What you're learning
- Quick Facts About Watermelon Plants
- What exactly is a watermelon?
- Cultivation and History
- Watermelon Varieties
- How to Grow Watermelon Seeds: A Complete Guide
- How to Plant Watermelon Seeds
- How to grow watermelon from seeds?
- Tips for Growing Seedless Watermelons
- Harvesting Watermelons
- Pests, Diseases, and Treatment
- Best Uses of Watermelons
Growing watermelon plants is a great hobby. It is easy to start with, and also you can earn money from it in the long run. They are delicious and juicy fruits that make your mouth water once you see them.
Did you know it is possible to grow seedless watermelons indoors? It takes a little extra effort to grow them, but it is certainly possible. However, if you want to cultivate them correctly and ensure they are healthy plants, you will need to follow some simple steps.
Quick Facts About Watermelon Plants
- Scientific name: Citrullus lanatus
- Type of plant: succulent fruit and vinelike plant
- Native to: Africa
- Light requirement: six to eight hours a day(or more)
- Water requirement: one to two inches of water per week
- Preferred humidity: between 60% and 80%
- Preferred temperature: between 65°F and 95°F
- The weight upon maturity: 10-pound melons
- Type of native soil: loamy, somewhat-sandy, well-drained soil
- pH level: 5.18-5.60
- Fertilizer: nitrogen-based; slow release organic fertilizer 10-10-10 or 5-5-5
- Word meaning: round fruit with green skin , pink flesh
- Family: Cucurbits
- Growing season: late spring to early summer
What exactly is a watermelon?
The watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a vine-like plant native to southern Africa and is now grown in many warm climates throughout the world. From the outside, it looks like a large, green, round fruit. However, inside its dark green rind are hundreds of tiny white fleshy balls (called mesocarp), each enclosing a seed. The red flesh of the fruit is eaten, but the seeds are not; they are discarded along with the thick rinds after eating.
This plant grows on sprawling vines – just like their relatives, and grows up to 80 pounds (36 kg) with oblong melons that range from 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter to over 30 inches (76 cm). They are native to Africa and Asia but are now produced worldwide.
Watermelons contain many minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium and manganese that are essential for our body’s growth and development. The antioxidants present in watermelons help prevent degenerative diseases such as cancer by destroying free radicals in our body (which cause oxidative damage).
Cultivation and History
Watermelons are one of the most ancient cultivated plants. Evidence shows that it was grown by prehistoric peoples in Africa over 7 000 years ago. Watermelons have been depicted in Egyptian tomb paintings from 1500 BC and in Greek art from 700 BC.
African slaves who brought them from their native continent introduced watermelons in North America. In the US, watermelons were first grown on plantations in the southern states where the growing season was long enough to allow the fruit to mature fully before frost killed it off. As a result, most watermelons today come from those areas or from California, where growth conditions are ideal for producing large fruits with sweet flesh that can be easily separated from the rind when ripe.
Gardeners are growing watermelon commercially on nearly every continent except Antarctica. They can be found in supermarkets, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and roadside stands throughout the year.
Over 100 varieties of this plant are closely related to winter squash, cucumbers, and zucchini. The most common varieties are:
Moon & Stars
This variety has been around for hundreds of years. The name refers to the unique markings on the rind, which look like stars in the night sky and a large crescent moon. The flesh is bright red and very sweet but can be slightly fibrous. Moon and Stars are one of the most popular varieties of seedless watermelon because they are easy to grow and produce high fruit yields.
The Charleston Gray is an open-pollinated variety that produces oval fruit with a gray-green rind color and deep red flesh when ripe. It produces fruit in hot and cooler climates and can be grown in areas with long or short seasons depending on when planted out (early spring or late summer).
This variety produces medium-sized fruits that average about 7 pounds each. Its vines are vigorous and produce well in warm climates. The rind is tough and resistant to cracking. The flesh has few seeds and is of medium density with a sweet flavor, similar to honeydew melons.
Yellow Crimson is oval with dark green stripes and deep yellow stripes. It has yellow flesh that is juicy and sweet. The seeds are small and round, making them easy to eat. This variety grows well in hot climates, but can also grow in cooler climates as long as it receives plenty of sunlight.
