Growing Watermelon from Seed to Harvest Posted on 03 Jan 15:21 , 0 comments

Does the thought of sweet and Juicy summertime Watermelon get your mouth watering?  We love watermelon!

Mary's Heirloom Seeds offers several varieties of Watermelon.
Golden Midget Watermelon
 
Planting Watermelon Seeds
Indoors:
If you have a short growing season or want to get a head start, plant watermelon seeds indoors in individual containers or pots. We recommend using coconut coir pellets, which can be planted directly in the garden with minimal transplant shock. Plant one to two seeds per pot. 
Outdoors:
Sow watermelon seeds in hills or rows. For regular watermelons, sow three to four seeds per hill, spacing the hills eight to ten feet apart. Space the rows ten feet apart or more, if you have room. Thin watermelon seedlings in each hill, to two seedlings one week after they have germinated. When planting in rows, space the seeds four to six inches apart and thin seedlings to ten to twelve inches apart. For bush varieties, final spacing can be cut in half or even more if you are tight for space. 
Days to Germinate: 3-5 days
Days to Harvest: 65-85 days
Growing Conditions for Watermelon
Watermelon prefers full sun for healthy, strong vines. 

Companion plants for Watermelon

Planting corn with your watermelon will provide shade for the plants during the hottest time of the day. Allow about a foot between the corn plants so the watermelon plants still receive enough sun.

Young melon plants are susceptible to insect invasion, especially cucumber beetles. Once the plants mature, they can tolerate some leaf loss due to insects, but keeping companion plants nearby helps control swarms of pests. Cass County Master Gardeners recommend marigold, oregano and nasturtium as companion plants for melons. 

Diatomaceous Earth is a great organic tool to kill and deter pests.

Fertilize Watermelon as the vines begin to spread out and then again in a month.  Use Mary's Organic Plant food and Organic Alfalfa Meal Tea for all-around, organic nutrients.

Harvesting Watermelon
from almanac.com,  Dr. Bill Rhodes, professor of horticulture at Clemson University, offers the following advice on how to tell if watermelons are ripe:
  • Thump it. If the watermelon sounds hollow, it's ripe.
  • Look at the color on the top. The watermelon is ripe when there is little contrast between the stripes.
  • Look at the color on the bottom. A green watermelon will have a white bottom; a ripe melon will have a cream- or yellow-colored bottom.
  • Press on it. If the watermelon sounds like it gives a little, it's ripe. (Rhodes doesn't like this method because it can ruin the quality of the fruit.)
  • Check the tendril. If it's green, wait. If it’s half-dead, the watermelon is nearly ripe or ripe. If the tendril is fully dead, it's ripe or overripe; it’s not going to get any riper, so you might as well pick!
  • Stems should be cut with a sharp knife close to the fruit.
  • Watermelons can be stored uncut for about 10 days. If cut, they can last in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Wrap tightly in plastic.


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