Growing watermelon in containers will be tough as containers have limited space. Still, there aren’t many better things on hot and humid days than a homegrown, cold, and juicy watermelon.The best part is that they can grow well in a container with the proper techniques.
Read this article to learn more about growing watermelons.
- How To Effectively Grow Watermelons in Containers?
- 1. Choose a Type of Watermelon
- 2. Pick the Right-Sized Container
- 3. Use Nutrient-Rich Soil
- 4. Plant Watermelons
- 5. Keep Checking the Temperature
- 6. Water Your Plant Daily
- 7. Properly Fertilize Your Watermelons
- 8. Ensure Plant Pollination
- 9. Prune Plants of Extra Branches
- 10. Make Hammocks To Support the Growth of Your Watermelon
- 11. Check if Your Watermelon Is Ripe
- 12. Harvest Ripe and Tasty Watermelons
- 13. Provide Adequate Pest Control
How To Effectively Grow Watermelons in Containers?
To effectively grow watermelons in containers, you should choose what type of watermelon you want to plant, and then pick a big container and choose a nutrient-rich loose soil. After planting, you should give your watermelon plants enough water and sunlight. You’ll then harvest your ripe and tasty watermelon.
Learning how to grow watermelon in a small space isn’t as hard, you just need to use a small container that’s still enough for proper plant development. Growing watermelons in containers vertically will save you space and help melons get the maximum heat from the sun.
1. Choose a Type of Watermelon
For your container gardening, picking a small watermelon variety is vital to get started. Watermelons have types that can grow over 12 pounds, but they won’t be suitable for container plantation. It would help if you choose a compact variety of melons.
Golden Midget and Mini Love are some watermelon varieties that will be perfect for your container. You can also grow sugar baby watermelon in a container for the best results. Crimson Sweet will be perfectly fit for container growing if you want seedless watermelon production.
2. Pick the Right-Sized Container
Gardening pots come in different sizes and types. So, doing your research before buying a container will be crucial. You don’t have to worry because we have done the research part for you. Growing watermelons in 5 gallon buckets is possible, but larger containers are even better.
To sustain the growth of your watermelon plants, your container must also be hefty. If you believe your pot isn’t heavy enough, place rocks at the end of the container. Watermelons grow quickly and require a lot of water. Be sure that the container where you will cultivate watermelons has appropriate drainage holes.
3. Use Nutrient-Rich Soil
Aside from container size and variety selection, the soil is the most crucial component in producing container watermelons. It’s critical to fill the container with the proper soil blend. Otherwise, you’ll be tied to your garden hose or watering can all summer.
Your watermelon container needs soil that holds moisture without becoming soggy. A too-well-draining mix can dry up too rapidly, affecting plant health and fruit output. If you use a poorly draining mix, the soil will remain wet, depriving the roots of oxygen and potentially causing root rot.
Watermelons are big feeders that dislike being dry. You should choose soil that offers excellent drainage without drying up. Pick a good potting mix and combine it with compost. The compost absorbs and holds water, while the potting soil keeps the mixture light and well-draining.
The compost also adds helpful soil bacteria and nutrients to the container. It would help if you also got the pH of your soil checked. Melons thrive on well-drained, sandy loam soils with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
In the spring and fall, you may enrich the soil by adding well-rotted manure or compost. Fresh manure should not be used since it may contain hazardous microorganisms and exacerbate weed issues. Besides using containers, you can also create raised beds to guarantee enough drainage for these crops if the space allows.
4. Plant Watermelons
There are various ways to start your plantation. You could sow seeds or start with watermelon seedlings. Try to plant watermelon seeds if your growing season is long enough. It’s significantly less labor than cultivating your seedlings because watermelon plants won’t experience transplant shock.
They will develop more smoothly and with less stress. How to grow watermelon in pots from seeds? Ensure that there is no risk of frost and that the soil temperature is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit before planting seeds. For better yield, plant watermelons vertically.
How many watermelon plants per container? You might be able to keep three if the container’s large enough. Watermelons thrive in containers if you choose the right variety, use a large enough container filled with good soil, and place it in a sunny location.
