Growing watermelon from seed is a fun and rewarding project that you can do in your backyard. You’ll be able to harvest your own melons in just a few months, and you’ll have an endless supply of seeds for next year’s garden.
If you’re interested in growing watermelons at home, there are a few things you need to know before planting the seeds. Watermelons are warm-weather plants that require full sun, lots of water, and plenty of space in order to grow properly. They are also susceptible to pests and disease, so it’s important that you keep an eye on the plants throughout their development process.
To start growing watermelon from seed, first clean and prepare your soil by removing any weeds or debris from the area and adding compost or manure for nutrients. Next, sow the seeds about 6 inches apart from each other; this will allow each plant room for growth as well as enough space between rows for harvesting purposes later on down the road.
If you are thinking about growing your own watermelons, you are probably wondering how to get started. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can grow the melon, including seeds, plants, and raised beds. In this article, we’ll cover how to plant watermelons, the best ways to fertilize them, and diseases that can affect your watermelon crop. In addition, we’ll look at how to fertilize watermelons after their first fruit.
Seedless watermelons need pollen from a seeded type to produce
While seedless watermelons are not sterile, they will need pollen from a seeded melon to produce. In addition to seedless melon pollen, a standard-sized melon can also be used as a pollenizer. Both types need to be planted approximately three to four days before the seedless melon, but watermelons do not cross-pollinate with each other when grown in a high tunnel.
For a seedless watermelon to produce fruit, it needs pollen from a seeded watermelon variety. The male flowers of seedless watermelons have limited viable pollen, so pollen from a seeded melon is needed to fertilize the female flower. It can be tricky to integrate pollenizers into seedless watermelon production, however, and they must be vigorous enough to produce flowers while not competing with other commercial crops.
When growing a seedless watermelon, the seeds should be sown at a depth of one inch and should be planted at an angle of 45 to 90 degrees. This angle prevents the seed coat from adhering to the cotyledon, which is essential for germination. After the seeds germinate, the plant should be placed in a cooler environment, such as a greenhouse at 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65 degrees at night. A seedless melon should not receive much water during the germination period, but it will require limited irrigation once the seedlings begin to appear.
Fertilizing watermelons after the first fruits
Watermelons need a good fertilizer to grow to their full potential. The best time to fertilize is right after transplanting. You can use either organic or inorganic fertilizers. However, be sure not to over-fertilize your watermelon plant because it can burn itself with nitrogen. Using soil tests is a great way to determine the right nutrients and amount for your plants.
When planting your watermelon plants, choose a well-draining, sandy soil. pH levels should be 6 to 6.5, otherwise, the watermelon plant will not grow well. If your soil is too clayey, you can amend the soil by creating a raised bed. If you have poor soil, you should plant your watermelons near other plants. Watermelon varieties grow faster in cooler climates than those grown in humid areas.
Watermelons should be watered at least once per week until they have ripe fruits. Doing so will increase the production of concentrated sugars. Be careful not to splash water on the foliage, which could spread disease and reduce the quality of the crop. Apply mulch around the plant to keep the soil moist and discourage weeds. If your watermelon plant does not grow in an ideal location, fertilize it after the first fruits.
Diseases that can harm a watermelon crop
Bacterial fruit blotch is a serious disease affecting watermelons. This disease is spread quickly throughout a watermelon field. Once infected, the fruit rots and is unmarketable. The affected fruit is discolored and infected and the infected seedlings are infected with the disease. Seedlings should be protected from this disease through bottom watering and seed treatments.
Powdery mildew is another disease that can attack watermelons. It appears on the upper surface of the leaves and can cause the plants to defoliate prematurely, reducing productivity and fruit quality. The disease first develops as white or yellow patches on the leaf’s surface. Eventually, the leaves will curl and die. Some varieties are not susceptible to powdery mildew at all.
Various fungi, bacteria, and nematodes are responsible for watermelon disease. These pathogens live in the soil and crop debris between watermelon crops and can build up to dangerous levels when repeated cropping occurs. To reduce the chance of pathogens spreading, consider a three to the four-year rotation of watermelon with other crops that do not contain cucurbits, such as spinach. Moreover, sandy loam soils are better suited to watermelon production, as heavy soils may promote root rot and result in inferior fruit size. Lastly, planting watermelon in late spring or late summer should avoid the same soil as earlier plantings, because older fields may be home to pathogens.
Growing watermelons in raised beds
You can grow watermelons in a raised bed or even a pot in your backyard. Watermelons like well-drained, loose soil. To determine the type of soil you have, test it with a pH meter and add some compost. The right pH range is 6.0 to 7.5. Sandy loam is ideal. Clay soil will turn into cement if you add too much sand.
