Watermelon is a delicious fruit but it can be somewhat picky about growing for the average person. If you’re thinking about starting an edible garden this year and want to know how to grow watermelon, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my top tips for growing watermelon no matter what level your gardening skills fall under.
Tips for Growing Watermelon
Long Growing Season
Take into consideration that watermelon seeds have a long growing season. It can take approximately 80 days for you to go from watermelon seed to watermelon plant. The ground must be warm for you to grow your watermelon seeds directly outside during the spring season.
Need Plenty of Space
You’ll need to have plenty of space for your watermelon plants to grow. This fruit is a total garden hog. Each vine of watermelon will grow to 20 feet in length. You may be best to sow 8-10 watermelon seeds on a hill and give it plenty of space to grow in a vine-length pattern that’s 20 feet in diameter.
Needs Rich Soil
Be sure to use compost or a premium fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen for your watermelon seeds to grow into healthy fruit plants. Seeds will need to be planted in rich soil about 1 inch into the ground and approximately 3-4 feet apart to ensure healthy growth.
Water Less Frequently
The beauty of growing watermelon is that their roots go deep into the ground making it a fruit that doesn’t need to be frequently watered. The only reason you’ll have to water your watermelon plants is if you’ve gone through a long period of dry weather.
Lastly, watermelon will need about 8-10 hours of direct sunlight to grow to their maximum potential. This fruit really loves being warm! I highly suggest you pick a large open space for planting that gets direct sunlight for the majority of your day time hours.
It’s a little difficult to tell when your watermelon is ripe. For some watermelon varieties, you may see that their skin turns a more dull color and other gardeners swear by the stem approach. These gardeners say that you should look at the stem where the vine attaches to the fruit. This will turn a brownish color when the fruit is ripe. I’ve learned that’s not always accurate, so you may have to do some research on the specific variety of watermelon you’re growing to know when your fruit is ripe enough to harvest.
I hope that these tips for growing watermelon will help you to enjoy a bountiful harvest of watermelon this year, and for years to come! You might also like to learn what some of the perennial plants that repel mosquitoes are, and what some of the best host plants for butterflies are.