There’s nothing more refreshing and delicious than juicy and sweet watermelon, especially during a hot sunny day! Tempted? Certainly, growing watermelon can be a great addition to your vegetable garden.
Melons are native from Africa, and they need warm temperatures up to 27° Celsius during the day and a long growing season. Here’s how to start watermelon seeds before planting in soil.
1. Watermelon Seeds or Plants
Watermelon needs at least 80 days to grow; they need warm soil for seeds to germinate and grow. To get started, sow watermelon seeds 2.50 centimeters deep and keep the soil watered until germination.
Some gardeners cover the planting zone to warm up the soil and start seeds indoors 10 to 15 days before planting in the vegetable garden. Keep in mind that watermelon seedlings transplant inadequately, so avoid starting seeds any earlier than three weeks.
Plant three seeds in 7 or 10 centimeters pots and don’t forget to thin the best plant. Sow watermelon seeds 1 centimeter deep.
Make sure to place the pots in a sunny window or use lights to germinate. The planting zone should be at least 27° Celsius day and night. Watermelon seeds are perfect for growing in a tropical country such as Malaysia.
Always check the expiration date when buying packets of watermelon seeds. Keep in mind that seeds stay usable for up to four years.
Even though many plant seeds benefit from soaking, watermelon is an exception to the rule. Avoid soaking the seeds before planting to prevent fungal diseases.
2. Fertilise Before Planting
Make sure to increase the ground’s fertility levels before planting watermelon seeds. Doing this will ensure quick germination and seedling. We recommend using one kilogram of 5-10-10 fertiliser for approximately 10 square meters of planting area.
3. Warm Soil
Watermelon seeds love warm soil; the warmer the ground, the faster seeds germinate. For instance, at 32 degrees Celsius, it takes three days for a watermelon seed to grow, and ten days if the temperature is at 21 degrees.
If you start the seeds indoors, it’s a wise idea to use a heater to increase temperatures. If you’re planting the seeds outdoors, try applying black plastic over the area. This will help absorb the sun’s heat and raise soil temperatures speeding up watermelon germination.
4. Avoid Planting Too Deep
Keep in mind that seeds that are planted too deep will not grow properly. For best results, place watermelon seeds at a depth between 1.25 and 2.50 centimeters.
5. Transplanting Seedlings
It’s vital to handle watermelon seedlings carefully. Keep in mind that their roots are very fragile. Do your best not to disturb the soil when removing them from pots.
We recommend covering the plants with row covers to control pests. Don’t forget to remove the row covers immediately as you see male and female flowers on the vine. Pollinators will need to access the flowers.
6. How To Take Care Of Watermelon
- Make sure to water regularly – from planting until fruits begin to form. They need 2.50 to 5 centimeters of water per week, while watermelon is growing and developing fruit.
- The soil should not be overwatered. The best time to water the vine is in the morning. Avoid wetting the leaves, so don’t overhead watering. Once the fruit is growing, reduce watering. Grow watermelon seeds during the dry season if you want the sweetest fruit.
- It’s a wise idea to cut the end buds when the plant is young. This way, you’ll boost productivity.
- Always be kind with bees as they’re required for pollination.
- When the fruit is ripening, you can stop rotting by lifting it and placing a straw between the fruit and the ground.
It can take up to 100 days for watermelon to reach maturity. You know the fruit is ready for harvest when it stops growing, yellow is underside or fading of the stem at the bottom of the fruit. The best way to harvest the melon is to snip the stem from the vine with shears.
The Bottom Line
Growing watermelon seeds in your vegetable garden is a terrific addition since they’re perfect for Malaysia’s weather. Remember to start the seeds indoors in warm conditions and be very careful when transplanting seedlings as the roots are very weak. Follow the tips above to enjoy the juicy and sweetest watermelon you’ll ever taste! For more information, feel free to get in touch with us.