Watermelons are succulent and juicy fruit and they are delicious, if you have not tasted them then you are missing something amazing.
If you plan to grow some awesome melons then here are some tips and process of growing those melons.
- Start preparing the garden bed before a week by adding a 1-inch layer of compost over the surface of the soil.
- Avoid turning over the soil because that damages the structure in the soil where the earthworms, microbes, and insects live in, so you must disturb it as little as possible. so instead of turning over the soil, you can just wiggle it back with the help of a rake or garden shovel.
- Wiggling the soil back and forth will make it nice and soft for planting.
- Use a drip irrigation system to water the raised beds. Another great option for irrigation would be to use soaker hoses. Both drip irrigation systems and soaker hoses put the water right at the soil surface where the plants can get to it and that is important. It is the preferred method rather than using overhead watering.
- Melons belong to the cucurbit family and examples of other members are cucumbers, summer and winter squash, and pumpkins. all of these are warm-season crops that should be planted after all danger of frost is passed. These plants benefit from having warm soil.
- To get the perfect warm soil use plastic mulch, solar mulch or red plastic mulch. The point is that these mulches increase the temperature of the soil which makes the plants grow and produce better and so this definitely makes all the difference.
- The next step is to cover the surface of the bed with plastic mulch. it’s important to use some kind of metal pins to pin it down so that it doesn’t blow off the bed.
- Before sowing the seeds into the soil you should know that everything about sowing is to do with the orientation of seeds when you sow them so that you get the best possible germination which is the sprouting of the seeds.
Did You Know ? when you look carefully at the melon seeds you will notice that there is a pointed end and a rounded end. It is harder to see on melon seeds because they are smaller than a larger cucurbit seed like squash. if you think the seeds as a little packet of energy and if you plant them in the wrong direction, they use up that energy trying to orient themselves, so that they can send a root down and sprout up, so by planting these seeds with the pointed end facing down you will get the best possible germination.
- To plant a seed use a good-sized container that has room for the roots because even a melon seedling has a good root system in the first two weeks of its life.
- Plant the seeds into a pre-moistened germination mix or seed starting mix which you will be able to find at any garden centers.
- Plant the seed about ½ inch deep into the soil. Once it is done make sure the soil stays moist.
- Put it under a clear plastic lead or inside a clear plastic bag that will increase the humidity and help seeds to germinate for sprout.
- Once the majority of them have germinated, take off that lid or take it out of the plastic bag and put it under a grow light or in a very sunny area. That way the plants will start growing really well.
- Make sure you keep an eye on the moisture in the soil because that is important as you don’t want the soil to dry out.
- Once it is done, put hoops over the bed and a sheet of floating row cover on top of those hoops. The purpose of it is to create a greenhouse-like environment, where the air temperature is higher and so the little seedlings grow like you will never believe.
If you are not familiar with the floating row cover, it’s a lightweight fabric you can find at garden centers and online stores. It lets in sunlight and moisture, so if it were to rain it lets that moisture through and it also increases the temperature of the air, so it’s great for season extension at the beginning and the end of the growing season because it gives some frost protection for the plants.
- Now the flowers on melon seedling will need to be pollinated so after two or three weeks at the most remove the row cover and don’t cover it again for the remainder of the season.
- The next step is to know when to prune. Once you have some melons that are the size of small lemon trim the vines back a bit. because anything that blooms is never going to make it into a nice mature melon by the end of the season. so just trim them back a bit, being careful not to cut off any developing melons. That way the plants will devote their energy into ripening the existing melons.
Harvesting of Melons
Knowing when to harvest melons so that they are at their peak of flavor can seem like a mystery, but there are three things you should know perfectly, to know when to harvest them
- First is the color of the melons. when you see them turned into a lovely peachy yellow you can harvest them as it is a great indicator of ripeness.
- The next thing can be a bit difficult to see but you will notice that some yellow jackets and wasps are hovering around the melons. They can smell the sweetness of the flesh so this can be the other indicator that the melon is ripe.
- The third thing you can look at is where the stem of the vine attaches to the melon and when the melon pulls away from it you will see like a little air gap between the attachment and the melon and that means it’s ripe.
This is the simple technique of growing healthy, tasty and juicy melons, which you can grow in your vegetable garden.