Now a days farmers in the United States (44 states) grow watermelons commercially. It is highly cultivated in Florida, Texas, California and ranks 5th in producing melons worldwide. It grows in both tropical and sub-tropical areas.
Watermelon is a special kind of berry with the hard rind and no internal division in it. It is a plant with long, coarse, pinnately lobed leaves. It grows well in warm conditions when the temperature is about 60 F.
Melon also contains vitamins, proteins, and nutrients such as lycopene, niacin, riboflavin, lycopene, thiamine, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and betaine helps to live happily.
- 1 Companion Plants
- 2 Watermelon Varieties
- 3 Can you Grow Watermelon in a Pot?
- 4 Choosing a Pot or Container
- 5 Soil
- 6 Temperature
- 7 Water
- 8 Pollination
- 9 Pests and Diseases
- 10 Nutrient Deficiencies in Melons
- 11 Fertilizers
- 12 Harvesting
- 13 Care for Melons
- 14 Watermelon Health Benefits
- 15 How often should you fertilize melons?
- 16 How long does it take for watermelons to mature?
- 17 How far do watermelon roots grow?
- 18 Why melon plant leaves turn yellow?
- 19 How to grow seedless watermelon?
Companion planting is done to improve the beauty and health of your plants without any chemicals. Melons love to grow with radishes, corn, bush beans and flowering companions like marigolds, nasturtiums, and oregano.
There are some plants that actually spoil the growth of melons when planted with them. Melons mostly don’t like to grow with potatoes as there may be chances of affecting viral infections.
There are more than 500 varieties grown worldwide for its commercial application in mocktails, smoothies and other cooking purposes. melon varieties are classified based on size, shape, and color. here is the list of some popular watermelon varieties that can grow in your garden space.
|S. No||Melon variety||Specification||Harvesting time|
|1||Carolina cross||Green skin, red flesh,||90 days|
|2||Golden midget||Golden rind and pink flesh||70 days|
|3||Moon & Stars||Purple/black rind with yellow circles||90 days|
|4||Orangeglo||Large and sweet orange flesh||100 days|
Can you Grow Watermelon in a Pot?
Growing watermelon in a pot or container at home indoors is easy and involves the following steps…..
- Choose a right pot or container to grow melon plants starting from seed or cuttings.
- Maintain soil ph and temperature to thrive.
- Provide sufficient water and sunlight to the plants.
- Use fertilizers to deter pests & diseases and to overcome nutrient deficiency issues.
- Harvest sweet, juicy watermelons when the fruit matures.
Choosing a Pot or Container
Growing watermelon in a pot or container is a tremendous way for gardeners within a limited space. To grow melons successfully, start choosing desired pots before planting melon seeds. It grows rapidly and requires plenty of water when you sow fresh seeds in a pot. Make sure to use a large container of size 5-gallon and has enough drainage in it.
Melons need rich, loamy and well-drained soil to promote plant growth. Soil pH should be 6.0-6.8. It grows well in the summer season by producing prolific leaves, trailing vines, and fruits. Fruits grow more quickly in light sandy soils than heavy clay soils.
Melons love the heat and seeds will germinate in 10 days when the temperature is 65 F. Best temperature to grow melons is 70 F to 90 F. Avoid growing melons if the temperature is below 50 F which may cause fruits to lose its flavor.
Watermelons require plenty of water. Keep the soil moist and water must be drained from the bottom. You need to water the melon plant regularly. Once the fruit matures and starts swelling reduce the water supply. To get sweet melons, avoid over watering and under watering as it results in mildew.
Generally, plants cannot produce fruits without pollination as it is the essential step in producing seeds. Pollination is the process in which pollen can be transferred to the female reproductive organs of the plant. The plant has both male and female flowers and can be pollinated without the help of other plants. When pollination of flowers is done, fruits may appear approximately after 40 days.
Pests and Diseases
Common garden pests like fruit flies, aphids, beetles and spider mites affect the plant growth. Seedlings may be completely destroyed and also cause rotting and withering of roots and stems. Prepare organic compost at your home and apply it on melons prone to pests. You will be surprised to see the result as pests start moving away from melons.
