How To Grow Delicious Watermelons? – Watermelons are delicious, heat-loving annual fruits that adore warm climates. This makes it very easy to grow watermelons in tropical countries. However, you can also plant watermelons in cooler locations. Just choose the short-season types and do all you can to protect them from chilly temperatures.
Materials you’ll need to grow watermelons include fertilizers, compost makers, floating row covers, garden trowels and garden hoses as well as plants, mulch, shovels and seeds.
– Select a location with full sunlight. It should also be sheltered from chilly winds, particularly in fall and spring seasons. The plant also needs good air circulation. This makes a gentle south-facing slope very ideal.
– Put lots of organic matter into the soil as this can ensure the needed conditions of watermelons such as sandy, fertile and light loams, a well-drained soil with moisture retention properties. It should also have a pH that is near neutral although watermelons are also known to tolerate acid levels of 5.5.
– You can buy watermelon plants from a nursery. You can plant them as soon as both soil and air temperatures reach 65 degrees F. If not, directly sow the seeds in the garden. This is the best method if the growing season seems long enough for plants to mature. Take note that watermelons don’t like being transplanted.
– During planting time, prepare the soil well. This is important even if you’ve already added lots of organic matter into the soil earlier. Dig a hole about 2 ft. in diameter and 1 ft. deep for each plant. Then, add compost (about a shovelful). Another option is a trowel of bonemeal or well-cured manure. A great source of nitrogen is composted manure.
– Set the hardened-off plants in the ground. This should be the same depth as they had when they were in the pots. Afterward, sow the seeds about an inch deep in the hills. Water them with compost tea.
– Make plenty of room between plants. This should be somewhere from 3 ft. to 12 ft., depending on the type of watermelon plant.
– Applying thick organic mulch can hold moisture and deter the weeds. It can also keep the watermelons clean. Another option is to use plastic black mulch having the slits cut for these plants.
– To ensure warm air, cover the plants using floating row covers. Also provide young plants with an inch of water every week.
– Take off all the covers once flowers appear in order for the bees as well as other insects to pollinate the plants. You can also start fertilizing it with compost tea in every three weeks time.
– As soon as the plants are already in full bloom, this means, you can start picking watermelons after 35 days.
– Watermelons have a lot of water in them. They need plenty of water to grow properly. It’s important to water deeply, so the roots grow down to the water instead of staying near the surface. The trick is to cut back on the watering toward the end of the season. At this point the watermelons are ripening and don’t need so much water. If they get too much, they can split right open, which of course is no good.
Pest control. Just like we find watermelon delicious, so do lots of little bugs, so we’ll have to protect our plants from the bugs so they don’t steal our fruit. The most important time is early on because there are insects that like to eat the vines even before there are fruits on them. You could use pesticides if they don’t bother you, but try to be organic as much as possible. Row covers are an excellent option to keep insects from getting to your plants. Just take them off when the flowers are in bloom so the bees can get in their and pollinate them.