If you’re just getting started with square foot gardening, watermelon is a great vegetable to try. They’re relatively easy to grow, and you can get a lot of them from just one plant. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about growing watermelons in your square foot garden.
We’ll cover how to choose a spot for your plants, what type of soil to use, and how much water they need. So if you’re ready to start growing some delicious watermelons, keep reading to know more on watermelon square foot gardening.
Watermelon square foot gardening growing Tips
Everyone seems to love watermelon in the summer. Originally from Africa, melons need warm temperatures (up to 80 ° F during the day) and a long growing season.
Gardeners in colder climates can still succeed in growing watermelon vines, starting seeds indoors, and choosing short-season varieties. Days to maturity vary from 70 to 90, depending on the variety.
Watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) are known for their vigorous and unrestricted growth, which hardly matches the orderly and restrained appearance of a square meter garden.
However, with proper spacing, selection, and care of plants, you can grow watermelon in a small space. Depending on the variety and weather conditions, you will enjoy juicy fruits 70 to 100 days after planting.
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When to Plant Watermelon in Square Foot Garden
In cold climates, with short growing seasons, start seeds indoors 2-3 weeks before your last frost date. Plan to transplant the seedlings to the garden about 2 weeks after that date.
In warmer climates with long growing seasons, sow seeds directly outdoors 1 to 2 weeks after your last frost date, provided the soil temperature has risen to at least 70 ° F (21 ° C). A warmer soil helps prevent one germination poor.
Note: Watermelon seedlings are very soft and should not be transplanted until all danger of frost has passed. Look at the local forecast and make a mistake as a precaution!
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How to choose and prepare a planting site for WaterMelon?
- Change the soil with aged fertilizer, algae, and/or compost before planting. Watermelons are heavy feeders. Learn about soil changes and preparing the soil for planting.
- Watermelons work best in soils, clayey slightly sandy and well-drained.
- Watermelons prefer a pH of the soil between 6, 0, and 7.0 (“slightly acid”).
- Growing vines in high rows, known as hills, ensures good drainage and retains heat from the sun for longer. Plan to space the plants about two feet apart on a 1.5-meter wide hill.
- If you are growing in rows, stay one meter away.
Square Foot Gardening Watermelon Spacing
- Sow ½ to 1 inch deep outdoors or ¼ to ½ inch deep in indoor seed initiation pots.
- To allow more root growth, use larger pots than you would for most seeds. Also consider using compostable pots that can be cut or planted directly in the garden, as this will minimize the risk of damaging seedling roots during transplanting.
- If sowing directly outdoors, sow 4 to 6 seeds per hill, and eventually decrease to 2 to 3 seedlings.
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Transplantation of watermelon seedlings in Square Foot Garden
- Handle seedlings with extreme care when transplanting. Its roots are very fragile, so try not to disturb the soil by removing them from the pots.
- After transplanting, cover plants with mulches to keep pests away. Remember to remove the line caps when you see male and female flowers on the vine, as pollinators will need to access the flowers.
How many watermelon plants per square foot
When planting watermelon in a one-foot square garden, plant a plant on a two-foot grid. Watermelons grow on long, flat vines that can stretch up to 12 feet in one season.
They can quickly occupy a one-square-meter garden if they don’t have enough space.
If they are planted too close to other crops, they will compete for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients and they will expel the plants.
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Types of Soil for Watermelon Gardening
Watermelons grow in many types of soil but prefer fertile, sandy, loamy soil that drains easily. Add generous amounts of manure, compost, and leaves to your garden and work the soil well before planting. Melons like a lot of water, so keep the soil moist at all times.
The mixture of soil in your garden square feet should be ideal for the growth of watermelon. If you can, it may be a good idea to have a slightly deeper garden box for watermelons, because they have deeper roots than many plants.
A foot of depth should sufficient.
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Suitable WaterMelon Varieties for Square Foot Gardening
The seeds of watermelon are activated by frost to germinate. You must plant them in late winter for the last frost to appear. It is possible to simulate this by placing the seeds in the freezer for half an hour.
The seeds are usually planted on small hills 10 to 12 feet apart.
In your square foot garden, a hill is not necessary. It will help watermelons if you work more fertilizer in the square meter section before planting.
Some varieties of watermelon are more suitable for square meter gardening than others. Plant those with compact or even shrubby vines for best results.
Try these best water melon varieties in square foot garden:
- “Sugar Baby“: 80 days until expiration. Produces 10 pounds of melon with bright red meat. This smaller variety of fruits can be planted just 1 meter away.
- “Sweet beauty“: 80 days until expiration. An All-America selection from 2004. Carries 6 pounds oblong melons with red meat.
- “Golden Dwarf“: 70 days until expiration. Carry small 3-pound melons with yellow meat and pink meat. Good for northern gardeners.
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Watermelon Vines Training on Trellis
It is known that watermelon rot on the vines if they grow along the ground. With your square foot garden, you will need to provide a trellis to support your vines. You will build vertical plants.
