How to grow watermelon at home?
Scientific Name: Citrullus Lanatus
Family: Cucurbitaceae (Gourd family)
Plant Type: Trailing annual vine with tendrils
Types of Watermelon: Sugar baby, Sugar Queen, Punto, Nelson, Cruiser
Climate: Watermelon requires hot dry climate and long growing season preferably with warmer days and cooler nights. It cannot withstand frost or very low temperatures. Higher temperatures are beneficial during ripening of fruits.
Soil: The soil should be well drained and should have plenty of organic matter. Sandy loam soil is best for home gardening. A pH of 6.5 – 7.0 is ideal.
Sowing watermelon seeds: Sow 2 to 3 seeds per hole. Few weeks after germination, allow only single, healthy seedling to grow at one spot & thin other slow growing seedlings.
Fruits: On an average, Watermelon fruits ripen 80-90 days after sowing. All the growth stages from Seedling, flowering, to fruiting stage happen within 2-3 months on most of the cultivars.
Watermelons per plant: About 2 to 3 melons can be harvested per plant in its single lifespan of 3-4 months.
Harvesting: Watermelons should be harvested at proper stage of maturity. Change in color of portion of the fruit that touches ground to yellow is a good indicator of ripened fruit. Also heavy dull sound when the fruit is tapped with the back of hand or with fingers denote maturity of fruit.
The Scientific name of Watermelon is Citrullus Lanatus, it belongs to Cucurbitaceae (Gourd family). Watermelon is a trailing annual vine with tendrils. Watermelon plants leaves are coarse, hairy & pinnately lobed. There are hundreds of watermelon varieties having fruits with a smooth hard rind; usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots and a sweet, juicy interior flesh, generally deep red to pink.
Watermelon is an excellent dessert fruit; it is relished by rich as well as poor. The fruit juice makes an excellent refreshing and cooling beverage after adding a pinch of salt and black pepper. The fruits contain 92% water, 0.2% protein, 0.3% minerals 7.0% carbohydrates in a 100g edible flesh.
Types of Watermelon:
Sugar baby, Sugar Queen, Punto, Nelson, Cruiser, are some of the traditional watermelon varieties of India. Although watermelon is a fruit crop, it is treated as a vegetable when it comes to farming techniques of watermelon.
Watermelon farming techniques:
Watermelon is grown on the ground, open farmland or yard gardens. Watermelon requires full sunlight, fertile well-drained, sandy soil with plenty of organic manures, a good source of irrigation. If grown on a large scale, drip irrigation system is recommended. Because watermelon fruits are large, the vine is not grown on a trellis; it is rather allowed to trail on the ground. Seed sowing always grows watermelon.
How many watermelon seeds do I plant per hole?
2 to 3 seeds are sown per hole. Few weeks after germination, only single, healthy seedling is allowed to grow at one spot & other slow growing seedlings are thinned out.
How long does it take to grow watermelon from seed?
It differs from variety to variety; on an average, the fruits ripen 80-90 days after sowing. All watermelon plant stages i.e. Seedling stage, flowering stage, fruiting stage happen within 2-3 months on most of the cultivars.
How many watermelons per plant?
About 2 to 3 melons can be obtained per plant in its single lifespan of 3-4 months. Usually, gardeners purposely keep only one watermelon per plant to harvest big sized fruits.
How do I know when a watermelon is ready to be picked?
Maturity in watermelon can be judged from withering of plants tendril, change in fruits belly color or ground spot to yellow and thumping test. The mature fruits on thumping give dull sound as against metallic sound of unripe fruits.
Cantaloupe or muskmelon is grown in a similar manner.