So another favorite of mine in the summer is watermelon. Therefore, I figured I would learn how to grow watermelon in my garden for next year. I think it would be a tasty treat for all my hard labor of gardening. Watermelon is great to have on a hot summer afternoon when you need a cold sweet treat. My sister tried to grow them the first summer she had a garden but she was not successful. I think she got 2 small watermelons out of it and they were not so ripe. She did not do research on how to grow them though and I think that was her problem.
So here is what I found out:
1) Like almost everything else I have talked about in my past blogs, Watermelons love warm humid weather. They do not like cold weather. So as you guessed it, make sure it is in a sunny place and do not plant outside until it is above 65 degrees at night. Also, adding a tarp over the top of the soil and then cutting some slits in it for the plant to grow through will help keep the soil and the seeds warm.
-Colorado might not be the best place to grow watermelon. If available, watermelons will do better in a greenhouse type structure until warm enough outside. 70% humidity is ideal, but ventilation is key too.
2) Good cirrculation is a must so do not plant close to other vegetables. Make sure it has plenty of room to spread out. Perferably in its own area. So if you are the type of person who wants a small garden, watermelons may not be for you. Unless, you do not plan on planting much else. I think this was my sisters problem. She does not have a very big garden and she planted a lot of veggies that year.
3) The soil should be slightly sanding and well drained. Plant some organic matter in the hole with the seeds/plant. Seeds are much better because watermelons do not do that well with transplanting.
4) Plant your seeds 3-7 feet apart depending on the type of watermelon seeds you buy. A good guess for depth of planting the seed is 4x the seed width.
5) Young seeds should receive about 1/2 an inch of water per week. After he flowers bloom, slow your watering down. Over watering will cause the plant to rot. Also, watering to much and close to harvest time will cause the sugar content to be lower and the inside to hollow out.
6) Once the flowers bloom remove the plastic covering so that the bee’s can pollinate and help the watermelon grow. If not enough bee’s to pollinate you can hand pollinate to help.
7) The watermelon should be ready to harvest about 40 days after the flowers are completely bloomed.
Now reading this you may be thinking to yourself, Colorado does not seem to be the best place to grow watermelon. Well I think you are right. I am not positive that I will be successful with my plants in the summer but I am still going to try. I would really love to have watermelons, and to try and fail is better than not trying. So we shall see. It seems really hard to me but I have faith, so should you if you love the fruit like I do.
Here are a few sites I visited for information. If you are planning on trying they will help you for sure.
-Main Street Seed and Supply Comp. http://www.mainstreetseedandsupply.com/growing-watermelon.htm
-Agri Support Online http://www.agrisupportonline.com/Articles/germinating_watermelone_seeds.htm
-Good forum site to visit for growing watermelons is http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cornucop/msg021320431359.html