Juicy, Sweet Watermelon Article - Allrecipes.com
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How to Grow Watermelon

Delectable and it's easy to grow.

Even if you have a modest backyard, you can grow enough watermelons to have plenty of seed-spitting contests this summer.


How to Grow Watermelon

All it takes is a few simple steps to grow watermelon you can enjoy all summer long. So get planting!

  • Watermelon plants can be purchased or started indoors.
  • These fruits like it warm and sunny. Plant after all danger of frost has passed--when daytime temperatures are in the 70s and evenings are in the high 60s. Use weed-barrier fabrics to keep the soil warm; the fabric also lets air and water through, while preventing weeds.
  • Plant up to three large watermelons on a hill that's mounded up to 2 feet high with soil and plenty of compost. If you can fit more than one hill in your garden, space them 6 to 8 feet apart. 
  • You can also grow smaller varieties vertically on a trellis. Just be sure to offer plants substantial support--a solid cage or A-frame using reinforced wire, and slings to hold the fruit. Tie up vines every few inches to keep them secured. 
  • Water liberally for the first three to four weeks your vines grow, but cut back once the plants are established. Continue to water thoroughly but less frequently. Too much water could reduce the amount of sugar in the melon, making it less sweet.


Contact your local garden center or horticulture extension office to find out what grows best in your own backyard.


    The Ripe Time

    How do you know when your watermelons are ripe?

    • The best method? Look for the curly tendrils on the stem near where the fruit is attached to turn brown. If they look half dead, it's ready for picking.
    • You can also check the underside of the melon. A ripe fruit will have a cream- or yellow-colored spot from where it sat on the ground while ripening in the sun.


    Did you know? Thumping on the fruit and listening for a "hollow" sound isn't particularly accurate. Sometimes, that hollow sound actually means the melon has turned to mush inside.

    Eat a slice with your barbeque fare, or try one of these recipes:

    Beverages




    Comments
    Jul. 7, 2010 3:41 pm
    to tell the ripeness i use a straw, i place it crossways and if it turns on its on length wise it is ripe. just thought i would throw this in i got the tip from my grandfather many years ago and it never fails.
     
    Judy 
    Aug. 16, 2010 2:23 pm
    Hi, Would you mind explaining that a little more clearly for me? We have tried growing melons before without much luck, but this year we have a few nice ones coming. We don't want to mess it up at the end,lol. Any tips would be appreciated. TY, Judy
     
     
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