Watermelons are a sweet and refreshing fruit. They come in a wide range of sizes and colors, but the most popular ones are the round, dark green ones. While they may look easy to grow, watermelons require a little bit of care.
To grow watermelon, you need to choose and prepare a planting site, choose a variety of seeds, seed planting, watering, fertilizing, weeding, pest and disease control, and harvest.
Whichever reason you must have noticed, this article will teach you how to grow watermelon in your backyard or garden, or on farmland for large-scale production.
However, we are more focused on the commercial growing of watermelon however, the same steps can be applied to successfully grow watermelons at home or in a garden.
How to Grow Watermelon
Growing watermelons is not a difficult task. The only thing you need to do is to follow the instructions given below.
Step 1: Choosing a Planting Site
To ensure a bountiful harvest of watermelons, choose a planting site wisely and prepare the soil well. Here are some specific tips on how to do both.
Watermelon thrives best in warmer climates. So, make sure you choose a sunny spot with well–drained sandy–loamy soil. You also need to make sure that the area you plant them in gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day and has plenty of space for them to grow into large fruits.
Step 2: Preparing a Planting Site
You have to plow the soil to improve soil aeration and drainage and get rid of rocks and other unwanted materials. Then till the soil immediately after plowing to remove weeds that could harm the crop.
You should level the soil so that the land will be flat. Then apply a pre-planting soil nutrient, such as manure or fertilizer, a week before you want to plant.
Step 3: Choosing Variety Seeds
There are numerous watermelon varieties. You should go for the best quality that will produce large and juicy fruit. Also, the seedlings you opt for should be treated for resistance to disease and pests.
It is best to visit a reliable farmer or agro-vendor to purchase your watermelon seedling for direct planting or sprouted plants for transplanting.
Step 4: Seed Planting
You can plant your watermelon directly on the farm through the seeds. You will have to make a hole not more than 2 inches and pour the seeds (2 to 3 per hole) and then cover back with topsoil to avoid being washed or blown away, or picked by rodents.
Note that, the best time to plant watermelons is after the last frost has passed and the soil has warmed to at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
More so, bear in mind the space system. Your watermelon plants should be about 3 to 6 feet apart, depending on the variety. Apply a layer of compost around the base of each plant.
Step 5: Watering
Keep the soil moist but not wet by watering it every day. You can water manually if the farm is not big. However, for large-scale farming, you need to put in place an irrigation system to water your farm. The best system is the sprinkler irrigation system.
However, make sure you do not over-water them as this can lead to root rot or too much water weight on the fruit.
Step 6: Fertilizing
Watermelons are voracious feeders. It takes a lot of nutrients to grow watermelon. Make use of fertilizer high in nitrogen while the plant is growing. When the plant begins to produce fruits, switch to a fertilizer with more phosphorus and potassium.
Step 7: Weeding
Weed Management is applied in most cases. You can till the vines to remove unwanted plants. The best weed management method is to cover the ground such as Horticultural weed barriers including bio-degradable paper or black plastic film to choke out rival weeds.
If you must uproot weeds, ensure you carefully cultivate the area around them.
Step 8: Pest and Disease Control
The cucumber beetle is the major watermelon pest. Check early for the eggs. Many of them will be kept away from the vines if you use row covers. However, it is best to prevent pests at an early stage by carefully lifting the watermelon fruits and placing them on cardboard or a layer of straw.
Step 8: Harvest
Harvest your watermelons when they’re ripe by looking for a dull thump when tapped and a cracked stem where it meets the fruit.
The majority of watermelon varieties can be harvested 100 to 120 days after direct seeding or 78 to 90 days after transplanting. You can make use of hand knives or scissors for harvesting.
How Long Do Watermelons Take To Grow?
It takes between 70 to 100 days for watermelon to grow into maturity.
What Is The Best Way To Grow Watermelon?
The best way to grow watermelon is to plant in a warm climate area with about 6 hours of sunshine daily, and well-drained loose soil. Also, for faster growth, it is best to transplant sprouted watermelon plants into your garden.
Is It Easy To Grow A Watermelon?
Watermelon doesn’t require much work to grow. It is relatively easy to grow at home, garden, or on farmland. Only large–scale watermelon farming can be tedious because of its magnitude.
How Many Watermelons Do You Get Per Plant?
Generally, you get only 2 to 4 watermelons per plant.
What Is The Best Month To Plant Watermelon?
The best month to plant watermelon is between October to February.
Do Watermelons Need A Lot Of Water?
Generally, watermelon plants need to be watered weekly by 1-2 inches so that the soil stays moist but not wet.
What Should I Put Under My Watermelons?
You should put bio-degradable paper or black plastic film under your watermelons so that they wouldn’t rust or attract pest
How Often Do You Water Watermelon?
At an early stage, water daily at most twice. After germination, you should water weekly with 1 to 2 inches of water.
Do Watermelons Require Full Sun?
Watermelons are warm temperate plants. As such, watermelon plants require a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight daily.
