You may have plenty of flowers, herbs and edibles already in your garden. But if you love digging into a sweet, juicy watermelon on a sweltering summer day, you should try growing these beauties! Native to desert climates in places such as Africa and Palestine, watermelons thrive in heat.
Here's you need to know about how to grow watermelon plants.
In more temperate parts of the country, direct sow watermelon seeds in ground after all danger of frost is past. Make sure they have full sun, which is at least six hours per day— though more is better! Add a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer to the area according to package directions. Poke a hole in the soil, place them about ½ to 1 inch deep, lightly cover with soil and pat down. Put 4 to 5 seeds per hole because birds and other critters sometimes go after them. Keep watered until germination; you’ll see sprouts in about 5 to 7 days. When the plants get their first three leaves, thin them out so that 2 to 3 hardy-looking seedlings remain. Use mulch or straw around the plants to keep down weeds and retain moisture.
When planting yellow watermelon seeds, most yellow skin watermelons start out green and change to their golden color as they ripen. The fruits do not start out completely yellow, but are mottled green and yellow until they turn yellow or completely green at maturity. Some interesting genetics. Many plants exhibit the characteristic fading green condition of yellow-skinned watermelon. Stems and leaves have a distinct yellow appearance because the cells adjacent to the leaf veins are unable to produce chlorophyll. This is not a nutrient deficiency, but is genetically related to the yellow skin characteristic.
Watermelons stop developing as soon as you snip them off the vine, so you can’t harvest them too soon. They’re not like tomatoes, which will continue to ripen if you pick them green and set them on your kitchen counter. Read the seed package, which will tell you the number of days to maturity, to get a general sense of when they'll be ready. Also, look at the rind color. The contrast of colors becomes sharp and clear, as opposed to all green, and the bottom spot that touches the ground will go from white to yellow when ripe. Finally, the little tendrils on the vine turn from green to brown.