Why are watermelons so wonderful?
Despite the popular belief that watermelon is just water and sugar, watermelon is actually a nutrient dense food. It provides high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and just a small number of calories.
Naturally, watermelons need space to grow, as a happy watermelon can grow really big!!! Have you seen Dirty Dancing?!
Watermelons need a sunny spot with at least six hours of sun a day. They need plenty of moisture and a rich soil. They love warm, frost-free climates, in fact, the warmer the better – making Australia a great place for these juicy fruits to thrive!
For watermelons, back-off with the nitrogen-rich fertilisers or you’ll get a very big vine with very few fruits. Qld Organics Organic Xtra is the perfect all-round fertiliser for your patch.
In temperate zones like Victoria you should sow seed in spring, however seeds won’t germinate when temperatures are below 15°C. In subtropical zones you can sow seed from September until January.
Sow seed your wonderful watermelon seeds in clumps of 4 or five. Let them germinate and then as the seedlings are growing well, pick out and discard the weakest plant and let the strongest one or two grow on. If you have no space problems and want to set up a real watermelon patch, sow clumps 5m apart.
Young plants need lots of water, but once fruit starts to mature it needs less water. When flowering starts, give plants a feed with Organic Xtra and keep on feeding every four weeks. Mulch the ground around plants to retain soil moisture.
Harvest in mid to late summer, about 12-16 weeks after planting seed.
Watermelons are ripe when they have grown to full size! When the underside of the melon changes colour from green to light yellow, it will be time! To test whether the watermelon is ripe and ready, tap it with your knuckles. When the fruit it ready it gives off a hollow sound.
How do they grow seedless watermelons?
Seedless watermelons, quite simply, develop fruit but no seeds because they are sterile. The sterility is caused by crossing plants that are incompatible genetically.
Have you seen white seeds in a “seedless” watermelon? These seeds are actually undeveloped seed coats and are edible, just like the seeds in our cool cucumbers!