Having something from your garden that you can harvest and consume it fresh from the farm would be the best thing you could ever done from your gardening activities.
If you would like to have some edible plants in your garden so that you can reap and taste the yield produced after all the hard works that you have put in; one of the best way you can do it is by having watermelon plants in your garden.
The reason why watermelon is one of the best choices for you to start your edible garden is because this plant is very easy to be taken care off.
In this article we are going to discuss on how we can grow watermelon plants in your garden successfully.
First of all, before thinking of all the works that need to be done in planting the watermelon, you first need to decide the variety of watermelon that you want to plant in your garden.
This is due to watermelon have a lot of different varieties. There are red and yellow watermelons. There are also watermelons that are seedless.
There are not much tips on how to select which type of watermelon varieties that is suitable for you as it is solely depends on you taste and desire.
Most of the time there is also not much different on the ways of how to take care of them.
This means whatever varieties that you chose the works that need to be done in taking care of them are the same.
A few watermelon varieties that are easily available in the market for you to choose are as below:
a) Dixie Queen Watermelon
b) Early Moonbeam Watermelon
c) Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon
d) Golden Midget Watermelon
e) Janosik Watermelon
f) Mississippi Cobb Gem Watermelon
g) Osh Kirgizia Watermelon
h) Sugar Baby Bush Watermelon
Watermelon is the annual types of plant that is suitable to be planted in an area that is receiving full sunlight.
A place that is receiving 8 to 10 hours of sun light is good enough for watermelon planting.
Please avoid picking an area that is shaded by other plants or structures when choosing a place for watermelon planting in your garden if want to see good results from your effort.
After you have chosen an area, then you need to look into the condition of the soil as soil plays a very important role in the development of any plantings.
Same goes with the watermelon plantings, in order to have it grow healthily you need to look into the soil requirements for this plant.
One the soil requirement that need to be looked into is the pH condition of the soil.
The suitable soil pH for watermelon planting is between 5.5 and 6.5 in order for them to grow at optimum rate.
You are advised to always have a handy soil pH tester so that you can do simple test easily when needed.
Take necessary action and rectification to improve your soil pH if needed based on the test data that you have.
For those of you who still do not know how improve the soil pH; for acidic soil you need to put agriculture lime to increase the soil pH and for alkaline soil you need to put sulfur to reduce the soil pH.
Both of the products are easily available at any gardening shop.
Watermelon plants can be categorized as a heavy consuming plant. This means that this plant needs a lot of nutrients supply so that it can grow healthily without having any problems.
A general guide that you can follow in term of the quantity of fertilizer that need to be supplied when planting watermelon plants are:
a) when you are using NPK mixes of 5:6:4 put the fertilizer at 700-1200 kg per hectare and
b) if you are using NPK mixes of 14:14:12 put the fertilizer at 300-500 kg per hectare.
Please calculate back the amount of the fertilizer needed based on your area or the amount of plants planted.
Watermelon plants were usually planted with the distance of 3 to 5 feet apart between the seedlings.
As we all know, watermelon plants will grow by expanding their vein to all over the spaces even onto your lawn area if you grow it in a garden.
Taking into account this growing behavior, you need to have a large enough space in order for you to grow watermelons in your garden.
As you can see, from the fertilizer data given, the main nutrients that are needed for healthy plant growth and to produce satisfying yield are the Nitrogen and Phosphorus elements.
In term of the soil structure, watermelon can actually be planted in any type of soil as long as the soil has a good water drainage and can keep the nutrients in it.
By having these two characteristics in any area you able to do watermelon planting wherever you want.
Improving your soil with organic materials and compost is a good way to improve the soil fertility and soil structure that can also be benefited by the watermelon plants should you need to do it.
Watermelon plants prefer the warm soil condition, and therefore doing anything to improve the soil temperature would also be benefited the watermelon plants.
One of the ways that you can do to increase the soil temperature is by applying the plastic mulch especially the one that is black in color.
Another aspect to be looked into for the healthy growth of watermelon plants is the watering aspect.
Watermelon plants really need to be watered with a lot of water. You need to ensure that the soil is moist all the time.
Watering can be done as how you want as long as the watermelon plants can receive the water.
There is no need for special watering technique as suggested by some people. Watering by sprinkler or even manually is already good enough.
Pests and Diseases
Watermelons plants are the favorite for the cucumber beetle pests. They will attack the watermelon plants and causing damages to the plants.
Besides causing the damages cucumber beetles can also transmit some diseases to the plants
A few other pests that usually attacking the watermelon plants are aphids and vine borers.
In order to control the above said pests from attacking your watermelon plants, a suitable insecticide need to be used.
You need to buy the right insecticides that really can kill and avoid the pest from coming to your plants again.
Some of the recommended insecticides are insecticidal soap for you to get rid of aphids and pyrethrum based insecticide for you the get rid of the cucumber beetles.
When applying the insecticides to your plants please do it at the proper time so that you will not also kill the beneficial insects.
This is due to watermelon plants really depends on insects especially the bees for the pollination process in order for the plants to produce fruits.
Recommended time for you to apply insecticides is during the sunset or at dusk.
Watermelon plants are also susceptible to a few diseases such as alternaria leaf spot, anthracnose, gummy stem blight and downy mildew. All these diseases are caused by fungus.
To control the fungal based diseases you need to use a proper fungicide that is being sold at your local gardening stores as each country, state and places have different rules and regulation in term of fungicide uses.
Your watermelon fruits will be ready for you to harvest about 65 to 90 days after you sowed it.
You are about to enjoy a nice home grown watermelon from your own garden.
There are few tips on how you can determine whether the watermelon fruit can be harvested or not. The tips are as follows:
a) The tendril of the fruit starts to wilt and then die. You can see that tendril will initially become yellow and eventually die.
b) The bottom part of the watermelon will change the color from whitish into yellowish.
c) Put the watermelon near to your ear and slap it a few times. If you hear a full type of sound that means your watermelon is ready to be harvested.
You need to hear the unripe watermelon sounds for a few times so that you will know the difference of the ripe and unripe sound of the watermelon fruits.
Once there is one fruit ripe, all the other fruits will also follow as well in the near time. So, please keep an eye to your other fruits also.
It is the end of this article, it is really hope that you enjoy it and will also help you in your journey to have watermelon plants in your garden.
Please leave a comment below should you have suggestion to give or should you any questions to ask, i will be very happy to help.