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Growing Watermelon Mistakes You Need to Avoid

A sweet and juicy slice of watermelon on a hot summer day conjures up iconic thoughts of simpler times.

Whether you want to capture moments like these or just enjoy the sugary embrace of this delicious fruit, growing your own watermelon is an inexpensive way to provide fruit for your family.

But if you haven't had much success growing watermelon in the past, the reason could be one of these common mistakes. Here is a discussion of the most common watermelon growing problems, along with the solutions needed to correct them:

1. Inadequate planting

Poor germination, slow growth, or plant loss can often be attributed to watermelon planting problems. To avoid these problems, plant watermelons in loose, nutrient-rich soil. Place plenty of compost and organic material on bedding to loosen the soil and provide the nutrients watermelon plants crave.

Watermelon prefers warm weather and many varieties require at least 100 days to produce fruit. In climates with shorter growing seasons, start sowing indoors. Using biodegradable pots will reduce stress when transplanting seedlings into the garden. Plant watermelons on high hills once the danger of frost is gone.

2. Neglecting weeds

Not only do weeds compete with watermelon plants for nutrients and growing space, but they also harbor harmful pests and diseases. Watermelon plants have a moderately deep root system, so pulling weeds around watermelons isn't as big of a problem as it is with shallow-rooted garden plants.

Use mulch to reduce weeding tasks and conserve moisture. Mulch provides a barrier that prevents pests and provides a dry resting place for fruit to develop. Grass or straw cuttings decompose within a year and replenish the soil with beneficial nutrients.

3. Inconsistent soil moisture levels

Constantly moist but not soggy soil helps watermelon plants grow quickly. This keeps the plants healthy, reducing the time of attack by pests and diseases. Constant humidity levels also allow the fruit to increase in size steadily. Fruit breakage on the vine is indicative of periods of heat and drought, followed by heavy rains.

Provide supplemental water during dry spells to prevent the soil from drying out completely. The root system of a watermelon extends beyond the base of the plant. Make sure to apply water in a ring around the plant, not just where the stem emerges from the ground.

4. Ignore pests and diseases

Regularly checking the watermelon patch for signs of disease or pests will allow you to resolve watermelon problems before they spread. Leaf damage is one of the most common signs of disease and insect infestation. The missing leaves are most likely due to deer.

The best way to deter insects and disease is to keep plants healthy and growing quickly. If these problems persist, opt for organic control methods whenever possible. Chemical pesticides also kill pollinators and can result in low yields due to low fruiting.

5. Harvest at the wrong time

Harvesting watermelons too early or waiting too long are common mistakes. To harvest watermelons at peak maturity, look for the curly tendrils closest to the fruit. When they turn brown, the plant no longer feeds the fruit.

We hope you enjoy this video about 6 Watermelon Mistakes to Avoid:

Source: Epic Gardening

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