What Is the Easiest Fruit To Grow?
Can You Plant Watermelon Seeds From A Watermelon?
You can plant watermelon seeds from a watermelon. However, you will have to store the seed and wait until the next planting season before you can plant them.
Should I Prune My Watermelon Plant?
You must prune your watermelon plants to keep them in check, and to promote proper aeration, during the entire growing period. As well as to prune off infected vines.
How Do You Know When A Watermelon Is Ready To Harvest?
Watermelons are harvest-ready when their belly, or underside, changes from a greenish white to a buttery yellow or cream color. This color change is particularly noticeable in the varieties with dark green skin.
How Can You Tell If A Watermelon Is Pollinated?
You will know if a watermelon is pollinated when there is a sign of swelling at the pistil’s base.
Is Epsom Salt Good For Watermelon Plants?
Epsom salt is good for watermelon plants. Sweeter watermelons and cantaloupes plant that starts vining and small 1-inch melons appear, 6 1/2 tablespoons of Epsom salts and 3 1/2 tablespoons borax in 5 gallons of water is sprayed.
What Can You Not Plant Near Watermelon?
Planting watermelon close to other crops that will shade it is not recommended. plant flowers like dill, chamomile, cosmos, and pineapple sage attract predatory insects that are injurious to watermelon.
Are Coffee Grounds Good For Watermelon Plants?
Coffee grounds are good for watermelon plants because they contain nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that improve soil structure and are beneficial to the plant.
What’s The Fastest Vegetable To Grow?
Radishes are the fastest-growing vegetables. It takes just three weeks to reach maturity and is ready for harvest.
What Is Best To Plant In March?
There are plenty of plants that can be planted in March. They include lettuces, tomatoes, salads, snow peas, carrots, beetroot, summer and autumn cabbages, herbs, leeks, spinach, turnips, spring onions, broad beans
What Fruit Takes The Longest To Grow?
Fruits that grow on trees are the longest to grow because the tree needs to grow to maturity before it can begin to produce fruit. Such fruits include orange, coconut, pawpaw, mango, pear, and plum, among others.
How Do You Tell The Difference Between A Male And Female Watermelon Flower?
To identify the difference between a male and female watermelon flower is to look out for the bloated base that resembles a miniature watermelon, that is the female watermelon. The pistillate flowers’ ovaries, which are located beneath the sepals, contain the fruit.
Why Is My Watermelon Plant Not Fruiting?
Aside from improper planting techniques. Another major reason why the watermelon plant is not fruiting is a result of incomplete pollination which is mostly a result of poor bee activity. Bees move the pollen from the male flower to the female for fertilization to take place.
All you need do is to identify the male and female watermelon and ensure you mark them with distinguishing colors. Then with your hand remove the pollen from the male watermelon flower to the female watermelon flower.
Why Are My Watermelons Not Getting Big?
The major reason why your watermelons are not getting big is due to the low temperature. Watermelons require a warm temperate climate to grow with a minimum of 6 hours of sunshine daily.
Can You Eat Watermelon Leaves?
You can eat watermelon leaves however it is not recommended. You can eat just in small quantities because large consumption can lead to gastrointestinal blockage.
How Long After Flowering Do Watermelons Appear?
Watermelons appear It typically takes about three months for watermelons to appear after flowering.
What Grows Well With Watermelon?
Herbs, lettuces, marigolds, nasturtiums, and radishes are good companion plants for watermelon.
How To Grow Watermelon In A Small Space
To grow watermelon in a small space. You can choose to grow them in large containers that are at least 18 inches deep, and then place a trellis to support the plant. Also, you can choose to plant dwarf melon seeds 2 inches apart and in the center of your container.
Watermelon Growing Stages
Stage 1: Planting
Stage 2: Sprouting
Stage 3: Vegetative Growth
Stage 4: Branching
Stage 5: Production of Flowers and Pollination
Stage 6: The Setting of Fruit
Stage 7: Harvesting
Watermelon Growing Problems
- Poor planning technique
- Incomplete pollination
- Poor germination
- Slow growth
- Neglecting Weeds
- Inconsistent Soil Moisture Levels
- Ignoring Pests and Disease
Growing Watermelon Vertically
Any size or type of watermelon can be vertically grown on a trellis. Choose melon varieties with fruit that weighs between 6 and 8 pounds, and then be sure to install a melon hammock on the trellis to support the growing melon plants.
Watermelon Plant Lifespan
The lifespan of watermelons is 3 to 4 months.
How Many Watermelons Per Plant
Each vine of watermelon can produce 2 to 4 fruit.
How Long Does It Take For Watermelon To Grow
70 to 100 days. Watermelon takes 70 to 100 days to grow.
Watermelon Plant Spacing
Watermelon plant spacing is 4 feet apart and 6 feet between rows.
If you have been finding it tasking or wondering how to grow watermelon, I hope by now you have a comprehensive idea of what to do. Make use of these tips to grow the sweetest, juiciest watermelon fruits possible for personal consumption or commercial purpose.