How to Grow Watermelon
Watermelons are a great addition to the garden. There is nothing better than eating refreshing watermelon on hot, summer days! Some of the watermelon varieties can take up to 85 days to mature, so it’s best to get started early. Watermelons are native to hot climates and require warm weather to thrive.
How to Grow Watermelon: To start, purchase quality watermelon seeds. Growing watermelon from seed is relatively easy. The vines are native to Africa and Asia, so keeping that in mind, watermelons require full sun and warm weather to thrive. Watermelons do best in rich, moist, well-draining soil with a pH of 6-6.8. When the soil temperature is above 70° F (21 C), the seeds can be directly sown outdoors half an inch deep. If starting the seeds indoors, use pots filled with sterilized potting soil. Seeds can be started indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost date. Transplant the seedlings outdoors at least one week after the last frost date. Any frost can kill the seedlings.
Watering: It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist but never soggy. If you have clay soil, make raised beds with compost before planting. Rows should be about 2 meters (6 ft) apart, and the plants spaced at 30 cm/a foot apart. Watermelons require 1-2 inches of water each week. Use straw mulch to help retain moisture and stop weeds from growing.
Fertilizer: Watermelons are heavy feeders. It’s best to start the season by preparing the beds with at least 4 inches of compost. Mulch also adds to the fertility of soil as it slowly degrades. Straw mulch works well with watermelons.
Companion Plants for Watermelon
Companion planting can help keep your watermelons safe. Watermelons are susceptible to the cucumber beetle. French marigolds and radishes are excellent at repelling this beetle and do well planted near melons. Herbs in general, such as oregano, thyme, mints, etc., will help keep many pests in check.
I hope this has taught you something about how to grow watermelon. If you have any questions or thoughts, please comment below. 🙂