Wednesday, December 30, 2009
It's now or next year!
Yep it's now or next year if you want to plant, from sown seed, watermelons and or for that matter, cucumber and pumpkins and rock melons and you know, all those creepy climby, viney things. You can still leave it for a month or so if you buy seedlings from your nursery, but if you are sowing your own seed you really need to get them in now.
They take about 70 to 80 days to produce fruit and need the heat of summer to produce good growth. If you move into autumn (this would probably exclude the sub-tropics and the tropics where they could be grown much later into the season) and get a early cold snap you probably won't get any edible fruit.
I grow the 'sugarbaby' watermelon here because of the limited space I have in my backyard but I also have a few planted down at the community gardens.
For soil prep I use one ten litre bucket of compost, one ten litre bucket of aged cow manure, a hand full of blood and bone and a small hand of sulphate of potash. I'll also apply another small hand of potash when the vines start to flower to help with fruit set and development. Creating a raised mound in the process into which I plant my seeds.
After planting four of five seeds into each of the raised mound/s at about fifteen to twenty millimeters deep I then water them well and keep them moist untill germination takes place.
Keep them well watered for the first 3/4 weeks then water as necessary. When the fruit is ripening back off all the watering as extra water at this stage will dilute the sugars and therefore the flavor.
Good luck if you plant some,
Cheers for now,