Row by Row Episode 246: Avoid These Mistakes with Watermelon
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Row by Row Episode 246: Avoid These Mistakes with Watermelon

Row by Row Episode 246: Avoid These Mistakes with Watermelon

Tonight we're discussing common mistakes made when growing watermelons at home. When you are successful at growing watermelons, it can make any gardener feel great but sometimes there are many of us who have difficulty. We're here to discuss some of the major contributing factors when it comes to growing watermelon. Let's Grow Together! Get Dirty!

The Right Time to Plant Watermelon Seedlings

A major contributing factor to having a healthy watermelon crop is to know just how much they hate the cold. Making absolutely certain that any danger of frost has passed will help keep your watermelons healthy and happy. Check out Hoss University for planting dates/seed starting dates.

Over Crowding

Planting watermelons too close may result in overcrowding and smaller fruit. Transplanting Your Watermelon Seedlings Watermelon Seedling Planting Depth: Row Spacing – 4 to 6 feet Plant Spacing – 2 to 3 feet Planting Depth (Plants) – Soil Level


When choosing a spot to plant your watermelons, make sure it has full sun and won’t be shaded by other plants. Plant in loose, well-draining sandy loam, with pH between 6.0 and 6.5, that is rich in organic materials. Add good quality compost to the soil.

Over watering

Watch for overwatering, especially when almost ripe/ripe. Overwatering can cause splitting, dilute the flavor, resulting in it being less sweet. If rainfall is heavy, watermelons may swell too quickly for the plant to keep up with the extra water content. When this happens, the rind of the watermelon may split or burst as a result of the excess water building up inside of it.

Under watering:

May cause slow start, the fruit will not be able to grow to its full potential and may become stunted or fall off the vine. It is also important to be watering watermelons while they are establishing in the garden or during times of drought.

Lack of pollination:

Watermelon mainly depends on honeybees for pollination. In general, if the pollination does not occur, female flower will grow initially but fall off later. bees are vital for pollinating watermelons not only for the plant to be able to produce an abundance of fruit, but also to ensure that the watermelons are healthy, and with a good shape. Pollination by bees also affects the sweetness of the fruit.


Fertilizing is determined by the current soil condition and, thereafter, by the stage at which the watermelon plant is growing. For example, is it an emergent seedling or is it in bloom? Both stages have different nutritional needs. When fertilizing watermelon plants, use nitrogen based fertilizer at the onset. Once the plant begins flowering, however, switch to feeding the watermelon a phosphorus and potassium based fertilizer. Watermelons require ample potassium and phosphorus for optimal melon production.

Harvesting too early or too late:

Harvesting And Storing Your Watermelons There are several telltale signs that you can tell a watermelon is ripe. There’s the “thump test” where you can hold your ear up to the melon and, after years of experience thumping melons and knowing exactly what to listen for, you can tell that it’s ripe just by the sound it makes. While this method may be great for some, the thought of thumping acres of melons to tell if they’re ready for harvest isn’t really feasible. So here’s the 2 best ways to tell if your melons are ready for harvest. Look For The Curly Q Where the stem of the watermelon meets the main vine, there is a small tendril that comes off of the plant that we call a curly q. This is the best indicator as to the ripeness of your watermelons. When that curly q has completely dried out all the way to the vine, you know that your watermelons are good to harvest. Check out the video in the Extra Credit section below for more detailed info on this method! Check The Field Spot While growing, the watermelon rests on the ground and develops what is known as a field spot. A good indication that you’re going to have a ripe and sweeter watermelon is checking the color of this spot. The color ranges from almost white to a deep yellow color. Typically, the darker the yellow spot, the sweeter your watermelon will be.

Choosing Sweet Watermelons

While you may think that a shiny, bright green watermelon that you see in photos is the best watermelon to choose, this may not always be the case. Dull melons are good sign that your watermelon is not only ripe, but also sweeter than average. Another good thing to look for are brown spots and lines throughout; this is called “webbing” . For every brown spot you see, that is how many times a bee has touched the pollinating parts of the watermelon flower. The more pollination, the sweeter your watermelon is likely to be.



Watch the Full Video on Youtube:

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