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Watermelon

Botanical Name
Citrullus lanatus
Hardiness
Tender annual
Height
1 to 2 feet
Width
3 to 20 feet
Fruit
Red and yellow flesh, maturing in 70 (early) to 85 days, seedless varieties available, 6 to 25 pounds
Light
Full sun
Soil
Moist, well-drained, organic, warm
Planting & Care
  • Watermelons germinate in warm temperatures of 60F to 95F
  • Direct seed after last frost and the soil has warmed to an ideal 70F and above. Plant seeds in hills 1/2 inch deep, 6 seeds per hill. Thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill. Space hills 4 to 6 feet apart.
  • Or sow seeds in rows - spacing plants 3 feet apart and rows 8 feet apart
  • When growing in areas with cooler temperatures or a shorter growing season, select varieties that are fast growing or start plants indoors 3 to 4 weeks before planting outside
  • When starting indoors, plant seed in individual peat pots so not to damage this plant's tender roots. Melons do not transplant well when their roots are disturbed. Set 2 to 3 plants per hill. Space hills 4 to 6 feet apart. Or set in rows, spacing plants 3 feet apart in rows 8 feet apart.
  • Mulch soil around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds
  • Use a floating row cover to protect young plants from a late frost, to combat insects and to warm the soil. Remove once plants begin to flower to allow for bees to pollinate.
Problems
Powdery mildew, cucumber mosaic virus, squash vine borer, striped cucumber beetle, aphids, scab, flea beetles, fusarium wilt
Varieties
  • Sweet Favorite - 20 pound fruit
  • Golden Crown - early, skin is yellow when ripe
  • Cotton Candy - seedless, red, 15-20 pound fruit

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