The trellis can be a simple frame as high as possible. It can make one lattice single two feet of steel pipe 3 inches 2 inches in diameter, two pieces of wood of 2 inches by 2 inches to 6 feet long, and a piece of wood 2 inches by 2 inches of width from your garden box.
Hit the steel pipes at least 30 cm on the ground, in the two corners of your garden. Attach a 2-foot length of 2×2 to each tube and place the short 2×2 piece on top.
The support for the plants can be provided by a plastic-coated net attached to the wooden frame you created.
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Watermelon Vine Care
Watermelons are traditionally grown on the north side of a garden, but with vertical growth, this is not a factor.
The vine will be able to support the flower and the first fruits, which naturally occupy the ideal position for the light they need to receive. As watermelons grow, they will need additional support.
This can be provided using nets made of any lightly woven material tied to the net.
Watermelons always taste better if they ripen on the vine; therefore, it is best to harvest them only when you need them. They do not rot on the vine while suspended in midair.
At the end of the season, there will be immature fruits and possibly flowers on the vines. They should be removed to encourage the vine to divert the remaining energy to the more advanced watermelons.
The watermelons are very successful in the square footage of the gardens; you just need to make sure they are well supported so they don’t fill the entire area.
Square foot gardening watermelon fertilizer
If you choose to fertilize (and many do), make sure it provides more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium, as this will stimulate the growth of vines and leaves.
However, after flowering begins, use less nitrogen fertilizer to stimulate flowers and fruit.
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Watermelon Flowering and fruiting
- Vines produce male and female flowers separated on the same plant. They often begin to produce male flowers several weeks before females appear. Don’t worry if the male flowers fall off. The female flowers (which have a bulging bulb at the base) will remain on the vine and bear fruit.
- Flowers need pollination to bear fruit; so be nice to the bees!
- When the fruit is ripening, avoid rot by carefully lifting it and placing a cardboard or straw between the fruit and the soil.
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Watermelon Pests and Diseases in Square Foot Garden
Now, let us check out Watermelon Pests and Diseases in Square Foot Garden.
Watermelon disease in garden
Downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis)
Symptoms: Yellow spots on the leaves; dark brown lesions on the leaves; inward curled sheets
Comments: Spread by spores in the air and splashing water
Management: Do not overload the plants; avoid the irrigation air, aquatic plants of the base; apply the appropriate fungicide.
Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum)
Symptoms: Withered plants; wilted confined to one or more vines; foliage appears green-gray-green in appearance and turns yellow as the disease progresses; the vascular tissue has a red discoloration.
Comments: The disease can be spread through infected seeds or through contaminated water and/or equipment.
Management: plant in well-drained soils and avoid flooding; seeds treated with plant fungicide; rotate crops in 4 years
Angular leaf spot (Pseudomonas syringae)
Symptoms: Small lesions soaked in water in the leaves which expand between the leaf veins and become angled; in conditions wet, the lesions exhaling a milky substance is dried to form a white crust on or to the side of the injury;
As the disease progresses, the lesions tan and may have yellow/green edges; the centers of the lesions dry up and may fall leaving a hole in the blade.
Comments: Spread infected seeds, rain splashes, insects, and people moving between plants; bacteria gain more debris and can survive for 2.5 years.
Management: Use disease-free seeds; do not grow plants in the field where cucurbits were grown in the previous 2 years; Copper Protective Spray can help reduce the incidence of disease in hot, humid climates; plant resistant varieties.
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Bacterial fruit stain (Acidovorax avenae)
Symptoms: Small lesions soaked in water at the top or sides of the fruit that increase the surface; the lesions fruit may become red or brown and crack.
Comments: Spread on infected seeds or water splashes; the appearance of the disease favors humid conditions.
Management: Use seeds and transplants without pathogens; rotate crops; avoid the use of aerial irrigation
Watermelon mosaic watermelon mosaic virus (WMV)
Symptoms: Symptoms vary widely, depending on species, cultivar, virus strain, and environmental conditions; Leaf symptoms may include green mosaic patterns, green vein bands, chlorotic rings, and disfigured leaves.
Comments: The virus is found in almost all cucurbit- producing regions of the world; the virus spreads to more than 20 species of aphids.
Management: The treatments controlling populations of vectors of aphids can also reduce the incidence of the virus; spraying plants with mineral oils or insecticidal soaps can help reduce the number of aphids.
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Watermelon Garden Insects
Symptoms: Stems of transplants or young seedlings can be cut at the soil line; If the infection occurs later, irregular holes are eaten on the surface of the fruit; the damage-causing larvae are generally active at night and hide during the day in the soil at the base of plants or in the debris of felled plants; larvae are 2.5 to 5.0 cm long; Larvae can exhibit a variety of patterns and colors, but they generally curl into a C shape when disturbed.
Comments: Earthworms have a wide variety of hosts and attack vegetables, including asparagus, beans, cabbage, and other cruciferous, carrots, celery, corn, lettuce, peas, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Management: Remove all the residues of plants of the after harvest soil or to the least two weeks before planting, this is especially important if the previous crop was another host, such as alfalfa, beans or ground cover legume.