You can control disease and pests by ensuring the watermelon leaves and stems are regularly washed. Watermelon is susceptible to aphids and spider mites. In order to prevent these pests, use decoys, flashing lights, and insecticides. Watermelon plants are susceptible to diseases like anthracnose, so be sure to use insecticidal soap or diatomaceous earth to prevent infestation.
Remember that watermelons take a long time to grow. For best results, you need to provide a steady supply of nutrients throughout the growing season. Creating nutrient-rich soil is a good start, but don’t stop there. Fertilize regularly with a premium-quality fertilizer, such as Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edible Plant Nutrition Granules, so that the plants get a steady supply of essential nutrients.
Pre-planting soaking of seeds
For the best results, you should soak watermelon seeds a few days before planting. The temperature should be at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You should keep seeds moist during the first few weeks, but do not soak them overnight. Young seeds are delicate, and cannot be dried out without causing them to die. They also need moisture near the surface of the soil to grow successfully. However, once they have reached their full size, they can be watered less often.
Soaking a seed before planting allows it to germinate quicker and increases its chances of survival. However, it can also prevent them from sprouting. To promote watermelon growth, you can soak watermelon seeds in milk. Alternatively, you can crush a vitamin-C tablet and mix it with watermelon seeds to increase vigor and promote growth. The crushed tablet also aids the germination process.
Watermelon seedlings can be transplanted into a plastic tunnel about four weeks after planting. After germination, the watermelon plants should be transferred to a polytunnel to protect them from early frost. This procedure should be repeated every three to four weeks. During this time, the seedlings should receive six to eight hours of light per day. It is important to soak watermelon seeds before planting in order to make sure that they germinate successfully.
Fertilizing after the first fruits
While most of us buy watermelon from a store, it is possible to grow them at home and get a summer crop that will satisfy your hunger. Fertilizing after the first fruits of watermelon can help you produce a tasty treat for your family. Fertilize the plant at planting time, or apply a weak solution of fertilizer every time you water it. Compost tea and fish-emulsion spray are also good options. Apply a quarter pound of fertilizer to the soil alongside the plants.
Mehlich-1 indices are calculated by using soil-extracted nutrient concentrations as a percentage. The highest yield was assigned a 100% value and all other yields were expressed as a percentage of the highest yield. The actual yield of the RY was calculated in cwt per acre. The authors of the study compared these indices to the yields of different studies, but the RYs for a wide range were not significantly different.
The literature review included all the available documentation, but selective presentation introduces bias. The researchers noted that higher N rates were associated with better yields. In 1958, optimum yields were obtained with 124 lb/acre, while relative yields were 70 and 85%. Applying additional N at this stage resulted in 8% higher early yields and a 5% increase in average fruit weight. In contrast, higher N rates were only marginally beneficial for yields, especially in Gainesville.
Harvesting a watermelon
There are several steps in harvesting a watermelon from fresh seeds. It’s important to follow the right procedures and use a sharp knife. After planting the seeds, wait for about 50 days before harvesting the first fruit. To check its ripeness, tap it with your fingernail. Taping the melon while it’s still on the vine will cause damage to the rind and expose the fruit to disease.
The seeds must be planted in moist soil that doesn’t have stagnant water. They need soil with a 15-degree cast. The soil must be rich in compost or manure, which are essential fertilizers for growing melons. Potassium is necessary for fruit sets, so ash is a good source of potassium. Watermelon needs a minimum of 15 degrees of the cast to grow well.
If you don’t have a dehydrator or the space to store them, air-dry them. Simply spread the seeds out on a baking sheet or a piece of foil, and place them in a dry, dark place away from light. It takes about six to seven days for watermelon seeds to dry. After that, you can store them in an envelope for up to four years.
You can grow watermelons from fresh seeds, but you will have to wait longer for the fruit to mature. To do so, start with a healthy, disease-free seed. Soak it in water overnight before planting it in a well-draining potting soil mixture containing compost and sand or perlite. The soil should be moist but not soggy. Plant the seeds about 2 inches apart in rows about 18 to 24 inches apart. Water regularly and keep in a sunny location until the seedlings emerge. When they are about 4 inches tall, thin out any plants that are too close together so that they remain at least 8 inches apart.
Once the plants reach 6 to 8 weeks old, thin them again so that each plant has room to grow without crowding its neighbors. When they reach 1 foot tall (30 cm), begin watering them more heavily so that they can form their first fruit buds at least 36 days before temperatures are expected to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) during daylight hours. Keep watering regularly until fruit forms and continues watering as needed throughout the growing season depending on weather conditions.