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Melon Growing Information
The watermelon is a tender, warm-weather annual. Watermelons along with muskmelons and cantaloupes (Rockmelon) are sometimes called summer melons. Grow watermelons in the warmest, frost-free time of the year.
Sow watermelon seed in the garden or set out transplants 3 to 4 weeks after the last average frost date in spring. Start watermelon seed indoors about 6 weeks before transplanting seedlings into the garden. Transplant from pot to garden without disturbing the roots. Watermelons require 65 to 90 frost-free days to reach harvest.
Where to plant:
- Plant watermelons in full sun.
- Watermelons grow best in loose, well-drained, but moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter.
- Add aged compost and aged manure or a commercial organic planting mix to the planting bed before planting.
- Melons prefer a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.8.
- Plant watermelons on hills or mounds or on raised rows. Solar heat hitting the soil on a mound or raised row will keep plants and roots warm.
- If planting in ground-level beds, warm the soil in advance of planting by laying black plastic sheeting on the bed two weeks before planting.
- Sow watermelon seed in the garden or set out transplants 2 to 3 weeks after the last average frost date in spring.
- Garden soil temperature should be at least 21°C at planting time. Pre-warm the soil by placing black plastic sheeting over the planting bed for two weeks prior to planting.
- Watermelon seed will germinate in about 10 days at 18°C, sooner in warmer soil.
- Watermelons grow best in air temperatures ranging from 21-32°C.
- Avoid growing watermelon where night temperatures dip below 10°C; this will cause the fruit to lose flavour.
- If temperatures exceed 90°F (32°C).
- for several days, flowers will drop without setting fruit.
- Watermelons require 65 to 90 frost-free days to reach harvest depending on the variety.
- Watermelons will tolerate no frost. In cool or short-season regions, grow smaller varieties that come to harvest quickly.