5. Keep Checking the Temperature
Watermelons prosper in bright sunshine and warm soil. They require at least 8 hours of sun every day to thrive. Its exposure to sunlight is also responsible for the sweet and juicy fruit. If you discover that your fruits are tasteless, it is possible that they did not receive enough sunshine while growing.
6. Water Your Plant Daily
Watermelons take a lot of water. Therefore, it’s critical to keep your soil moist but not soggy all the time. Your plant will be in sunlight for 6 to 8 hours, so it will require daily watering, and if the temperature is warm enough, you should water your plant twice daily.
Reduce watering after the fruits begin to grow and develop. During that time, water slowly and gradually. To get the perfect watermelons, avoid over or underwatering.
7. Properly Fertilize Your Watermelons
Watermelons are heavy feeders and have a high nutritional need. While growing watermelons in pots, remember to apply liquid fertilizer once a week. If you want to use organic fertilizer, use it once a month, and it should have high phosphorus content. Only use high-nitrogen fertilizers since they will lead your plants to focus much of their effort on their leaves rather than fruit.
8. Ensure Plant Pollination
Watermelons require pollination since they generate male and female blooms independently. If there are few butterflies and bees in your region, you may have to hand-pollinate the flowers as soon as they appear.
9. Prune Plants of Extra Branches
Only let the main vine develop to have a strong and more fruitful plant and a long growth. Remove side branches when the plant is small before they develop further. Remove any broken stems as well.
Remove any sick, yellow, or infected leaves or branches at the point where they join the main stem using a sturdy set of gardening shears. Furthermore, remove any offshoot vines that don’t have blossoms or seem frail.
Don’t trim the vines when they’re damp. Watermelons are susceptible to parasites and infections and cutting them while damp encourages their growth and spread.
10. Make Hammocks To Support the Growth of Your Watermelon
Another technique for growing melons successfully is to use a vertical gardening container. When the fruit begins to develop and gets to the size of a softball, make a hammock, net, or any stretchable material to keep it on the vine so that it does not fall off due to its weight.
Cheesecloth, sheet strips, mesh onion bags, and t-shirts are ideal for building hammocks. Connect one end of the sling to the trellis close to the fruit, bring the cloth beneath the fruit, and attach the other end to another portion of the trellis net.
11. Check if Your Watermelon Is Ripe
You should tap the watermelon with your fingertips to check if the melon is ripe. If you hear a hollow sound, it implies the fruit is ripe. Check the tendril – if it withers, your melon is almost ready.
12. Harvest Ripe and Tasty Watermelons
Cut the vine off when your watermelon is ready, keeping 2 inches of stem connected to the fruit.
Watermelons are fresh 7–10 days after harvest and can be stored for around two weeks if temperatures are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
13. Provide Adequate Pest Control
Watermelons are susceptible to illness when exposed to hot or cold conditions or damp soil, and they can be infested by common garden pests such as aphids and cucumber beetles. One of the few creative ways to grow watermelons is to plant them with a few companion plants.
Companion plants are very helpful in controlling pests and diseases. Radish and lettuce are a couple of the best companion plants for watermelon.
You can also plant your melons with flowers like marigolds, as these strongly scented flowers help drive away pests. You can also grow dills as trap plants. Nasturtiums are also helpful for trap planting, as insects like to deposit their eggs on flowers and away from your watermelons. The watermelon vines will be less affected if the eggs are laid on the flowers.
Watermelon plants are tricky but not so tough plants to grow in containers. The crux of this article will guide you toward the best.
- Watermelons have deep taproots, so pot size is the key. Choose a deep and wide container. A 24 by 24-inch container will work best.
- Plant a small melon variety, water it daily, and give it 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.
- Support your watermelons with hammocks to help them grow. When they are ready, harvest them. You can store watermelon for up to 2 weeks at a moderate temperature.
Now that you’ve picked the right stuff, growing a big plant like the watermelon in a container will be easy. Following this article will help you achieve your destined goal.
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