It is a great choice for home gardens because it does not require a lot of maintenance or special care. It is also an excellent choice for backyard gardens because it only takes about 80 days from seed to harvest, making it one of the fastest growing varieties available today!
This variety has a sweet, mild taste and a light green rind with dark green stripes. This variety is small to medium in size, averaging about 18 pounds (8.2 kg). It has an oval shape with a thick rind and creamy white flesh that is tender and juicy.
The Saladette Icebox is similar to the Sugar Baby in that it has a sweet flavor and crisp texture, but it’s smaller than other varieties. The Saladette Icebox is about 10 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds when fully ripe. Its flesh is bright orange with moderate seeds inside.
Early Scarlet Improved
This variety has a round shape, thick skin, and firm flesh. The fruit ripens early and has a bright red color with few seeds. This variety is low in acidity and has good flavor even when served chilled after harvest.
If you’re looking for a traditional yellow watermelon that can be eaten fresh or cooked, this is your best choice. Yellow Dolls are rounder than most other varieties and have an average weight of 10 pounds each! They tend to be sweeter than other varieties too, making them perfect for eating fresh out of hand.
This variety produce ripe fruit with yellow rind with brown stripes and sweet, juicy flesh that tastes like cantaloupe. The seeds are usually removed before eating this variety because they’re not very tasty and can be difficult to digest if you eat too many of them at once.
How to Grow Watermelon Seeds: A Complete Guide
Watermelons are a popular summertime fruit that can be grown in your garden. They grow well in hot, dry climates and can be harvested in summer. Watermelons are one of the easiest fruits to grow and require very little maintenance.
The light requirements to grow watermelon are different than most other garden plants. Watermelons need full sun and lots of it, at least 6-8 hours per day. If you live in a hot climate, then your plant may be able to handle more sun than that.
Some varieties are better suited to hotter climates while others are better adapted to cooler ones. Try to find a variety best suited for your garden space so you can grow the best possible fruit.
For optimal growth and fruit production, a watermelon plant requires well-drained warm soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. If the soil is heavy or clay-based, add plenty of organic matter (compost) before you plant watermelons. They grow best when they are watered deeply once or twice a week. Don’t let them dry out too long between watering or they’ll taste bland and lack sweetness.
- Preparing Soil for PlantingThe best time to prepare your soil is in the fall, but if you’re planting heat-loving crops like watermelon or cantaloupe, you can plant watermelons in early spring.Compost helps to improve the structure and fertility of sandy soils. To make compost, gather leaves, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, and other organic materials and place them in a pile. Cover the pile with plastic to keep the soil moisture. After several weeks, turn the pile over and mix it up with a pitchfork or shovel so that all of the materials are thoroughly mixed together. Repeat this process until all of the material has decomposed into compost.
Young watermelon plants require at least one inch of water per week during the growing season (from planting until maturity). The best way to water is by flooding the soil around the plants so they receive plenty of water at one time. Watering by hand every few days will not provide adequate moisture for your plantings since it has taken several days for the soil to dry between watering cycles.
Start planting watermelon in at least 10 hours of air temperature above 73°F (23°C) each day to produce good fruit. Heat stress occurs when the temperature stays above 80°F (27°C) for several days, causing watermelon plants to stop growing and producing fruit. They will grow best when daytime temperatures are between 75°F and 85°F (24°C and 29°C). Soil temperature below 60°F (16°C) or above 95°F (35°C) reduce yield and quality.
The best time to prune watermelon vines is when it’s not in bloom or when it’s just starting to set fruit (before the first frost date). You may have trouble distinguishing between male and female flowers if you wait too long.
To prune your watermelon plants, remove any suckers (offspring) that have grown away from the main stem. These are usually located on side branches that are growing vertically. In addition to being unattractive, these suckers can sap energy from the plant and may also prevent it from producing more fruit. You can also remove any seedlings that have sprouted along the ground around your plant as they are not likely to survive.
