Watermelons are a favorite summertime treat that are loved for their sweet and juicy flavor. However, they can also be grown in a greenhouse to extend the growing season and enjoy fresh, homegrown watermelons all year round. In this article, we will share some tips for planting watermelons in a greenhouse.
Choosing the Right Watermelon Variety
The first step in planting watermelons in a greenhouse is to choose the right variety. Look for compact or dwarf varieties that are well-suited to greenhouse growing. Some good options include Sugar Baby, Sweetheart, and Blacktail Mountain.
Preparing the Soil
Watermelons thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients. Before planting, prepare the soil by mixing in compost, manure, or other organic matter. Watermelons also prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8.
Watermelons are typically planted from seed. Plant the seeds in small pots or seed trays, and keep them in a warm, sunny location until they have germinated. Once the seedlings have developed their first true leaves, they are ready to be transplanted into the greenhouse.
Choose a location in your greenhouse that receives full sunlight and has plenty of space for the watermelon vines to grow. Plant the seedlings in rows, spacing them about 3-4 feet apart. Water the seedlings regularly and make sure the soil stays moist but not waterlogged.
Caring for Watermelons
Watermelons require regular care to grow healthy and strong. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Water regularly: Watermelons need consistent moisture to grow well. Water them regularly, and avoid getting the leaves wet to prevent fungal diseases.
- Fertilize: Watermelons are heavy feeders, so fertilize them regularly with a balanced fertilizer.
- Prune the vines: To prevent overcrowding and promote healthy growth, prune the vines as needed.
- Monitor for pests and diseases: Keep an eye out for common watermelon pests and diseases, such as aphids, spider mites, and powdery mildew.
Watermelons are typically ready to harvest about 80-90 days after planting. Look for signs that the watermelons are ripe, such as a dulling of the skin, a yellowing of the underside, and a drying of the tendril closest to the melon. When you’re ready to harvest, use a sharp knife to cut the watermelon from the vine, leaving a small stem attached.
With the right care and attention, you can grow sweet and juicy watermelons in your greenhouse all year round. Follow these tips for planting, caring for, and harvesting watermelons, and enjoy the delicious taste of homegrown melons.