Gardeners appear to be capable of growing and caring for watermelon. However, a successful watermelon planting does not guarantee that the fruit will be of normal size. Watermelon is usually not a large fruit when collected by non-professional gardeners. So, how to increase watermelon fruit size?
Watermelon is a succulent that grows best in hot, sunny conditions. Watermelon juice is a refreshing drink that is perfect for the hot summer months. Furthermore, they are an excellent provider of nutrients for your body.
The process of growing and caring for watermelons, especially larger ones, is highly dependent on the process of growing and caring for them. Proper watering, and choosing the right fertilizer also contribute to increasing the size of your watermelon. To understand more about how to make your watermelons develop faster in your garden, read the article below.
How to increase watermelon fruit size?
You must be cautious at all stages of the plant care process if you want your watermelon to grow larger. Here are some ideas for you.
1. When Should Watermelons Be Planted?
Start seeds indoors 2 to 3 weeks before your last frost date in cool locations with short growing seasons. Plant seedlings in the garden about 2 weeks later, or when the soil temperature has reached at least 65°F.
Sow seeds immediately outdoors 1 to 2 weeks after your last frost date in warmer locations with longer growing seasons, as long as the soil temperature has reached at least 65°F.
Watermelon seedlings can also be purchased from nurseries. After there is no longer a threat of frost, plant these. Consider covering your planting area in black plastic to help the soil warm up even more.
2. Selecting and Preparing a Planting Location
Before planting, amend the soil with aged manure, seaweed, or compost. Watermelons are heavy feeders, which means they require fertile soil with high nutrient content.
Watermelons thrive in soil that is loamy, sandy, and well-drained. They may suffer if the soil is too clayey and does not drain effectively.
Watermelons grow best in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.
Watermelons require a lot of room—up to 20 square feet per plant is required. Plant them in an area where they won’t crowd out other crops so that their vines can sprawl.
Growing the vines in hills, or raised rows offers proper drainage and retains the sun’s heat for longer.
In a 5-foot-wide slope, space the plants 2-3 feet apart. If you’re planting in rows, make sure they’re at least 6 feet apart.
If your home is not large enough, check out our tips for growing watermelon in small spaces.
3. Seed selection
In the growing of watermelon, seed selection is critical for achieving optimal fruit output and quality.
It is recommended that you select the highest grade seeds for developing healthy watermelon plants. The watermelon seeds should come from a high-yielding cultivar. Watermelon seeds should be fully ripe, prepared, and large. There should be no symptoms of aging or improper storage of watermelon seeds.
Seeds from watermelon should be clean and free of other seeds. To generate bigger yields, watermelon seeds must germinate more. Watermelon seeds must be treated with fungicides before being planted in the field to protect them from soil-borne diseases and to strengthen the watermelon seeds.
We provided the best suggestions for choosing the best varieties of watermelons. Read for more details.
4. Arrange the plants
The amount of plant space required is determined by the desired watermelon size. The average size of a large fruit melon plant is 24 to 30 square feet. Watermelons are commonly grown in rows 6 feet apart, with plants spaced 42 to 60 inches apart.
Plant distances vary according to the type and amount of available equipment, as well as the availability of water and land. Plant intervals may necessitate adjustments to soil fertility and cultural methods for pest and disease control. To acquire the best size, quality, and a number of watermelons, growers must decide the distance between their plants.
5. Watermelon Planting Instructions
Sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in seed-starting pots or 1/2 to 1 inch deep outdoors. Use larger starting pots than you would for most seeds to encourage root growth.
Consider using compostable containers that can be cut away or planted directly in the garden to reduce the chance of seedlings’ sensitive roots being damaged during the transfer. Sows 4 to 6 seeds per hill if direct-seeded outdoors, gradually thinning to 2 to 3 seedlings.
When transplanting watermelon seedlings, use the utmost caution. Because their roots are so delicate, avoid disturbing the soil when taking them from pots.
To keep pests at bay, cover the plants with row covers after transplanting. When you see both male and female flowers on the vine, remember to remove the row coverings so pollinators may get to the blossoms.