You should also pinch off any male flowers that appear after the first one or two sets of fruit form on the plant. Once the watermelon is ripe, their sugars will become more concentrated and make them sweeter tasting than if they were allowed to grow watermelon larger before being picked off of the vine.
You can store whole watermelons for up to two weeks in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). The best way to do this is in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, where humidity is lower than in other areas of the refrigerator. If you cannot find room in your crisper drawer, then wrap the melon tightly with plastic wrap before storing it in any other part of your refrigerator.
How to Plant Watermelon Seeds
Melon plants are warm-weather crop that requires full sun and a long growing season. The best time to grow watermelon seedlings is in the spring, but you can also plant them in the fall if your growth season is short.
- Step 1: When you grow watermelon, choose a location with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day and well-drained warm soil. Watermelons grow best when planted on hills or raised beds. You can also grow them in containers or hanging baskets if you want to grow them indoors.
- Step 2: Dig a deep enough hole for the entire root system and wide enough for the plant to spread out horizontally so it doesn’t tip over. Mix compost into the nutrient rich soil before you plant your seedling or seed packet so it has nutrients for healthy growth once it germinates.
- Step 3: Place your seedling or seed packet into the hole once soil temperatures reach 70° F or above, and cover it with dirt and water thoroughly so it’s moist all the way through until there are no dry spots left on its leaves.
- Step 4: Don’t be alarmed when some of the male flowers, which appear first, fall off shortly after they open; they are followed by female blossoms about a week later. The female flowers, which have a small swelling at the base of the flower, stay on the vine to bear fruit. When vines start to bear both male and female flowers, remove row covers.
- Step 5: Mulch around your watermelon vines with straw, hay, or newspaper to conserve moisture, hinder weed growth, and keep developing fruits off the soil.
- Step 6: Water your growing watermelons regularly, especially during hot weather when the plants are maturing. You should water most plants at least once every three days, but you might need to water them more often if the weather is very hot or if there’s recently been a lot of rain.
How to grow watermelon from seeds?
Growing watermelons from seeds is a rewarding experience. Watermelon plants are easy to grow, but you do need to know the right steps to take. Here are some tips:
- Step 1: Start by selecting a healthy, disease-free seed that has been stored properly.
- Step 2: Remove any excess flesh around the seed.
- Step 3: Soak the seeds for about 24 hours before planting them in your garden bed or container.
- Step 4: Plant the seeds about 4 inches deep and about 12 inches apart from each other, as they will need plenty of space to grow and develop their fruit. To be safe, wait until at least 2 weeks past your area’s last frost date .
- Step 5: When you grow watermelon seedlings, make sure that they are planted at least 8 inches deep because they do not like being shallowly buried. Planting them too close together will also cause problems because they compete for resources, leading to stunted growth or even death of one plant over another if left unchecked for too long.
- Step 6: Make sure you keep these plants well-watered throughout the entire growing watermelon process!
- Step 7: After flowering begins, fertilize a second time with a low-nitrogen fertilizer (more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium) that encourages the growth of flowers and fruit.
Tips for Growing Seedless Watermelons
Growing watermelon is an art. It’s not just about sticking them in the ground and waiting for them to grow. Some secrets can help you have a great harvest.
- Start with disease-resistant varieties. Some varieties of watermelon plant are more susceptible to diseases than others. If you live in an area where certain diseases are common, it’s best to grow watermelon varieties like ‘Sugar Baby’ or ‘Sweetheart’ for they are disease-resistant.
- The seeds should be planted 1 inch deep in rows 6 feet apart with 3 feet between plants within the row. Space the rows at least 2 feet apart because watermelons can spread up to 8 feet each way. It’s best to plant more than one seed in each hole so that you have several plants instead of just one big one.
- Avoid overhead watering since it can cause disease problems on leaves and fruit if left standing too long on leaves or fruit surfaces.
- Use a melon hammock and trellises to support your growing fruit. Young melons are already heavy and can topple easily if not properly supported.
- In colder regions, remove any blossoms that start to develop within 50 days of your area’s last frost date.
- Transplant into larger containers as soon as seeds sprout and true leaves (not just cotyledon leaves), usually after two weeks. Transplant again when the first true leaves emerge from the seedlings, usually after another two weeks.
