Watermelon is a popular addition to summer picnics and barbecues. What would summer picnics be without seed spitting contests? Want to know how to grow the juiciest, most delicious watermelon ever? The kind worth bragging about? Here are five tips plus some other useful information about growing and picking watermelon.
1. Watermelon grows best where it’s planted. Transplanting seedlings often results in lost plants and lost money. The seedlings are just too delicate to take the move. Use seeds instead of plants. Watermelon is a warm weather crop. Plant seeds after all danger of frost is gone. Otherwise the seeds and young plants will freeze and fail.
2. Use organic matter plus sand. Watermelon needs good drainage and proper nutrition. Dig soil a foot deep before planting. Till in half sand and half organic compost. The sand provides the drainage. The compost provides nutrition. Fertilize with milk once a week, throughout growth. This makes your watermelon extra sweet and juicy.
3. Give it room to grow. Watermelons need a ton of space. They don’t do well when too close together. They require a lot of nutrients and don’t share the soil well with other plants. Be sure to plant them far apart. We’re not talking inches. Watermelons should be planted at least six feet apart. Some varieties need even more space so check the seed packet.
4. Let the sun shine. Watermelon should be planted in full sun. They need warmth and are easily affected by the cold. Even a chilly breeze can cause issues with watermelons. Water with warm water for best results too. Let dry between watering to keep fungus at bay. Standing water on watermelon roots and vines encourages fungal growth.
5. Pick it with scissors and wait until ripe. Watermelon ripens best on the vine. Picking it ahead of time gives it a dry grainy texture. Although it’s true that watermelon can be twisted off the vine, it’s best to use scissors when picking. Pulling melons from the vine can damage the skin. This can cause the melon to spoil prematurely.