Tips for Growing a Sweet and Juicy Watermelon This Summer

Tips for Growing a Sweet and Juicy Watermelon This Summer

Watermelons are one of the most loved summer fruits, and for good reason: they’re delicious and refreshing. Most watermelons are seedless and can be kept on your countertop until you’re ready to eat them, so why not try growing your own this summer?

Watermelon growing tips will help you grow the sweetest, juiciest watermelon possible!

Grow in full sun

Melons need at least eight hours of sunlight each day to grow sweet, juicy fruit. They also prefer warm temperatures, so give them a spot in full sun, away from direct heat sources like vents or fireplaces.

Melons are also big eaters: they can suck up more than twice their weight in water, so make sure you plant them where they’ll have an easy time accessing water through drainage holes or frequent watering.

And be sure to space them appropriately — they will spread out as they grow! How far apart depends on what type of melon you’re growing; most fruit varieties require at least three feet between plants.

Choose the right variety

There are hundreds of watermelon varieties, but they can be separated into two general types: seedless varieties (which have smaller seeds, thinner rinds, and less sweet fruit) and seeded varieties (which have large seeds, thick rinds, and sweeter fruit).

Whatever variety you choose to grow in your garden or containers, it is important to note that there are male (staminate) plants that produce no fruit and female (pistillate) plants that only produce fruit.

Because of pollination requirements, it is recommended that you plant one male for every five female plants. Gardeners planting just one plant should select a seeded variety so they get both types of watermelons from their single plant.

Plant it deep

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Plants need water to grow. The most important thing about watering your seedling is that it has enough water, not how often you water.

You’ll make sure it gets enough by planting in soil that’s very porous, giving your plant roots plenty of room to grow deep into the ground. If you have sandy soil, add compost and soil amendments like manure or peat moss.

Otherwise, consider getting an organic potting mix with vermiculite added to aid drainage (this is especially important if you live in a humid area).

Pay attention! Keep an eye on your plants once they’ve sprouted; they may need more frequent watering than you think at first. As plants get bigger, they also require more nutrients in their soil.

Water deeply, but only when necessary

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It is important to water your watermelons deeply, but make sure not to do it too often or they will become susceptible to diseases.

On average, you should wait until soil becomes completely dry before watering again. It’s also important to make sure that your soil has plenty of nutrients in it.

A commercial fertilizer rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is ideal for helping to grow better tasting fruits.

Make sure to read instructions on how much fertilizer to use so that you don’t overdo it. Too much fertilizer can cause nutrient burn, which can lead to other problems down the road.

If using compost as a source of nutrients, add it once every two weeks instead of using straight fertilizer with each watering. Make sure compost is well-rotted so that it won’t burn roots or leaves when added to soil.

Give it love!

To be sure you’re growing a sweet, juicy watermelon you need to give it plenty of love from day one. When you first transplant your seedling into your garden, make sure that there is adequate space between plants so that each plant has enough room to grow without having to compete with other plants.

After all, when your watermelons are competing against one another for resources like sunlight, nutrients and water (all of which will affect your growth), it makes it much harder to get great results.

They say Happy wife, happy life!—maybe we should add healthy watermelons to that as well?

Harvest at the right time

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While it’s tempting to eat straight from your garden, you should only harvest watermelons when they’ve grown big and juicy.

If you need a visual cue, grab two melons from different parts of your patch. Check out their insides—the larger, softer one is ready to be picked.

While it’s not ideal, you can also try thumping them with your finger; if they’re ready for harvest, their flesh will make a dull sound rather than resounding like an echo chamber.

Don’t pick any that have cracks or soft spots; wait another week or two before harvesting those ones.

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