The Process of Planting Watermelon

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Lawn & Garden

Watermelon, a sweet and juicy fruit, is a perfect summer treat that can be grown in your garden if you have enough space. However, planting watermelon requires some attention. If you sow the seeds too early, the soil may be too cold, and if you do it too late, the watermelons may not ripen on time. Watermelons come in two forms: standard oblong (weighing between 20 and 30 pounds or 9 and 13.6 kilograms) and baby or bush round (weighing between 2 and 10 pounds or .90 and 4.5 kilograms).

  1. Start by placing the seeds in small pots indoors, three weeks before planting outdoors. Not all of the seeds will germinate.
  2. Water the seedlings frequently while keeping them at 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 29 degrees Celsius).
  3. Plant the watermelon when there’s no risk of frost. The soil should be warm a few inches (centimeters) below the surface. Applying mulch to the soil will keep it warm.
  4. With a hoe, create mounds at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) high. These mounds will be where the watermelon seedlings will be planted.
  5. Using a spade, make a small hole in each mound to place the seedlings. Ensure to leave at least 6 feet (183 centimeters) between seedlings.
  6. Surround the seedlings with a thin layer of fertilizer.
  7. Water the seedlings regularly. It takes between 80 and 90 days for the watermelons to ripen.
  8. Once the part of the watermelon that lies on the soil turns yellowish, it’s ready to be picked.

FAQ

1. What is the best time of year to plant watermelon?

The ideal time to plant watermelon is in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. In warmer climates, it can also be planted in the fall. It is important to check the soil temperature, which should be at least 70°F (21°C) before planting.

2. How should I prepare the soil before planting watermelon?

The soil should be well-drained and rich in organic matter. Before planting, add compost or aged manure to the soil to improve its fertility. The pH level should be between 6.0 and 6.8. If the pH level is too low or too high, the plants may not grow properly.

3. How deep should I plant watermelon seeds?

The seeds should be planted 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep in the soil. Plant the seeds 3 feet (1 meter) apart in rows that are 6 to 8 feet (2 to 2.5 meters) apart.

4. How much water do watermelon plants need?

Watermelon plants need about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of water per week. It is important to water the plants deeply and regularly, especially during hot, dry weather.

5. How do I care for watermelon plants?

Watermelon plants need regular fertilization throughout the growing season. It is important to keep the plants weed-free and to provide support for the vines. In addition, it is important to monitor the plants for pests and diseases.

6. How long does it take for watermelon plants to mature?

Watermelon plants typically take 80 to 100 days to mature, depending on the variety. The fruit is ready to harvest when the stem begins to dry out and turn brown.

7. How do I know when a watermelon is ripe?

The best way to determine if a watermelon is ripe is to look at the color and texture of the fruit. A ripe watermelon will have a dull, matte finish and a yellowish spot on the bottom where it sat on the ground. The fruit should also feel heavy and sound hollow when tapped.

8. How should I store harvested watermelon?

Watermelon should be stored in a cool, dry place, such as a basement, garage, or refrigerator. Once cut, the fruit should be refrigerated and consumed within a few days.

9. Can I grow watermelon in a container?

Watermelon can be grown in a container, but it is important to choose a variety that is suitable for container gardening. The container should be at least 5 gallons (19 liters) in size and should have good drainage.

10. How do I pollinate watermelon plants?

Watermelon plants are pollinated by bees and other insects. If you are growing watermelon in an area with limited bee activity, you can hand-pollinate the plants by transferring pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers using a small brush.

11. How do I prevent pests and diseases in watermelon plants?

To prevent pests and diseases in watermelon plants, it is important to keep the plants healthy and well-maintained. This includes regular fertilization, proper watering, and monitoring for signs of pests and diseases. In addition, it is important to rotate crops and avoid planting watermelon in the same area for more than two years in a row.

12. What are some common pests and diseases that affect watermelon plants?

Watermelon plants can be affected by a variety of pests and diseases, including aphids, cucumber beetles, powdery mildew, and fusarium wilt. It is important to monitor the plants regularly for signs of these problems and to take action as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading.

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