The plastic or aluminum collars, mounted around the stems of the plants, cover the bottom 3 inches above the soil line and extend a few centimeters towards the ground to prevent larvae from damaging the plants; choose the larvae at dusk; spread the diatomaceous earth around the base of the plants (this creates a sharp barrier that will cut insects off if they try to crawl over it); apply appropriate insecticides to infested areas of gardens or fields if they do not grow organically.
Flea Beetles Epitrix spp.
Symptoms: small holes or lumps in the leaves that give the foliage a characteristic “garnet” appearance; young plants and seedlings are particularly susceptible; plant growth can be reduced; if the damage is severe, the plant may die; the pest responsible for the damage is a small, dark-colored beetle (1.5 to 3.0 mm) that jumps when disturbed; The beetles usually have a shiny appearance.
Comments: Younger plants are more susceptible to flea beetle damage than older plants; older plants can tolerate infestations; the flea the beetles can overwinter in species of nearby weeds, plant debris or soil; insects can go through a second or third generation in a year.
Management: In areas where beetles Fleas are a problem, it may be necessary to use floating covers before the appearance of the beetles to provide a physical barrier to protect young plants; plant seeds early to allow establishment before beetles become a problem: mature plants are less susceptible to damage; traps can provide a measure of control: cruciferous plants are best; applying a thick layer of mulch can help prevent beetles from reaching the surface.
The land application of diamotecaeus or oils such as oil neem is effective to control methods for the producers organic; Applying insecticides containing curry, spinosad, biphethrin, and permethrin can provide adequate control of beetles for up to a week but will need to be reapplied.
Thrips (Thrips of flowers Western, thrips onion, etc.) Frankliniella occidentalis Thrips tabaci
Symptoms: If the population is high, the leaves can B and are distorted; Leaves are covered in thick dots and may appear r silver; leaves mottled with black feces; the insect is small (1, 5 mm) and thin and is best viewed with a hand lens; the thrips adults are pale yellow to light brown and nymphs are smaller and lighter in color.
Comments: Virus transmission as the virus of the wilting of the tomato; Once acquired, the insect maintains the ability to transmit the virus for the rest of its life.
Management: Avoid planting near onions, garlic, or cereals, where a large number of thrips can accumulate; use reflective covers at the beginning of the growing season to avoid thrips; apply insecticide appropriate if the thrips will become problematic.
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Water Melon Harvesting in Garden
Watermelons are not sweetened after being picked; therefore, harvest time is important. They usually mature within two weeks, so keep an eye on them.
How to Store Watermelon
Watermelons can be stored uncut for about 10 days. If cut, they can last in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Wrap tightly in plastic.
FAQs on square foot gardening watermelon
How many melons are in a square foot garden?
It really depends on the type of melon you’re planting and the size of the melons. But generally, you can expect around 2-4 square foot garden melons in a single square foot garden. Just be sure to space them out accordingly!
Can you grow watermelon in square foot garden?
Yes, you can definitely grow watermelon in a square foot garden. You’ll want to use a Melon Planter for best results. Just make sure to provide plenty of direct sunlight and water regularly. Watermelons do well in hot weather and can take up a lot of space, so it’s important to give them plenty of room to grow in your garden. By growing them in a square foot garden, you’ll be able to fit more plants into a smaller area.
How much space do watermelons need?
A single watermelon plant will need about 1-2 square feet of space to grow. However, if you’re growing watermelons in a square foot garden, it’s best to plant 2-3 plants per square foot. This will ensure that you have plenty of fruit to harvest.
How many watermelons do you get per plant?
You can get about 1-2 watermelons per plant, depending on the variety and growing conditions.
If you’re growing melons in a square foot garden, you’ll want to use a trellis or some other type of support so the fruit can grow up off the ground. This will also help to keep the fruit clean and free from pests and diseases. A good rule of thumb is to give each plant about 1 square foot of space.
How do you plant watermelon in a square foot garden?
When it comes to planting watermelon in a square foot garden, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For one, watermelon plants need plenty of space, so you’ll want to plant them in an area that is at least 4 feet wide. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the soil is rich and fertile, and that the plants have plenty of room to grow.
When planting watermelon in a square foot garden, it’s important to space the plants out evenly. You’ll want to plant them in rows that are 12 inches apart, and then space the plants themselves out so that each one has at least 1 foot of space around it.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to plant watermelon in a square foot garden, try using a trellis. A trellis will help to support the plants as they grow, and it will also help to save space. To use a trellis, simply plant the watermelon plants next to it, and then use twine or garden wire to help support the plants as they grow.
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I hope this post will help for Watermelon square foot gardening, various Watermelon square foot gardening growing Tips, fertilizer, Watermelon Pests and Diseases in Square Foot Garden, how many watermelon plants per square foot? Square foot gardening watermelon fertilizer.
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