Gardening is the labor of love. Your life is so entwined with that of the food that you grow that it becomes impossible to tear yourself from them. Now, if you have planted some watermelons this season, lets learn a few tricks to be a pro in handling this tropical fruit.
- How Long Does It Take For A Watermelon To Grow
- How to Recognize the Male and the Female Watermelon Flower?
- How to Determine That the Watermelon Is Ripe Enough to Be Harvested?
- Things to Do to Make Sure You Have Healthy Watermelon Plants
- Was This Tutorial Helpful?
- Recommend Products
How Long Does It Take For A Watermelon To Grow
Going by the scientific name, Citrullus Lanatus, the watermelon is an annual plant that requires warm weather all through its growing phase. The time taken roughly for the watermelon to mature is three months or 90 days from the time they were planted. Of course, this is the generalized information. A lot of varieties, local and hybrid, may take 90 days plus or minus a fortnight approximately.
Why is It Essential to Maintain a Care Schedule?
It is necessary to look out for signs of ripening of the fruit by the end of the second month or roughly 60-65 days after the planting. A regular care schedule of the plant is a sine quo non – so that you do not miss on the most opportune harvest time.
A watermelon harvested at the peak of its ripeness is going to yield lovely fruit. Every farmer aspires to be able to grow the best, the sweetest, and the most nutritious fruit that he can.
Another indication of the health of your watermelon plant is the marble-sized fruits that they grow into. Once these develop, it takes more or less 45 to 50 days for the melons to grow 10 times the initial size.
Pro tip: The growth period of the watermelons is excessively important, and you must take care to see that it receives adequate food, water, and sunlight for its development.
We once had a case in the garden where my watermelons would not grow bigger than marble size. All amount of care was lost when most of them fell off the stem. Some of them managed to grow a little bigger, but there was no fun in the fruit. You know what I mean!
So, How Did We Fix the Problem?
1) Knowledge is a Great Liberator
We decided to investigate the cause. All the research pointed in one direction. There was no proper pollination. So we decided to give it a go and not just rely on the pollinators, aka the bees. We took the matter in our own hands.
2) Early to Bed, Early to Rise!
This step required us to wake up early. It was the time when the dew is generally getting dried. The reason behind this is that every watermelon plant only produces one female flower for every seven male flowers on an average.
The female flower opens up only once in a day and for a limited period one or two hours before sunrise. So, we had to be quick!
3) The Actual Pollination
We had to take the male watermelon flower, pull away the petals exposing the middle part. Now, we rubbed the middle onto the center of the female flower. That does the trick!
The following season we were a happy couple treating friends, family, and acquaintances to heaps of desserts and culinary feasts featuring sweet watermelons from our gardens!
How to Recognize the Male and the Female Watermelon Flower?
A short stem characterizes the male flower, and the female one has a relatively long stem. If the lengths of the stems confuse you, you will notice that the female flower has a slight bulge at the base of its stem.
We had used Crimson Sweet watermelon seeds because I particularly love their tough medium green rind with the dark green pronounced stripes on it. it is easily one of the sweetest varieties of melons. The seeds are non GMO (exactly how I like them) and one hundred percent pure and of the highest quality.
How to Determine That the Watermelon Is Ripe Enough to Be Harvested?
First off, the sweetness of the melon will not be affected after its harvested. That is one of the most important reasons that you must look out for signs that they have ripened. Over riping them is no good either.
Thumping is not a great test, after all!
Initially, when someone told us that we needed to check for ripeness by thumping on the fruit, it made us laugh. No, thumping is not an indication good enough to understand if the watermelon is good to be plucked.
Instead, You Must Check Its Vines
If the vine has turned brown and is drying up, then you need to check the underside of the fruit to see if the belly color is slightly pale yellow. The rest of the fruit can have a uniform color.
The fruit, when ripened, must be tight and not be dent-able with fingernails. That is a good test to know if the fruit has ripened.
The ideal conditions
- Choose an excellent sunny location for your watermelon patch
- The soil must be well-drained, loose and rich in the constitution
- The typical pH value of the soil is between 6.0 and 6.8
- There must be a minimum of 6 to 8 inches of space between the plants to discourage weeds and other vegetation growing between them
- The ideal temperature is between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Not able to maintain this temperature can mean bland watermelons
Things to Do to Make Sure You Have Healthy Watermelon Plants
- Pull out the weeds from the bed as soon as you see those fellows
- Cover the bed with mulch so you can water less often. We had trouble keeping the mulch in place before we got our act together with Mulch Lock 16001 Concentrate that held all the mulch, straw and sand in place for almost a year. We only had to spray the non-toxic concentrate around the bed and it is so permeable that it does not block the nutrients from reaching the plants as well.
- Lay a good layer of straw under the watermelons so that they do not come in contact with the soil
- Keep them dry so that they are not prone to rots and diseases
- Water them up to two inches every ten days
- Stop watering the watermelon plants when they reach their optimum size
You could find a wealth of verified information on growing and taking care of the watermelon plants on here . You will thank us later!
Was This Tutorial Helpful?
Do let us know if the information here helped you to enjoy sweet, flavorsome watermelons this season. We personally tried these methods, found them useful and reaped a great harvest. We would love to hear from you on your garden diaries. One more favor before we leave; do like and share this with your friends. Sharing is caring, by the way!