Watermelon is a classic summer fruit from the garden, ideal for eating in the hottest periods, and ripens during the summer.
The time from planting to germination of watermelon is about ten days if the soil retains sufficient moisture and the temperatures are about 25-35 ° C.
Watermelon fruits are generally enormous, they can reach 25 kg, but for the family garden, there are also varieties with smaller fruit, known as baby watermelons, more suitable for the consumption of an average family.
Knowing the Right Soil and Climate
The climatic conditions are usually favorable for the watermelon when the temperature is hot.
If the temperature is around 30 degrees, a tropical summer, it will be too harsh for the vegetables. When the temperature is below 14 degrees, it can affect the growth and harvest.
Also, the proper soil for planting watermelon must be rich and not arid, the pH should be above 5.5 i.e tending to be acidic.
During this stage, cultivation requires water and nutrients.
Like many plants, watermelon also fears stagnation of water that causes root rot, so the soil is prepared with deep digging and enriched by fertilizing.
Preparing the Watermelon Seeds for Planting
It is good to keep in mind that the watermelon, once grown, will take up a lot of space.
It is advisable to leave your watermelon to mature beyond its edible period if you intend to save seeds from it, this is because after you have harvested the watermelon, the seeds do not continue to ripen.
So, the first step to take in preparing the watermelon seeds for planting is to ensure that they are mature for harvest.
You can detect that they are ripe for harvest when you notice that the tendrils around your watermelon are completely withered and dried up.
After the watermelon is ripe, you can remove the seeds. Cut the melon, dig out the seeds.
Put seeds into a large bowl and fill it with water. You will notice that the healthy(viable) seeds will sink to the bottom, while the bad seeds will float with most of the pulp. Scoop out the floating seeds and pulp and dispose of them.
Pour the viable seeds into a towel or newspaper after you have rinsed off any sticky pulp.
Spread the seeds dry in a sunny place and leave them to dry for about a week.
Planting the Watermelon Seeds
The seeds must be placed in well-drained, fresh, rich, and loose soil. Keep the soil moist but be careful not to use too much water, to prevent the seeds from rotting.
To plant, prepare small holes, the holes should be about half a meter deep and give some space of about one and a half meters from each other, as many holes as watermelons we would like to have.
When the seedlings are reproduced and have slightly strengthened, only one plant should be in each hole.
As the season progresses, watering must progressively be increased.
In midsummer, then, irrigation must take place every day.
You will notice in two weeks from the flowers that the fruits have grown to become half their weight and that they can be harvested after another three weeks.
For small gardens, it may be helpful to plant mini watermelon seeds, which are very storable and can last up to four weeks from the time of harvest.
The harvesting of the watermelon should take place in mid – June when you plant them early.
Tip: Learn more about growing watermelon for beginners here
Now, it is important to note that watermelons require plenty of water, light, and heat to grow well.
The soil must be absorptive, deep with moderate texture.
As already mentioned, when the seedlings begin to grow, only the two most healthy ones should be left active to ensure the necessary space for the growth and development of the fruit from the flower.
The important thing, as mentioned, will be to leave some space for it to grow, so that the fruits can be born luxuriantly and with the suitable availability of space.
It is helpful to reiterate that the watermelon finds its favorite soil in soils without stagnation of water but soft: worked well before sowing and deep. For the seed to germinate, the source needs a cast, at least fifteen degrees.
Watermelon is a demanding plant, and it is advisable to prepare the soil with manure and compost. Watermelon loves rich essential fertilization.
If you want the watermelon to be sweet, make sure that there is a good presence of potassium in the soil if it is not enriched with fertilizer (you can also use ash ).
- ResearchGate “Watermelon seed germination. I. Effects of light, temperature and osmotica” retrieved from here
- HomeGuides “Tricks & Tips to Germinate Watermelon Seeds” retrieved from here
- “Thermal stress and physiological changes in watermelon seeds” retrieved from here
- HomeGuides “How to Save Watermelon Seeds for Planting” retrieved from here