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Growing Water Melons

Growing great water melons starts with planting great water melon seed. Good water melon seed is plump and smooth. For quicker watermelon seed germination, soaking seeds overnight softens the tough outer skin; water melon seed should germinate in about seven days.

Growing water melons require plenty of space, warmth, and water. Although you may sow water melon seed directly into your garden, there are several advantages to growing water melons in pots for later transplanting. First, water melon seed should be planted in a seed bed maintaining a temperature of between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 29 Centigrade), easy to do if you begin growing water melons in pots. Simply use an electric heat mat to maintain temperatures. When sowing water melon seed directly into your garden, wait until all danger of frost has passed and the soil is a minimum of 60 degrees (16 C).

Begin growing water melons by planting water melon seed in groups of five. Water melon seed is generally planted in one of two ways. Many gardeners enjoy easy cultivation by growing water melons in hills. When planted this way, keep a maximum of three vines per hill and space hills six to eight feet apart to give your water melon vines the room they need. If you plant from transplants, this is easily done. If you seed directly into the garden, you?ll need to discard two of your five stems, preserving the three that appear to be the strongest.

The second method of planting for growing water melons is to plant water melon seed or seedlings in rows. Although weeding is more difficult, irrigation is easier and plants need to be spaced just two to four feet apart.

The best method for ensuring your growing water melons have an adequate supply of moisture is by using either a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system. Use of a soaker hose is an inexpensive and easy way to keep the leaves of your watermelon vines drier, preventing several foliar diseases.

You?ll soon see your growing water melon patch carpeted with luscious blossoms. Although it will be hard to resist, don?t pick them. Instead, slightly reduce irrigation, which will retard vine growth and allow the fruits to set.

Unfortunately, many garden pests also victimize the delicious watermelon. A good layer of straw mulch keeps many of these away from your growing water melons and an occasional dusting with DE (diatomaceous earth) also takes care of many pests as well as their larvae.

Although thumping a growing water melon is a recognized way to determine that the fruit is ripe, you?ll find that after thumping several, they all start to sound alike. Other indicators of ripeness are 1) the rind takes on a dull look, 2) the rind becomes greenish-yellow where it rests on the straw mulch, and 3) the stem begins to wither slightly where the growing water melon is attached to the vine.

There are many rewards to growing watermelons. At harvest time, the fragrance of growing water melon is irresistible. In fact, you?ll find that every facet of growing water melon is an enjoyable part of gardening, from the first planted seed to the last pickled rind!


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