How to grow large and sweet watermelons: instructions from planting to harvesting

Alina MilsentNews
How to grow watermelons. Source: Created with the help of AI

The technology for growing gourds depends primarily on climatic conditions. Watermelons can be grown in almost all regions of Ukraine, the main thing is to choose the right variety. You should focus on the ripening time: if all varieties will ripen in the southern regions, then early varieties and hybrids will be suitable for cooler climatic zones.

You also need to pay attention to resistance to major diseases - some early varieties quickly overripe. OBOZ.UA tells you how to grow large and sweet watermelons.

Where to plant watermelons

Gourds grow best in open areas protected from drafts. High humidity is contraindicated for watermelons, so low-lying areas should be avoided.

Light sandy and sandy loam soils are considered the best for growing watermelons. You should also pay attention to the rules of crop rotation: watermelons grow well in the beds where legumes and cabbage were grown last year.

Experts advise to pre-fertilize the bed with organic matter, preferably in the fall with humus or compost, and in the spring with wood ash. You can enrich it with mineral universal fertilizers before planting.

Seedlingless method of growing watermelons

The easiest way is to sow the seeds directly into the open ground. Gourds do not tolerate even minor damage to the root system, which is almost impossible to avoid when transplanting seedlings.

Watermelons are heat-loving crops. The soil should warm up to +15 °C before planting. Of course, it all depends on the weather conditions. If it is possible to cover the seedlings with agrofibre in the event of a sharp cold snap, you can safely sow the seeds in early May.

The planting scheme depends on the characteristics of the variety. This is usually indicated on the packaging. Sow watermelons in rows: 150x100, 200x150, 300x200 cm, in a square-nested manner: 70x70, 80x80, 100x100 and even 200x200 cm.

Several seeds should be thrown into the holes about 3 cm deep. After emergence, the watermelons should be thinned out, and after 3-4 shoots have developed, leave one of the strongest in each hole.

How to grow watermelons through seedlings

Even early varieties will not have time to sprout if the summer is short and cool. In this case, you can plant watermelons through seedlings.

  1. Sow the seeds in large containers with at least 500 ml of capacity. Seedlings need nutritious soil and warmth – about +20...+25 °C.
  2. Don't forget about watering - moisten the seedlings a little and infrequently, using warm water.
  3. The topsoil should be completely dry. Seedlings should be placed on a bright windowsill – they need at least 12 hours of sunlight per day.
  4. Watermelons can be planted outdoors when the seedlings have 3-5 leaves.

How to care for watermelons

Watermelons should be watered regularly, but it is important to avoid sharp fluctuations in soil moisture.

Fertile soil under gourds does not need to be fertilized, but poor soils need fertilizer. The bed under watermelons can be fertilized with a solution of chicken manure or cow manure, and at the stage of ovary formation – with phosphorus-potassium mineral fertilizers.

In the event of a significant cold snap, watermelons should be covered with agrofibre. A temperature of +15 degrees will already be stressful, which can lead to crop loss.

The ripening period depends on the characteristics of the variety. On average, it is 32-45 days.

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