Before reading the 7 tips on growing watermelons that I’ve listed below, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right type of seeds for your climate zone. Watermelon seeds don’t all take the same amount of time for germination. If you have a short growing season, then you’ll want to be sure and purchase seeds that don’t take as long as the larger watermelon varieties.
Watermelons are large vining plants with tremendous leaves. Not only are the plants big, but the melons themselves can grow to be an enormous size. Seeing as they are going to be large plants and produce equally huge fruit, watermelon plants will need a lot of nutrients. Mix organic compost into the soil a couple of weeks before planting the melon seeds.
Seeing as watermelons are mostly made up of water, they will need plenty of it. Be sure to water regularly, but make sure they aren’t left standing in it. The ground should be somewhat moist in between waters, which means the ground shouldn’t be left to dry out completely. This can be a challenge during extremely hot weather.
Any type of mulch works well for newly sprouted watermelon seedlings. You will only have to mulch while plants are small, since the large leaves will prevent weeds from sprouting around the plants later on.
Common pests that plague watermelons include; spider mites, cutworms, cucumber beetles, aphids, leave hoppers, and thrips. There are a number of insecticides to keep these pests at bay. You can also use a mixture of warm water and dish soap to spray infected areas. The bugs don’t like the soapy mixture at all.
Watermelons enjoy lots of sunshine, just like most other food-producing plants. This is also why they need to be planted well after the frost.
Cantaloupes will continue to ripen after they are picked, but watermelons won’t. Watch for tendrils near the melon that are beginning to dry out. This is a good sign that the melon is getting close to being ripe.
Watermelon vines need plenty of room to grow, so it’s best to plant only 3 or 4 seeds per hill. This will allow each vine to head out in one direction and not become entangled with the others in the same hill.
These tips for growing watermelons should help you to produce a successful bunch of melons this summer. What variety of watermelon are you looking forward to planting this year?
Top Photo Credit: rachel is coconut&lime
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