Juicy, cool, and sweet, watermelon is the perfect summertime treat, and no Summer shindig is complete without this refreshing addition. Did you know that watermelon is also easy to grow? Impress your friends at your next Summer soiree with the freshest fruit straight from the garden.
Watermelon may be grown from seed directly sown or from transplants. No need to rush, it’s best to make sure that both your air and your soil is warm before planting. Large fruiting watermelon plants take about 80 to 90 days to reach maturity. Small fruiting varieties take about 70 to 75 days.
Watermelons require deep, rich, nutritious soil to grow and taste their best. Plant your watermelon seeds, or transplants, in a sunny location about 6 feet apart and provide plenty of room for the vines to sprawl. Dig a large hole in your garden bed, about 1 foot deep and wide, and fill it entirely with Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder [Eastern & Midwestern Regions | Western Region]. If you’re in the Eastern & Midwestern Regions and are planting in a raised bed, which is an excellent way to grow watermelon, the bed may be entirely filled with Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder.
A powerhouse blend of manure, earthworm castings, kelp, and more, makes Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder the perfect planting medium to grow an abundant crop of deliciously sweet and succulent fruit. It’s important to know that watermelon roots grow deep and wide. Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder’s exceptional blend improves root growth and function.
Fertilize your watermelon plants with Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® All Purpose Plant Food when they emerge from the soil or at transplant time, again when vines begin to sprawl, and one last time at fruit set. Be sure to water-in each fertilizer application.
Watermelons require ample and consistent water to grow their sweetest and juiciest. Stopping supplemental watering about two weeks before the fruit is ready to harvest will allow for the concentration of sugar to take place, creating a sweeter fruit.
- Mulch the area where the vines will run with a thick layer of mulch. Salt marsh hay or straw are perfect choices. Mulching will keep the developing fruit off of the ground, helping it remain clean and preventing it from rotting on moist soil.
- Watermelons are ready to harvest when the tendrils near the fruit turn brown, the under area of the fruit turns from white to a pale yellow, the green complexion becomes dull, and there is a hollow sound when you knock on the fruit with your knuckles.
The Summer growing season is just beginning, and there’s still plenty of time to plant lots of watermelon to impress your guests! See our Garden Center Locator to find your local store.