Growing your own watermelon plants will not only give you a nice, healthy, and enjoyable treat for the whole family during the long, hot summer, but a fun activity as well. There is nothing quite like seeing that large green watermelon gourd growing in your garden.
Hot, Hot, Hot
The watermelon plant is a heat loving plant. It grows best in climates similar to those in the American South. So, you want to wait until the cooler days of spring are well behind you before you start growing your watermelon. If you live in a climate that never really reaches that fevered heat like you get in the South, you will want to buy a faster growing watermelon.
If you live in an area where temperatures are unpredictable or where clouds and fog often block out the sun, this may not be the best spot to try to plant watermelon.
Watermelon Plants Love the Sun : Watermelon plants take best to a nice sunny spot. Don’t try to plant your watermelon next to a tree that shades it half the day. Watermelon plants do best when you plant them in an open field and allow them to roast in the summer sun. They are like sunbathers that want an even tan.
Avoid Winds : Although watermelon plants love open sun they aren’t so keen on winds. Open air is helpful for watermelons, but if you can find a nice sloping area of your garden, this will help shield your watermelon from strong breezes.
Moist Soil : Your watermelon plant will do best in a nice, wet, nutrient rich soil. You don’t want your watermelon plant to sit in standing water, but you do want to keep the soil nice and moist in the early days. Savvy planters create watermelon mounds and plant their watermelon seeds right into these. This is one of the most effective methods of getting both the nutrients to the watermelon seeds and of draining excess moisture.
Temperature : You should wait until your days are getting to be above 70 degrees on a regular basis, if you want to grow a successful watermelon plant. Watermelons love the hot temperatures and they will not grow well during irregular weather. In some climates, this can be a tricky business. You want to find that sweet spot where you allow your watermelon enough time to grow but where you are not exposing your watermelon plant to lingering winter weather that can damage it.
If you have any friends who have tried to grow similar plants in the past, you might ask them how they went about timing their sowings.
A Local Nursery : A trip to the local nursery is not only a good idea when it comes to getting supplies but is also a good place to get some tips on what to do to aid growth in your local climate. People who work in nurseries tend to love plants and are often a great hub of knowledge since local growers are always explaining their gardening problems to them. So next time you stop by for supplies, pick their brains a bit.
Spacing : Space your plants about a yard apart to give them the elbowroom they need to grow. Plants that grow too close together will compete for soil nutrients.
Row Covers : As your plants begin to grow, row covers will help hold heat in so that they can really grow in the toasty heat they love. Be careful not to put too much weight on the plants.
Flowering : When your watermelon plants flower, you should remove the row covers so insects will pollinate them.
Once you see the actualfruit, you can usually pick the watermelon after about a month. Yum! There are several watermelon health benefits so start eating watermelon to remain healthy.