Watermelon, known botanically as Citrullus Lanatus, is a fragile and soft vegetable somewhat related to the cucumber.
Watermelon is native to Africa, specifically Namibia. Watermelons are very happy with heat and humidity. The Citrullus Lanatus plant generates the biggest harvests and sweetest Watermelon fruits when placed in a full-sun exposure and are protected from cool winds.
Watermelon plants flower in the late spring months. The fruits are produced in summer!
To thrive well, Watermelon needs proper fertilizing and watering. Finding the best fertilizer for Watermelon can be a challenge. That is why you should discover consideration on what to choose for the best watermelon fertilizer!
What is the best environment for Watermelon?
To plant Watermelon seed, you need fertile and well-tilled soil. Generate soil amendments with compost and manure to raise the nutrient level in the ground.
You can add sharp sand for proper drainage. You may consider applying a slow-release fertilizer into the soil. This practice will add a continuous boost of nutrients and better choice for Watermelon plants.
Slow-release fertilizer reduces your maintenance and labour during the growing season. Add food plant right before planting these seeds.
Place your Watermelon in a site with full-sun exposure. The best location would be a warm and humid micro-climate.
Place the plant in the south-facing wall of a house. The young plants and seeds will require a minimum of one inch of water per week to keep the soil uniformly moist.
Where to plant watermelon?
Before planting Watermelon, you should prepare the planting site. You can prepare the site by amending the soil with aged manure, seaweed, and compost.
Watermelons like to live in loamy, sandy, and well-drained soil. You should check that the soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0 or slightly acidic.
If you are growing the vines in raised rows, make sure good drainage and withstand the sun’s heat longer. Space the plants about two feet apart. If you are growing in rows, space six feet by six feet apart.
The area must have a lot of space because the vines can grow up to fifteen to twenty inches long.
You must prevent weeds from growing. You can add mulch to prevent weeds.
How to grow Watermelon?
Watermelon seeds need to be located outdoors in the spring or best if the soil is warmer than 70 degrees Fahrenheit for better germintaion. These seeds can be placed up to twenty days indoors before planting in the garden.
Never start sooner because large watermelon seedlings do not transplant well.
This practice will provide you with a jump on the growing season. Give your indoor seedlings with warm temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, moist soil, and bright light.
For outdoor seed sowing, bury seeds one inch deep into the soil. Keep six feet apart between each seed. Cover these seeds with displaced soil and water well.
Maintain moist soil around the seeds during germination and sprouting. Watermelon flowers will bloom about forty-five days after blooming. This would be the time for harvesting.
The types of Watermelons to grow
Watermelons are a delicious fruit that is sweet and refreshing. Watermelons are perfect to be enjoyed ice cold when the weather is warm.
Watermelon plants require four months of warm weather to thrive well. They can be grown in most USDA hardiness zones.
There are times when Watermelon plants produce less fruit which is worth considering if you want to grow watermelons during cool weather. Here ae the list od Watermelon types to grow.
1. Black Diamond Watermelon
The Black Diamond Watermelon plants or Citrullus Lanatus ‘Black Diamond’ can produce large mature size watermelons that can exceed 50 pounds in weight. The rinds of the Black Diamond Watermelons are tough and hard.
The fruit inside is juicy flesh and firm. These Black Diamond Watermelons grow on vines that can be trained to crawl on a structure or scramble across the soil.
The Black Diamond Watermelons require much space to produce large fruits. The plants need ninety days to reach maturity.
To thrive well, these plants require a minimum of six hours of sun each day. The soil must be well-drained and you should water the Black Diamond Watermelon plant when the soil is dry.
2. Charleston Gray Watermelon
Charleston Gray Watermelon plants or Citrullus Lanatus ‘Charleston Gray’ are very popular among home gardeners. The Charleston Gray Watermelons are grown by commercial growers for more than forty years.
The size of Charleston Gray Watermelons is enormous, stretched melons, and the name comes from its greenish-gray rind. The melon is a bright red flesh with a juicy and sweet taste.
All you have to do to grow Charleston Gray Watermelon is by providing plenty of sunlight. It is consider one of the best American watermelons ever produced.
To get to its maturity stage, it would take eighty seven days. The Charleston Gray Watermelon can to weights of between twenty and forty pounds.
3. Crimson Sweet Watermelon
This Crimson Sweet Watermelon is one of the best tastings melons that have disease-resistant features. The disease-resistant features make growing Crimson Sweet Watermelons much easier.
If you are a beginner, this is the type of watermelon to choose. The sweetness of the fruit is what you want to achieve at the end of the season.
It is one of the many benefits if you are growing Crimson Sweet Watermelon in your garden.
To reach its maturity stage, Crimson Sweet Watermelon takes between eighty to eighty-five days. It is time to harvest watermelons.
The Crimson Sweet Watermelon is commercially very popular because it is easier to sell due to its firm and sweet flesh. It can be stored and shipped well after the harvest season.
You can keep the Crimson Sweet Watermelon for three weeks in cool conditions or outside of a refrigerator. The weight could reach between sixteen and twenty-six pounds.
The shape is oval with the combination of pale green and dark green striped skin. You can start from seed sown outdoors at a constant temperature above 65ºF.
Be careful to sown outdoors during winter or cooler areas, where you have to sow the seeds indoors four weeks earlier. After that you can transplant outdoors when the weather gets warmer.
You can plant the Crimson Sweet Watermelon easily with much moisture, well-draining soil, and full sun.
Frequently asked questions
Why do the Watermelon leaves turn to yellow?
Overwatering can cause yellowing of the leaves as it can make it harder for the Watermelon plant to absorb nutrients. Overwatering can wash the nitrogen out of the soil. Before you water, make sure to stick your finger about an inch into the soil to see if the soil is moist. If it is still moist, do not water the Watermelons.
Why are the Watermelon plants dying?
If you notice your Watermelons are wilting, this is the sign that there is a fungal problem. The fungal comes from the soil. Fusarium wilt of Watermelons causes plants to wilt. Pull out a Watermelon plant and find any discolouration at the base or on the roots. Use a fungicide to fix the problem.
How to increase the yield of the Watermelon plant?
You can maximize the size of the Watermelon fruits by watering the plants at the base in regular which keeps the soil moist. Apply a fertilizer designed for edible crops or compost tea fertilizer to feed. The fertilizer stimulates growth to get larger melons.
How many Watermelon fruits do you get per plant?
Healthy watermelon vines can produce two to four fruits per plant. The vines produce female and male flowers.
What is the best month to plant watermelon?
Watermelon seeds should be planted outdoors after all threats of frost have passed or in the Spring months. Seeds should be placed indoors up to twenty days before planting in the garden.