- They are heavy feeders, so it’s important to fertilize the soil before you grow watermelon and again after the vines have started growing. Make sure it delivers more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium, as this will encourage leaf and vine growth.
When you’re ready to harvest your homegrown watermelon crop, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Check on the vines daily and look for ripening fruits that have reached its maximum size or are close to it. The rind should feel firm and smooth, with no indentations from the stem.
- Step 2: Look at the bottom of the melon for a green vine leaf attached by its stem. This is an indication that the watermelon is ripe. If no leaf is attached, wait another week before picking it, as it’s likely not mature yet. Harvest watermelons when they turn from bright to dull green.
- Step 3: Take a sharp knife or pruning shears and cut through the bottom of the vine near where it attaches to the melon itself. This will allow you to pull up all fruit at once without damaging any of them by pulling too hard on individual vines.
- Step 4: Cut the watermelon into halves or quarters depending on size and serve immediately or place in refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving.
Pests, Diseases, and Treatment
Many pests and fungal diseases can affect your garden plants, but some are more common than others. Here is a list of pests and diseases you may encounter when growing watermelons:
Powdery mildew is a common problem when you grow watermelon, particularly in the southeast. It is a fungal disease that can be difficult to control. The first signs of this are small white spots on the upper surface of leaves. These spots then turn gray as they grow larger and more numerous. This can affect all parts of the plant, including stems and fruits.
Treatment: To control this, remove infected leaves as soon as you notice them. Avoid overhead watering so that leaves can dry after rain or irrigation. Fungicides may also be used to control the disease.
Gummy Stem Blight
The first symptom of gummy stem blight is dark brown spots or streaks on the stems of the plant. The spots will grow larger over time and may have yellow or black borders around them. The spots are often surrounded by clear areas where healthy tissue has been destroyed by the fungus’ toxins, which causes further damage to the plant’s vascular system and leads to wilting and leaf curling on affected leaves.
Treatment: Remove all infected plants from your own garden as soon as you see symptoms, especially if they are near other plants that are not showing any signs of infection. Insecticide applications for control of insects that feed on melons may also help reduce secondary infections but will not cure them if present, when applied after infection, has occurred.
They are grayish-green beetles with black stripes and orange or yellow markings on their wing covers. The larvae feed on the roots, stems and leaves of the plant, causing stunted plant growth and distorted fruit.
Treatment: Spraying a pesticide such as permethrin or malathion will help control adult beetles but is ineffective against larval stages. Planting a trap crop that attracts cucumber beetles away from your main crop will help reduce damage to it, although it’s important to remember that trap crops also attract beneficial insects and pests.
Squash bugs are large, dark-colored bugs with orange wings and shield-shaped body. They feed on the undersides of leaves, causing the veins to turn yellow and the leaf to wilt. They also eat the stems, flowers, fruit of pumpkins, and squash plants.
Treatment: When you grow watermelon, use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to control any egg masses that may be present on your plants at the time of planting. This will help reduce the number of insects that hatch out during the growing season if they do hatch out at all!
Alternaria Leaf Spot
Alternaria leaf spot is caused by an airborne fungus Alternaria cubensis. The fungus overwinters on infected plant debris and is spread by wind and rain. It is most severe in areas with high humidity and warm temperatures.
Treatment: Control measures include rotations with non-host crops, such as corn or soybeans; destroying infected plants; avoiding overhead irrigation; and using resistant varieties where available
This fungus invades the plant’s vascular system and blocks the movement of water and nutrients between the roots and leaves. Eventually, the plants collapse and die. Fusarium wilt can be transmitted by seeds, tools, or even people. It usually affects older plants, so you should avoid planting melons in fields where Fusarium wilt has been problematic in previous years.
Treatment: The best way to prevent this type of fungal diseases is to provide good drainage, keep soil moist and avoid excessive watering or overwatering. If you have plants that are already infected with it, remove infected plants from your garden immediately so they don’t spread the disease to other plants. Prune off any dead stems or leaves on infected plants, but leave a few healthy branches if possible so that the plant can continue producing fruit.
