Growing watermelon was always something I wanted to do when I was a little kid. It was such an amazing sight to see the giant melons in the grocery store and to realize they came from those tiny little black seeds inside of them. Through trial and error, I've finally managed to have an excellent crop of watermelon this year in containers. Here are 5 garden tips on watermelon for you to use to grow your own container melons.
5 Choose a Small Variety of Watermelon
There are many varieties of watermelon to choose from that are better suited for containers. A few of the best types are; Moon and Stars, Sugar Baby, Golden Midget, and Solitaire.
4 Pick out a Container That is Large Enough
Most people find that a 5 gallon bucket is the perfect size for the compact varieties of watermelon. This has enough dirt for melons to be successful. Be sure to poke drainage holes along the bottom of the bucket. The lower portion of the bucket can have large gravel to aid in drainage. This gravel will allow water to pass through the potting soil mixture, but not enable the water to settle in the bottom. You don't want to flood your melon plant and kill it before it gets a chance to grow.
3 Start the Seed Indoors or Buy a Seedling
One of the nice things about growing seeds in containers is that you can start the seed indoors in the same container it will be placed outside in. This eliminates a lot of replanting later on. Be sure that the last hard frost has occurred before setting the seedling outside. If there's danger of frost, simply cover the bucket with a thick blanket or bring it inside.
2 Offer Support to Your Watermelon Vines and Fruit
Growing vines in a bucket simply replaces the ground the seed would have otherwise been placed in. The vines will still emerge and need a place to go. A teepee or trellis can be stuck into the bucket of dirt for the vine to climb. This will allow the plant to spread without ending up all over the ground. Since the vine is suspended in the air, this means the fruit will also be suspended. You'll need to make a hammock of some sort to keep the fruit from weighing down the vine too much and breaking it. Pantyhose or knit material tied around the fruit and to the support works best.
1 Fertilize Your Fruits
Watermelons suck a lot of nutrients out of the soil and seem to greatly benefit from the addition of fertilizer. A slow-release type of fertilizer in granulated form can be supplied once a month or a liquid form given once a week is another option.
I think watermelons are not only fun to grow, but delicious. They are a much welcome treat on a hot summer day. Have you ever tried to grow watermelons in containers? Do you think this is an option for you or do you prefer growing watermelons in a traditional garden setting instead?
Top Photo Credit: dapan
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