6. How to Grow Watermelons
Watering is crucial from the time the seed is planted until the fruit begins to form. Melon plants require 1 to 2 inches of water every week when they are developing, flowering, and setting fruit.
Keep the soil wet but not soggy. Morning irrigation near the vine’s base is best, as it avoids wetting the foliage and above watering. Once the fruit has grown, cut back on the watering. The sweetest melon is produced when the weather is dry.
When fertilizing watermelon plants, start with nitrogen-based fertilizer. To get the best watermelon, you’ll need a lot of potassium and phosphorus. Fertilize female flowers, which are more significant than male flowers and have smaller fruits, to increase fruit output.
To increase the number of fruits on the watermelon plant, remove the male flower and swipe it on the open female bloom. The use of appropriate fertilizers in the production of watermelon improves fruit yield and quality. Nitrogen also increases the number of leaves, the number of twigs, and the weight of the plant over time.
Phosphorus is required for energy transfer to the plant. It also contributes to the crop’s quality improvement. Organic fertilizers, such as animal dung, on the other hand, have been demonstrated to improve the growth and development of watermelon plants.
If you want to use chemical fertilizers, consider one that has more nitrogen than phosphate and potassium, as this will encourage leaf and vine growth. However, once flowering begins, treat again with a low-nitrogen fertilizer to promote flower and fruit development.
Read more: How To Tell If Watermelon Is Pollinated
Tips for watermelon bigger size
Despite your best efforts, the watermelon you pick is not the size you desire. To improve, look through the suggestions below.
Watermelon growth is typically stunted by improper watering, bugs, and diseases, preventing them from maturing into large, luscious melons.
Melons can also be harmed by rotting before reaching their full potential. Irrigation is used to give the fruit flavor and sweetness. Drip irrigation supports optimal plant development and productivity, as well as allows farmers to apply fertilizer during the growing season.
The frequency of irrigation lowers as the fruit matures, eventually ceasing entirely during the harvesting process. It contributes to the fruit’s flavor and sweetness.
In the cultivation of watermelon, this is a crucial stage. Watermelon plants, unlike other crops, do not blossom on their own. Male flowers are smaller and appear early in watermelon, whilst female blooms are larger and arrive later. The female is a tiny flower-based fruit.
It will shrivel if it does not produce pollen. Pollen is carried from blossom to flower by bees in nature. Therefore, it is good to have an artificial bee in your garden. One hive per acre of land is more than sufficient. After a branch has produced fruit, some growers pinch the tip of the branch. It aids in the production of larger fruits.
Weeds are the primary source of nutrient loss in your watermelon plants’ soil. So get rid of the weeds under the tree so your watermelon may collect all of the natural nutrients it needs to grow the greatest fruit possible.
Control of pests and diseases
Examining melon patches for signs of disease or insect damage on a regular basis will allow you to address any issues before the watermelon spreads. One of the most common diseases and pest infestation symptoms is leaf damage.
Keeping the plants healthy and growing quickly is the best way to avoid pests and diseases. Pollinators are also killed by chemical pesticides, and low fruit sets can result in low harvests. Seeds that are disease-free should be used.
Frequently Asked Question
Q: What is the key to successfully cultivating watermelons?
For seeds to sprout and flourish, watermelons require a long growing season (at least 80 days) and warm soils. At planting time, the soil should be 70 degrees F or warmer. Sow seeds 1 inch deep and keeps them moist until they germinate.
Q: Why isn’t the size of my watermelon increasing?
Root damage – Damage to the roots while transplanting could cause stunted watermelon growth. It’s possible that you’ve irreversibly injured the roots, and they’re unable to absorb enough nutrients to support future growth. Cultivating around the plant might harm the roots, reducing the size of the fruit.
Q: How long does it take a watermelon to grow to its full size?
A watermelon can take anywhere between 65 and 90 days to develop after being planted. It only takes 45 days from the time the fruit sets to little marble-sized melons to mature into watermelons weighing 10 pounds or more.
The information in the preceding article was helpful in increasing the size of a watermelon. We also share some good information on how to provide successful care. I hope you found this essay valuable. If you have any questions, please leave a remark!