Blossom End Rot
Blossom end rot occurs when you grow watermelons that are still small and green. The fruit has a sunken brown or black spot on the blossom end of the fruit. This is caused by a calcium deficiency in the plant and will not hurt humans if they eat it, but it will make the melon inedible.
Treatment: If you see any signs of blossom end rot, remove the affected area from your watermelon immediately as it will infect other parts of the fruit over time if left untreated. You can cut off small areas at a time with a sharp knife or pruning shears until you reach healthy tissue underneath.
Best Uses of Watermelons
Watermelon is a fruit that is full of water. It helps in removing the toxins from our body and makes us feel refreshed. It is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help to improve our overall health. It is also known as “nature’s beauty food”. Here are some of the most beneficial uses for this summertime favorite:
Watermelon salad is a perfect summer dish that can be enjoyed by everyone at any time of the day. It can be used in many savory dishes as well as sweet ones. It makes a delicious addition to soups, fruit salads, stir-fries, and other dishes for an extra burst of flavor and nutrition. To make it more delicious, you can add various ingredients like mint leaves, basil leaves, onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
The summer plant watermelon has been used for centuries as a natural ingredient in skincare products. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated skin. Because it contains both vitamin A and lycopene, watermelon is also an excellent source of antioxidants that fight free radical damage to skin cells caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, helping to prevent premature aging and wrinkles.
Watermelon juice is a great addition to cocktails because its juicy slice adds sweetness without adding calories or fat. It’s also a great way to bring out the flavor of other ingredients like vodka or rum.
Watermelon is low in calories, sugar and fat but high in fiber, which helps promote weight loss by satiating you with fewer calories than other foods do. Fiber fills you up and helps regulate blood sugar levels so you don’t feel hungry as quickly after eating a meal containing fiber-rich foods like juicy watermelons.
You can make candles with the rinds and seeds of watermelons to add a unique touch to your home decor. All you need is some wax and wicks, which can be found at any craft store, as well as other ingredients like essential oils or food coloring if you want to make colored candles. Once you have all your supplies ready, you can start making them yourself in no time!
If you don’t have time for candles or want to keep your home smelling fresh all day long, try making an air freshener. All you need is watermelon juice, baking soda, and distilled white vinegar. Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and 3 cups of water in a spray bottle and shake well before using. Spray this mixture onto any surface that needs freshening up!
How many watermelons do you get from one plant?
Why do watermelons float? Watermelons are 92% water; the rest are mostly sugar and vitamins. The reason they float is because of their low density-to-volume ratio. This is especially true for overripe melons, as they lose more of their water content through evaporation.
How many watermelons do you get from one plant?
You should be able to grow two or three ripe watermelon per plant, and each one will weigh between 10 and 20 pounds.
How do I know if my watermelon is ripe?
You can tell a ripe watermelon by tapping on the melon near the stem end with your thumb. If it gives down to the ground, it is ready! If not, let it hang out in a dark, cool place for another day or two.
Why do some seeds germinate and others don’t?
There are many reasons why a seed won’t germinate, but generally, this is due to three different things:
- The seed is old and its life span has expired. Watermelon seeds can be stored for up to 2 years under ideal conditions (cool, dark, dry). If they have been stored for longer than this, they may not germinate as well as fresh ones.
- The seed has been damaged in storage or transportation, which can prevent the embryo from growing properly. Seedless watermelons may not germinate as well as other young plants, so start more young plants than you need indoors in peat pots.
- The soil temperature is too low for good germination.
How do I know if my watermelon seed is going bad?
If your watermelon seeds are going bad, they will become brown and shriveled. This means they are no longer viable and won’t grow into plants when you plant them in soil or use them as decoration on cakes or cupcakes.
In conclusion, growing watermelon is a rewarding task, but it can be a little tricky setting up your own garden in a way that produces the best results. With so many variables involved—such as soil quality, weather patterns, and irrigation techniques—you’ll need some expert information on growing watermelon to get you started off on the right foot. We hope that we’ve been able to provide you with the knowledge needed to get started today! Good luck!