Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is just a sprawling yearly vine indigenous to tropical Africa, in which it has been cultivated for centuries. The watermelon vine has rough, broad leaves, white or yellow, tubular flowers and big, thick-rinded fruits that home juicy, sweet flesh that might be red, pink or yellow. If properly cared for, watermelon vines can yield an abundance of tasty fruits throughout the summer.
Watermelons are warm weather-loving plants that prefer temperatures to stay between 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and develop in many climates as an annual. They absolutely must be increased in complete, all-day sunlight to prosper. The seeds will not germinate, or will germinate poorly, in soil that’s too chilly. Soil temperatures must be 60 F before planting, after all prospect of spring frost has passed.
Watermelons prefer a rich, sandy loam with a pH between 5.3 and 8. They are more tolerant of dry soils than soggy soils, and can quickly succumb to rot and fungal disorder if implanted in a flooded portion of their lawn. That said, watermelons do best in soils that are kept moist to a depth of 6 inches. If possible, water the ground directly, avoiding the leaves and fruits. Wet leaves are vulnerable to diseases.
Once the ground has warmed adequately in the spring, sow the seeds directly in the garden in a depth of approximately 1 inch. Plant seeds in rows approximately six to eight feet apart, as they’ll need plenty of room to spread out. Planting watermelons too close together results in poor air circulation, which may bring about infection. To get a jump start on the growing season, consider growing transplants. Based on Clemson Cooperative Extension, transplants could be harvested up to 2 weeks earlier than seeds.
If the soil pH is too low, or there is inadequate calcium in the dirt, the blossoms of this watermelon might rot, preventing fruit from growing. Over-fertilizing may have its perils too, as an excess of nitrogen can cause an abundance of leaves and not enough fruits. Pests aren’t usually a significant problem, although cucumber beetles and aphids may be a nuisance. Powdery mildew is common in plants that are crowded or watered from overhead.