Plants may prone to little diseases when exposed to too hot-too cold conditions or due to waterlogged soil. Diseases like powdery mildew, anthracnose, fusarium wilt and bud necrosis are due to an insufficient amount of nutrients supplied to the plants. Melon plants with rich nutrients will help to prevent them from these fungal diseases and boosts the plant growth.
Nutrient Deficiencies in Melons
For proper healthy and productive plant, proper nutrition should be supplied starting from seedlings to the plant maturity level. Deficiency of a particular compound may result the plant prone to several deficiency symptoms.
- Nitrogen in melon plants boosts the leaf growth and helps for sugar accumulation in the fruit.
- Phosphorus is mainly required for flowering and fruit setting. It also increases the root growth and plant development.
- Potassium in melon plants helps to reduce the risk o fruit cracking.
- High intake of calcium encourages the leaf production and in maintaining fruit firmness with minimal cracking.
Use nitrogen-based fertilizer for better growth. When plants begin to flower, feed the plant with phosphorus and potassium. Well, rotted horse, rabbit or cow manure improves soil texture and provides nutrients constantly to the melon plants. You can also add mulch to retain soil moisture.
Harvesting period depends on climate, season and variety. You can harvest melons after 80-90 days from seed sowing and 30-50 days after flowering. Flowering and fruit set continues until the weather remains favorable.
Ripe fruits have no change in color and smell of the hard skin. To check whether the fruit ripens or not, knock with fingers on the surface of melon. If you hear the hollow dead sound then it is a damaged or ripened fruit.
Care for Melons
You can easily care and look after melons growing in a pot that helps melon plants to grow productively and has many proteins to improve metabolic activities.
- Watermelons on daily basis and twice during summer.
- While using fertilizers for plant growth, keep them away from children and pets like dogs and cats.
- If you are growing melons in an urban area, you may not have enough pollinators for pollination.
- To have healthy and more productive plant allow the main vine to grow continuously.
- When the plant is young prune or remove side branches, stems and diseased ones that damages the plant growth.
Watermelon Health Benefits
- Eating or having melon juice helps to live strong and is responsible for proper functioning of metabolic activities.
- Melon improves Heart health and is good for digestion.
- It has Anti-inflammatory properties to cure skin burns.
- It is used in Preventing Cancer, benefits the pregnant women and reduces weight.
How often should you fertilize melons?
Apply nitrogen fertilizer just before when the vines begin to grow. It is done actually after 30-60 days from planting. Use an N-P-K fertilizer in the ratio of 11-10-10 at a rate of (1/2) pound for every 50 feet of watermelon row. After fertilizing, water the plant thoroughly to thrive quickly.
How long does it take for watermelons to mature?
Watermelons need long growing season and warm climatic conditions for the seeds to grow and germinate. Soil temperature should be 70F during seed plantation. They are usually ready to harvest when the melon fruit turns yellow at the bottom and stem changes to brown color.
How far do watermelon roots grow?
After planting melons either from seeds or stem cuttings the roots may reach to a height of 4-8 feet in length. Root depth may also increases up to 2 feet tall but only on absorbing some area filled with moist rich soil. When the roots spreads completely it may reach to a height of 5 feet.
Why melon plant leaves turn yellow?
Whiteflies can be the reason for your cantaloupe leaves to turn yellow color. They weaken the melon plants by sucking the sap of it and excreting the sticky honeydew that grow as black mold. Sometimes lack of water, sunlight and nutrient deficiency can be reason for your melon plant leaves to turn yellow.
How to grow seedless watermelon?
Seedless watermelons grow from the seeds only. These seeds are produced by crossing the diploid and tetraploid lines of watermelon in which the resulting seeds produces sterile triploid plants. Fruit is developed by the pollination purpose so as to grow these plants along a diploid strain to provide pollen.
Start growing these juicy melons from seeds in pots at home and garden. Please share your experience with us, if you have amazing ideas about growing melon plants.