds directly into the soil. Watermelon seeds can be difficult to germinate and require specific conditions to thrive. By starting with seedlings, you ensure a higher chance of success.
2. Choose the right variety
Not all watermelon varieties are suitable for vertical growing. Look for compact or smaller varieties, such as “Sugar Baby” or “Blacktail Mountain,” which are known to have shorter vines and can grow well vertically.
3. Prepare your soil
Watermelons prefer well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH level of around 6.0-6.5. Before planting, ensure that your soil is enriched with organic matter and has good drainage. This will provide the necessary nutrients for the plants to thrive.
4. Create holes for planting
Dig holes in your garden or container, spaced about 3 feet apart. Each hole should be around 12-18 inches in diameter and at least 18 inches deep. This will provide enough space for the watermelon plants to grow and spread their roots.
5. Plant your seedlings
Place one seedling in each hole, making sure to cover the roots with soil. Water the seedlings well after planting to ensure proper hydration.
6. Provide support
To allow the watermelon vines to grow vertically, you’ll need to provide them with support. Install trellises or cages near the seedlings, ensuring they are tall enough to accommodate the vine’s height. As the vine grows, gently guide it to climb the support structure.
7. Prune regularly
Regular pruning is vital for vertical watermelon growing. Remove any side shoots or suckers that appear in order to focus the plant’s energy on producing fruits. Prune the main vine to control its growth and prevent it from becoming too long.
8. Protect from frost
If frost occurs in your area, protect your watermelon plants by placing a glass or cover over them at night. Watermelons are sensitive to frost and can be damaged or killed by cold temperatures.
9. Water and fertilize regularly
Watermelons require consistent watering, especially during hot summer months. Make sure the soil remains consistently moist. Additionally, fertilize the plants every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients.
10. Harvest your fruits
Harvest your watermelons when they are fully ripe. Look for a yellow or cream-colored spot on the bottom of the watermelon, known as the “sugar spot.” This indicates that the watermelon is ready to be harvested. Simply cut the fruit from the vine, leaving a few inches of stem attached.
By growing watermelon vertically, you can make the most of your space, protect your plants, and enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious and juicy watermelons!
How to grow watermelon in a planter
Growing watermelons in a planter is a great way to enjoy these refreshing fruits even if you have limited space in your garden. Here are some steps to follow to successfully grow watermelons in a planter.
Choose the right planter
When choosing a planter for watermelons, make sure it is large enough to accommodate the growing vine and its fruits. A planter with a capacity of at least three gallons is recommended.
Select the right variety
Not all varieties of watermelons are suitable for growing in a planter. Look for compact or dwarf varieties that are specifically bred for container gardening. Some popular varieties include “Sugar Baby,” “Blacktail Mountain,” and “Sugar Belle.”
Prepare the soil
Watermelons thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Fill the planter with a mixture of compost, peat moss, and perlite to ensure good drainage and fertility.
Plant the watermelon seeds
Sow watermelon seeds directly into the planter about 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Watermelons require warm soil to germinate, so make sure the soil temperature is above 70°F (21°C).
Provide support for the growing vine
Watermelon vines can grow quite tall and spread out, so it’s important to provide support for them. Place a trellis or stake near the planter to give the vine something to climb on as it grows.
Water the plants regularly
Watermelons need consistent moisture to produce sweet and juicy fruits. Water the plants deeply every 7-10 days or whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. Be careful not to overwater, as waterlogged soil can lead to root rot.
Protect from frost
Watermelons are frost-sensitive plants, so make sure to protect them from cold temperatures. If a frost is predicted, cover the planter with a frost cloth or move it indoors until the danger has passed.
Prune and fertilize
To promote healthy growth and larger fruits, prune the watermelon vine by pinching off any side shoots that appear. Fertilize every 2-4 weeks with a balanced vegetable fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients.
Harvest at the right time
Watermelons are ready to be picked when the tendril closest to the fruit turns brown and shriveled, and the bottom of the fruit sounds hollow when tapped. Additionally, the skin color should be fully developed and the fruit should feel heavy for its size.
Follow these tips, and soon you’ll be enjoying sweet and juicy watermelons grown right in your own planter!
Protecting the seeds
When growing watermelons, protecting the seeds is an essential step in ensuring a successful harvest. There are various methods you can use to safeguard the seeds and ensure healthy growth. Below are some effective ways to protect the watermelon seeds:
1. Hammock Method
The hammock method involves creating a protective barrier around the seeds to shield them from pests, weeds, and extreme weather conditions.
- Choose a location where you want to plant the watermelon seeds. It could be a raised bed or a fertile patch of soil.
- Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening it to make it easier for the watermelon roots to penetrate.
- Create a hammock by tying a rope or string between two sturdy posts or stakes. Make sure it is at a height where the watermelons can grow freely.
- Position the hammock above the soil where you intend to plant the watermelon seeds.
- Plant the watermelon seeds in the soil beneath the hammock, ensuring they are adequately spaced.
2. Creating a Vegetable Container
If you have limited space or want to protect the watermelon seeds from pests, creating a vegetable container can be a good option.
- Select a large container with drainage holes at the bottom. The size of the container will depend on the number of watermelon plants you want to grow.
- Fill the container with well-draining soil suitable for watermelon growth.
- Sow the watermelon seeds directly into the container, ensuring they are evenly spaced.
- Place the container in a sunny location with proper air circulation.
- Water the seeds regularly and monitor their growth.
3. Planting the Seeds Directly in the Soil
An alternative to the above methods is planting the watermelon seeds directly in the soil.
- Choose a suitable location with well-draining soil and ample sunlight.
- Prepare the soil by removing any weeds and loosening it using a garden fork.
- Sow the watermelon seeds in small mounds or hills, spacing them according to the variety’s instructions.
- Water the seeds thoroughly and keep the soil moist until they germinate.
- Once the seedlings emerge, thin them, leaving only the strongest plants.
Regardless of the method you choose, protecting the watermelon seeds is vital for their healthy growth. By following these methods, you can ensure a successful harvest with juicy and delicious watermelons year after year.