To add watermelon plants (Citrullus vulgaris) to your backyard, just pick a warm, sunny spot and plant seeds or seedlings in spring. Specific types are compact, bushy plants that suit smaller gardens, although the conventional watermelon grows as a vine. Irrespective of the kind you choose, providing soil conditions that are ideal to the plants can ensure a harvest of sweet fruits. Watermelon plants grow as annuals in most U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones.
Preparing the Soil
Watermelon plants grow best in soil that is loose rather than compacted; this enables oxygen to penetrate the soil where it’s taken up by the plant’s roots, helping produce strong top growth. Double-dig your planting area by turning over the dirt twice, breaking up clods as you work. Whilst turning it over, to increase the organic content of the soil, mix in some compost. Watermelon plants want well-drained dirt, so if your soil includes clay and will drain slowly, add some coarse sand into the planting site to improve its drainage.
Checking Soil pH
Watermelons prefer slightly acidic soil, with a pH that is between 6.0 and 6.8. Examine your soil’s pH at the fall or winter, using a test kit available at garden centers and nurseries, and create necessary additions to the soil several months before you plant, utilizing aluminum sulfate to reduce its pH or finely ground limestone to raise it. By way of instance, if your soil has a pH of 7.5, you are able to reduce it to 6.5 by adding 1.2 pounds of aluminum sulfate for each 10 square feet of planting area. If your soil is loamy and has a pH of 5.5, add approximately 23 oz of limestone per square yard, or 9 square feet, to raise its pH to 6.5; for clay-rich dirt, add more, about 30 ounces.
When you are ready to plant watermelon, combine a 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil at a rate of 3 pounds per 100 square feet before putting out seedlings or seeds. Until crops have vines that are 1-foot-long, delay adding more fertilizer , then create a two – to 3-inch-deep furrow about 1 foot away from the plants, either encircling plants or parallel into row-planted watermelons. Add the same amount of fertilizer into the furrow as the first feeding, and cover it. When you see the tiny melons, give plants a feeding placing fertilizer into a furrow and covering it.
The watermelon gets its title it’s about 95 percent water — so it’s not surprising that the plant needs lots of water, particularly. It’s ideal to water with a soaker hose by using trickle irrigation to get most of the water into the roots, where it’s needed and also to prevent issues. The roots are heavy, so allow water to penetrate several feet into the soil, but decrease when fruits reach baseball dimensions watering, to promote sweet flavor. Mulch – to 6-inch-thick layer of straw to help prevent melons from discoloring or becoming diseased from contact with dirt and also conserve soil moisture.