If you’re considering growing your own watermelon in a small space, you’ve probably wondered how to get started, what steps to take.
It is not that difficult once you know how to do it right!
Regardless of your space constraints, there are a few basic steps you need to follow, including planting and fertilizing.
After you have a few plants growing, you can move them to a spot where they’ll have a better chance of surviving.
Watermelons Growing conditions
To grow watermelons, make sure that the space is warm enough. The temperature of watermelons should be around 26-33 degrees Celsius.
In addition, the nighttime temperature should not be lower than 25 degrees Celsius. You can also mulch to conserve water.
Watermelon vines need full sun for the proper development of sugars, so shade is unnecessary. Watermelons grow best in well-drained soil, so they need to be fertilized with organic matter.
Watermelons prefer well-drained, loamy soil. Avoid planting watermelons in small containers. You’ll need a space with at least 20 square feet per plant.
A good amount of space will also help the plants spread out, so they don’t crowd other crops. Watermelons like raised rows that have good drainage and hold heat longer. Traditional rows are about 6 feet apart. The spacing between seeds and plants should be at least 1.5 meters apart.
Once the vine has been planted, it should be pruned if the vine tries to grow in a different part of the yard. Watermelons are known to spread, so a small yard should have enough room for one or two plants.
When they’re at the reproductive stage, they produce the sweetest fruit. If the fruit is too early for picking, you may need to wait until the vine reaches maturity.
Using a whiskey barrel is another option. It’s not a bad idea to place watermelons in a whiskey barrel but make sure you have sufficient drainage holes in your container.
A half-full whiskey barrel placed in the sunniest part of your yard will work well. Then, plant 5-dwarf melon seeds, one seed per plant, 2 inches apart, at least one inch deep. Planting the seeds in rows will allow them to spread their roots.
As a vegetable, watermelon plants can be susceptible to many pests and diseases. Some of the most common pests are cucumber beetle eggs. However, you can prevent this by avoiding watermelon in damp conditions.
Another thing to consider is the fungus that causes mildew. It lives in moist conditions and feeds on the watermelon leaves. To avoid this, watermelon plants should be watered in the morning.
Fertilizing watermelon in a small space
Before transplanting your watermelon plants, fertilize them with one-half pound of granular fertilizer per 100 square feet (9.5 square meters). Be sure to avoid contact with the leaves of your plants, and make sure to thoroughly water in your plant’s roots to ensure that they are absorbing all of the nutrients. Alternatively, you can use liquid seaweed fertilizer as soon as the foliage starts to emerge, and again, apply it once the plant has flowered.
Fertilizing watermelon in cacti requires minimal maintenance. The best place for a watermelon is on a pot or container with drainage holes. It also prefers a location where it receives eight hours of direct sunlight. If you have a small space, you can grow multiple watermelons at the same time in a pot or container. Make sure to allow the seedlings enough space to grow.
You can use a trellis for vertical watermelon growth, but you will need extra support to keep it upright. Depending on how much space you have for watermelon planting, you may want to create a raised bed to provide more room for amending the soil. Adding a sling made of old pantyhose or T-shirt material will provide additional support.
A twig may be infested with cucumber beetles or other pests. Make sure you check your watermelon plants regularly for damage. If you notice a few dead spots, you may have overripe fruit. A small amount of fertilizer will help. If you plan on replanting your watermelon plants in a few years, be sure to plant the seeds earlier than the previous year.
Another great way to fertilize watermelons is with seaweed. Seaweed is rich in potassium, so watermelon grows best in seaweed fertilizer. However, it is important to remember that watermelons are part of the Cucurbitaceae family, so make sure to use potassium and phosphorus-based fertilizers. After the flowers bloom, watermelons prefer lower nitrogen content and are best consumed within three to five days.
Pruning watermelon vines
During the early growing stage, watermelon vines require a high nitrogen boost to jump-start growth. This fertilizer will help them grow quickly and provide a nutritional boost for their leaves. As the vines grow, they begin to flower, but low-nitrogen fertilizer is recommended. You can also use high-phosphorous and high-potassium fertilizers to promote healthy flowering and fruiting.
When planting watermelons, keep in mind that they are a one-season crop, so transplanting them may be tricky. Pruning watermelon vines is important for this type of vine because it can affect the amount of fruit produced. When transplanting seedlings, you should plant them just above the spot where they were planted before. When replanting, remember to be gentle and firm, as the roots of the plant will grow along the entire length.
If you have space on your trellis, you may want to wait until the fruit starts to form before pruning your vines. Try to limit the number of fruits per vine and prune only when the fruit is about halfway ripe. It is important to sterilize pruners between cuts to avoid spreading disease. To keep the soil moist and weed-free, you can also mulch the area around your watermelon vines.
Besides the pests, watermelon plants are also susceptible to fungal diseases like fusarium. This can cause root rot in older plants. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for fusarium, but there are many prevention tactics you can use. Use a good rotation of crops to reduce the chances of getting affected by fungal diseases. If you do happen to have a problem with pests, use neem oil, or neem oil.
Pruning watermelon vines to keep them small is another important aspect of growing watermelons in a small space. Watermelons often grow on trellis systems. If you do not have a trellis system, prune the plants to keep them in a proper balance between fruits and vines. This will improve the quality of the fruit and increase its size.
Harvesting period for Watermelon
The first step in growing watermelon is to choose a planting location that has a large amount of open space. The vines will ramble and need space to grow. If the soil is not nutrient-rich, you may want to add compost to it. Watermelons are usually planted in October and December, when temperatures are around twenty to 25 degrees Celsius. Watermelon plants can also be started indoors in a germination tray or small pot.
The seed packages for watermelons typically contain instructions for spacing and planting. Water melons for about 80 to 120 days before maturity.
Look for curly green tendrils that turn brown or yellow, which means the melon has finished feeding.
If you see a dead or decayed tendril, the melon is ripe. If the tendrils have wilted, you should pull them off the plant.
After pollination, the watermelon vine begins to develop. It takes about a month to reach its full potential, and when it is ready, it will sound hollow when knocked.
The flesh should be yellow and the tendrils should be brown. The fruit should be ripe between 65 and 90 days after sowing. Once harvested, the fruit is edible and sweet, and its flavor is distinctly different from that of the flesh of a regular melon.
After the vine has grown to three feet in height, it needs support. If the watermelon is larger than three pounds, you may want to consider using individual slings to tie it to the trellis.
These slings should be cut to the size of the watermelon that you plan to harvest. It should be large enough to tie it securely to the trellis.
If space is limited, you may also want to consider using a tepee to brace the crop.
When picking watermelons, it is essential to pick them before they turn brown. This will prevent them from getting any sweeter as they are off the vine.
To know when a watermelon is ripe, look for the curly tendril closest to the stem. When the tendril is brown, the fruit is ripe. Otherwise, it will continue to grow and ripen.