How to grow watermelon from seed? This question could be raised by everyone who loves to enjoy this juicy fruit in hot August weather. However, this task will not be so easy. Do you think its bright color and sweet taste are all you need to know? Stand by for a capricious and demanding plant! We will try to make the growing process easier and provide you with some pieces of advice on how to deal with this green creature.
Main Watermelon Plant Growing Stages
There are six watermelon growing stages:
Dry watermelon seed should be hard as white spots and softness indicate that it is unlikely to germinate. You need to plant the seed at a shallow depth by digging a hole. You can use a tool ot squeeze it out with your finger. Put a seed in the hole and cover it with the soil. And now, all you have to do is wait until the first signs of sprouting can be noticed. Usually, it takes two weeks for the seed to germinate.
Young seedlings need proper care because they are very delicate and fragile. Watch the frequency of watering because the lack of water can lead to the drying out of the sprouts. Also, note that seedlings need to be protected from wind and animals.
You can transplant the watermelon sprouts into larger containers when the seedling looks taller and healthier. Ready for transplanting, the plant will have more leaves and be 6-10 inches (15-25 cm) tall. We suggest watering it with rain or distilled water.
During this growth stage, your watermelon will produce more leaves. In addition, the vine will become much longer and thicker, which means it becomes more mature. Let the plant develop quietly on the ground. All previous warnings about watering, wind, and animals remain valid.
It starts to bloom when your watermelon is about 60-70 days old. You may notice small yellow flowers. Take care of this flower with all your might, as it can easily fall off or weaken. Also be aware of pests that can harm the plant at this stage. If you are sprouting watermelon for the first time, it is best to pay attention to any changes or presence of unwelcome guests in your fruit.
You can watch as the flower slowly turns into a small fruit. This occurs on the 70th-80th day of growth. The watermelon has stripes, even if the fruit is relatively small. Be careful as the young fruit can fall prey to pests.
If the fruit of the watermelon is large and heavy, then it's time to harvest. Be sure to pay attention to the color of the watermelon. It should be either green or dark green, and its belly has a cream or yellow spot. Then the fruit that is ready for harvest.
How to plant watermelon seeds
It is best if you choose store-bought seeds rather than from the fruit itself. Since those from another watermelon will come out hybrid and most likely not tasty fruit. To plant the seeds in the ground, you will need:
- First, prepare compost and fertilize the soil (1-2 inches (3-5cm) deep)
- When the last frost has passed, wait another week and place the seeds 1.5 inches (4cm) deep, 3 feet (1m) apart in rows. Put 2-3 seeds per hole.
- When the seedlings have sprouted, and you see full leaves, thin out each sprouted plant to one at 3 feet (1 m).
If you want to plant watermelon in hills rather than rows, put 6-8 seeds in one hill and leave 2-3 plants when you thin out the seedlings.
What Is the Best Soil for Watermelon?
Since watermelon is a very incompatible plant, it needs rich and loose soil. Also, for successful cultivation (watermelons are succulent fruit), it's better to use sandy loam soil. Check the soil acidity; the pH should be between 6.0 and 6.5.
How much water does watermelon need?
Watermelons love moisture but do not let the soil be swampy and flooded. From planting to harvesting, it is necessary to give the watermelon sufficient water. Thus, provide your plant with 1-2 inches (3-5cm) of water per week. Note that you need o water closer to the soil so that water is not splashed on the leaves and fruits.
How much sun do watermelons need?
Watermelon feels perfect in hot conditions. You must provide this plant with at least 8 hours of full sun. Watermelons have a long history and first appeared 5,000 years ago in South Africa. However, despite its origin, the plant does not like drought.
How long does it take watermelon to grow
Depending on the plant variety, you may get fruit faster. However, the shortest growing term is 70 days. Giant and familiar watermelons will grow much longer because the size of such fruit is much larger and juicier. However, you will have to wait 80 to 90 days.
Growing watermelon in containers From seed
You need to think about how to grow a watermelon in a pot in advance. If you do not have a suitable garden to grow watermelon from seed, you can use our watermelon guide to germinate the fruit at home in a pot:
- It is best to take a large container as watermelon grows and spreads quickly. Choose a pot with holes in the bottom.
- For planting, it is better to choose ready-made soil, as it should be rich. It is best to choose loose soil, not too dense. Since watermelons consume a lot of water, the pot material should be firm.
- Make sure the plant has good drainage so that water does not stagnate and cause problems.
- Since the watermelon needs nutrition, a granular organic fertilizer will work best.
Tips For growing watermelon in pots
Here are a few things to consider when sprouting watermelon in a pot:
- Use a trellis when the plant begins to creep.
- Construct a hand-made hammock, such as a t-shirt, and place the watermelon in it. This way it will provide additional support for the fruit.
- Water the plant daily if the temperature is below 80˚F (27˚C) and increase the frequency to twice a day if the temperature is higher.
- You can improve the taste of watermelon by stopping watering the plant two weeks before the fruit is fully ripe. This way, dry soil forces the sugar to concentrate in the watermelon.
What Are Watermelon Growing Problems You Can Face?
The most common problems you may encounter when growing watermelon from seed:
- Incorrect soil for seeds
If you have not prepared the soil before planting and it is not loose enough and rich in micronutrients, your attempts to germinate the fruit will fail.
- Inconsistent moister level
As we've already mentioned, watermelon loves water. If you forget to water it or the water was harsh, it can lead to plant death.
For some greeneries, pests are a common thing, and they can thrive regardless of the presence of parasites. But they will do irreparable damage to the watermelon, so watch the plant carefully during its germination.
- Wrong planting time
When planting the seeds, you need to choose the perfect time for it right after the last frosts pass.
How to save watermelon seeds?
When you want to preserve the watermelon seeds, you need to:
- Wash them and blot thoroughly with a tissue.
- Store them in a dark and cool place, but don't let the moisture attract mold.
- It is best to use an airtight container.
When to plant watermelon?
Wait about a week after the frost has passed. Then prepare the soil; it should not be frozen.
What are watermelon companion plants?
When planting watermelon seeds, choose the place next to herbs, lettuce, radishes and nasturtiums. Avoid cucumbers, zucchini and potatoes, as these vegetables attract pests that will kill your fruit.
How many watermelon seeds per hole can you put?
Put 2-3 seeds per hole if you plant it in rows and 4-6 seeds if you’ve chosen a hill planting.